Why clients and journalists ruin press releases

Do you ever write anything you are embarrassed about? Apart from this column, which apparently I should be very ashamed of, clients sometimes insist that I send out a press release that I’d rather consign to the bin. And worse, some publications actually print it.

How clients ruin press releases:

1. No matter what you suggest, they only like press releases that read like sales brochures (And one written by their favourite nephew).

2. They dictate who you send the release to, its’ tone and its words. Why do they bother with PR agencies if they know better themselves?

3. They have so many people that need to give approval, by the time the release is sent out, it’s too late.

4. They insist that internal news stories, such as latest appointments, are sent out to journalists who have no interest in them.

5. They demand that you push white papers. Which only the authors find interesting.

How journalists make press releases look bad:

1. Sometimes they tweet them as examples of awful PR. Often we agree, but that doesn’t mean it’s our fault (see above).

2. Even worse, they print press releases without thinking because they are either lazy or overworked. Some press releases, dictated by clients, should never receive the oxygen of publicity.

3. When a PRO has made the effort to turn something dull into something interesting, the journalist transforms it back into crap again.