News Release Pet Peeves

On May 8, 2008, in public relations, by Barbara Nixon

driven crazyOn Twitter this evening, I noticed that Jeremy Pepper (host of Pop! PR Jots) had started a discussion about things that drive him crazy in news releases. The discussion started like this: “Press release pet peeves: For Immediate Release. Really!? Is that why you sent it out over the wire at that time? Or did you want a delay?”

I started wondering what some other news release pet peeves are.

As for me, mispelt misspelled words make me want to pull my hair out. If I find a misspelled word, it always makes me concerned that will be other, less obvious, mistakes, too.

So (here’s where the audience participation part comes in), what are YOUR pet peeves in press releases?


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2 Responses to News Release Pet Peeves

  1. # 1: No news, high hype

    In the UK, we used to have a blog satirsing technology PR called ‘The world’s leading’. You know the routine: ‘the world’s leading supplier of scalable, enterprise, buzzword blah blah blah’.

    ‘But the client (or more precisely, the client’s marketing director) asks for that to be in the first paragraph’. Then provide some genuine PR consultancy: no news, no news release.

  2. Had a few other peeves:

    • Using today in the first line – there’s a dateline for a reason
    • Embargoes – they don’t work anymore, especially when you send me an embargoed release and I did not agree to an embargo
    • Overuse of the em-dash. But that just might be me.
    • Inability to write – the current crop of PR people are unable to write a tight, good press release. It’s faster for me to write internally than to send to a firm. One hour versus days.
    • The misuse of over and utilize. Okay, there is a disagreement on the over versus more than usage, but utilize means to use something for a purpose other than it is originally meant (eg, I utilized the book as a door stop).

    We need to get back to basics.