Give Andrew Fowler at Newsvetter credit.
Apparently, without the aid of an adrenaline shot, Fowler read through every single press release from the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Why? He wanted to find an example of an original, creative press release.
He failed. “For a conference that showcases some of the most interesting and exciting consumer products you would scarcely know it from the depressing way companies describe them in their press releases,” he wrote.
Sadly, Fowler is dead-on.
When did the PR industry start writing sentences like these (the following have been taken from real press releases – but the names have been changed to protect the guilty)?
- “By open sourcing this technology, we are allowing our industry partners and the community to contribute to the future of virtualization with us,” said John Doe, CTO and vice president, Engineering at Company X. “The Company X protocol is designed to optimize performance by automatically adapting to the graphics and communications environment that it is running in, so vendors have a terrific opportunity to enhance it for their specific applications.”
- “Regulatory compliance, on-line transaction processing and rich media are just a few of the factors driving an exponential demand for enterprise-class storage and replication services. To meet these needs, Company Y recently began offering dedicated SAN (dSAN) and dedicated NAS (dNAS) enterprise-class managed storage solutions.”
- “Company W and Company Z will now offer full end-to-end, global business process management solutions from upfront consulting, through deployment and ongoing services, fostering the business agility necessary to meet ongoing change requirements.”
Have these people never read Hemingway?
If you bundled the bad grammar, industry jargon, and cliches into a ball and threw it at a goat, it would knock the beast unconscious and you’d have PETA picketing your company headquarters.
My favorites are the new verb “open sourcing” and and the riveting offer of “full end-to-end business process management solutions.” Wow. Sign me up.
As I’ve written about before, press releases are terribly written – and getting worse. It might be time to get rid of them and replace them with something better – blog posts.
Google is a perfect example of a company that uses its blog to great effect. That’s where the company announces news. No more writing by committee. No more stale, jargon-riddle sentences longer than yard sticks. In other words – bye, bye press releases.
Blogs offer syndication via RSS, easy formatting and distribution, a multimedia platform and the ability to engage with your audience. More companies should follow the Google led.
What do you think – should blogs replace press releases?