Friday, November 19, 2004

Media Relations Lesson #1

All right, for you PR flacks and others who want their events/issues covered: Here's a sampling of the first grafs of press releases that have crossed my desk recently and I what I thought of them. I am constantly deluged with press releases. So I have only a few seconds to skim the headline and first paragraph. If my attention isn't hooked by then, I slide the release into the recycling bin or delete it from my e-mail inbox.

*HARDEE'S MONSTER THICKBURGER MORE PORNO THAN EVER . We first labeled Hardee's Thickburger as "Food Porn" when it was some 200 calories smaller than the Monster version Hardee's is rolling out today. But if the old Thickburger was Food Porn, the new Monster Thickburger is the fast-food equivalent of a snuff film.

Great headline and lede. This is from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.-based nutrition, health and food safety advocacy group. The snappy writing here is one reason why CSPI, an aggressive and smart organization, gets into the news. No, I didn't write a story about Hardee's Thickburger, but that's because it's not on my beat. I always read CSPI for story tips; I've used them at least once before.

*An Explorer Replacement, A File Manager And So Much More
Brisbane, Australia (November, 2004) - GP Software announces the release of Directory Opus 8.0. The new version of this popular file management program for Windows offers a complete replacement for Windows Explorer as well as other utility programs used for handling ZIP files, FTP, viewing images and more. It features a user-friendly and fully-configurable interface within which you can access and manage your important data with a minimum of effort. Directory Opus offers full support for all Windows Operating Systems from Windows 95 upwards.

Boring. No news here. It's written in a very dry, tech-y way. I'm sure it's a great product, but I don't write product reviews. Plus, the company is from Australia. Even if I did write product reviews, there are many similar products here in the United States, so why would I write about one from Down Under?

*From Microsoft: Over the past few years, Microsoft’s steadfast commitment to bridge the digital divide has resulted in innovative global programs such as Partners in Learning, Unlimited Potential and the Local Language Program. Each of these programs addresses key aspects of the digital inclusion challenge, including education, skills training and language localization. Further expanding on its commitment to bring the social and economic benefits of technology access to people around the world, Microsoft today announced that is entering into a cooperation agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that will help increase access to information and communications technologies (ICT) and ICT skills training in underserved communities.
Today at a formal signing ceremony in Paris, France, Koichïro Matsuura, UNESCO’s Director General and Bill Gates, Microsoft’s Chairman and Chief Software Architect, outlined details of the agreement. Under the cooperation agreement, Microsoft and the UN agency will focus on increasing the use of ICT through a series of projects.

Aargh. Folks, this is called burying the lede. Don't do it. State the news at the top. I almost pitched this into the recycling bin at the end of the first sentence. I don't want to read lots of corporate blather before getting to the meat.


  1. After seeing that .mpg of the model riding the mechanical bull and eating one of those burgers, I can see why they said what they did. :)

  2. Being a techo person myself, it seems to me you may be more attracted by Porno and Hamburgers than File Managers from down under:) Wonder if they have porno and hamburgers?

  3. what a funny comment. If only it made sense ...