Monday, July 25, 2005

More on press releases

Dan Gillmor is not thrilled with our military putting the same made up quote in two different press releases. He goes on to make some very entertaining observations about quotes in press releases:

Look, PR people make up quotes all the time. It's part of their job.

If you're in the news business you see this stuff all the time. I mean, when a corproate CEO is quoted as saying, "I am gratified by the performance of our frabjab-widget business unit during the quarter, when the trajectory of widget sales continued to move in a favorable direction," you can be fairly sure that this line was written, not uttered, and not by the guy being quoted. ...

For example, it strains my brain to imagine that John Lee, senior vice president, CNN Newsource Sales, really told a PR person: "A more useful Web site continues CNN Newsource’s leadership position in communicating with affiliates, ensuring that they have all the information they need as quickly and reliably as possible from CNN. This newly designed interface is an easy-to-navigate portal that connects affiliates to the world of news. It is an efficient, intuitive, one-screen, information portal that lets each desktop user get immediate, topical information that they need from CNN to produce their local newscasts.”

Just rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it? The only human-sounding aspect of that quote is the bad grammar.

All this makes me think that Kevin Dugan may be on to something when he suggests sending out press releases in a podcast/mp3 file.

If everyone listened to their news releases before sending them out, I suspect their quality would improve dramatically.

No comments: