I just read a scrumptious news release about an unusual new package used to hold a well-known brand of food.
(The brand will remain anonymous to protect the guilty.)
The copy provided a detailed description of the package and gushed about its unusual shape, and how it shimmers and shines when the package is moved.
The package, it says, promises a “sensory” experience for the customer. Yet nowhere did I see a photo, or any mention of a photo. If I were a food page editor, I might use the news release with a photo. Without a photo, I’d probably pitch it. My guess is that this company, which targets upscale consumers, probably paid a fortune for the packaging and maybe even to the PR firm.
That’s just one of the many things that makes The Publicity Hound crazy.
Other irritations include:
–Business cards with email addresses printed in tiny type that makes people with 20/20 vision squint to read it.
–Business cards, websites, letterhead and news releases with telephone numbers that include trendy periods instead of dashes, like this: 262.284.7451. It’s confusing because a period when used with numbers
usually denotes a decimal. If you use this in news releases, it sends this
message to the journalist: “Despite the fact that you use dashes in phone numbers, we’re using periods, even if it means more work for you.” When you send anything to a journalist, conform to the same style that they use
–News releases about topics I don’t care squat about, shipped via
expensive overnight delivery. Lazy PR firms would much rather charge the
client for this nonsense than pick up the phone and ask me if I’m interested in the topic.
–Three- and four-page news releases. Studies show journalists spend an averae of 5 seconds reading a news release before deciding whether to use it or toss it.
–Websites without contact information on the home page. Lots of you bury this under a “Contact Us” button. Why do you make it difficult for people, including reporters on deadline, to find you?
–A website that fails to explain, clearly and quickly, its purpose. Or why a visitor should spend time there. Would a journalist or any other visitor know immediately, upon visiting your site, why they should hang around? Does your website state clearly how you or your company are the solution to a problem?