When press releases go bad

Check out this really bad press release I just got which contained all the changes from the original draft. Ouch.

Uhm what?

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32 Responses to “When press releases go bad”

  1. PaulSweeney says:

    would making the document a “read only” document stop this from happening?

  2. Sinéad says:

    Employing competent staff might work.

  3. Damien says:

    That was a html email, there was no document and I did not enable changes view.

  4. McAWilliams says:

    I am confused, that has to be the hardest thing I have ever attempted to read.

  5. Darragh says:

    Oh dear… Ohhh dear…

    As Sinéad said, it’s about hiring competent staff… who give a damn and actually take personal pride in their work and communications.

    Heads should roll.

    Will you get a follow-up?

  6. Matt Vinyl says:

    “it’s about hiring competent staff… who give a damn and actually take personal pride in their work and communications”

    I guess that would rule out the entire PR, marketing and advertising industry then!

  7. Should have sent it as a pdf

  8. Damien says:

    Brendan, how would a journalist copy and paste it then?

  9. Damien: I can copy and paste from PDFs, how come you can’t?

  10. Damien says:

    Eoghan, not every PDF can be copied and pasted from. Did you not know that?

  11. Re the PDF, fair point lads. Was kind of assuming that journalists didn’t just wholesale copy and paste press releases… but i guess that it would make their lives easier if they could accurately copy quotes etc.

  12. Presumably if you’re sending a press release in a PDF, you send one that allows copy and paste!

  13. Damien says:

    @Brendan Shockingly enough I saw a national newspaper do an article based on a press release and they forgot to spellcheck what they had copied and pasted. A glaring typo in the release made it into the article in the broadsheet.

  14. Niall O'K says:

    That press release looks like it was still at note-taking/changes/editing stage in MS Word or something… how could they be as silly as to send out a version like that… the mind boggles!

    Anyway, as regards formats of press releases, I would have thought the most sensible to go with would be plain text with any relevant pictures (photos for example) attatched to the email as JPEGs…

  15. Just a postscript on the pdf thingy, I’ve tried a few different websites and downloaded their pdf’s and been able to copy and paste without a problem. You have to click on the “Select Text” button in the toolbar first and then you can select whole paragraphs of text. (A journalist’s dream by the sounds of it!) I wonder can a pdf author prevent users from doing this?

  16. Bit of an overreaction there Darragh -”heads should roll”.

    Monday morning I can barely put on my trousers, never mind do anything else.

  17. Orlaith says:

    Eep..I’m cringing for the person who sent this out! Damien, I wouldn’t even have the heart to post that one, maybe some poor intern has just got the sack :-(

  18. Isitjustme? says:

    The Independent do the copt and paste complete with spelling mistakes on a constant basis.
    Bloody hell, I take it somebody had a bad Monday…and by the looks of may have an even worse Tuesday.
    P45 anyone?

  19. Isitjustme? says:

    copy..Jesus I’m as bad as a Sindo collumnist here!

  20. blankpaige says:

    God, Damien, I’d hate to live in such a perfect world were no-one ever makes a mistake. I reckon some slack should have been cut here.

    Let she without sin, cast the first stone……

    Piage!

  21. [...] Mulley got a press release where it appeared all the edits from the original draft had been left in by acci…. Maybe, or maybe this is a work of absolute pure PR genius. I certainly never would have cared, but [...]

  22. Damien says:

    Paige: I think the sin here is I did not sign up to get press releases about music competitions from Vodafone or their PR people. I will allow and suffer through getting stuff that is related to technology because I can sometimes be whimsical like that. If they think a battle of the bands is technology related then I worry for Voda and their PR company.

    The slack I gave is that I cropped their name from the bottom. People have bad days, yes but why should I have so suffer for it? Having a bad day is allowed but do realise that they are managers of my data if they have a file or record on me and need to have a quality control process in place for it.

    Also if their PR company gives them a P45 for that then they’re not great employers are they? Plus I can recommend a very good law firm that specialises in employment law if someone gets fired for that.

  23. Orlaith says:

    Yikes, Damien. All those PR companies getting into the web 2.0 thingy are going to pack it all in now :-)

  24. Damien says:

    Orlaith, they wouldn’t need press releases if they got into Web 2.0, the bloggers would spread the word without having being sent stuff. :)

  25. i think its a skill. i mean i would have no idea how to get a document like that. generally if theres a mistake i change it and remove it.

  26. [...] To cap it all off, Damien makes clear in comments on this blog post that he shouldn’t have received the release in the f…as he is a Technology journalist, not a music journalist. Again, poor quality information [...]

  27. red mum says:

    I’d say that was written by someone, corrected by someone else and someone else, possibly the previous person sent it out without realising that the changes had to be actually followed through.

    What I would question though is why go to the nonsense hassle of score throughs when you could actually amend it there and then. Some people should not be let near Microsoft Word let alone anything else.

    I loathe getting documents that someone has gone all snazzy using all Word’s functions with changes in different colours and numbers with references at the side. It is an assault on the eyes and brain.

    I’m afraid I prefer a printed out doc with good auld pen scores on it or an actual amended copy. Sometimes the simplest way is actually the easiest as we can see from that release.

  28. Isitjustme? says:

    Redmum is right.I actually should own up to the fact that I can never really master those functions and generally get my biro out then make my changes…I only trust technology when I’ve already done the work.

  29. Rainer says:

    Could you not just uncheck the ‘track changes’ setting to view this doc without the edits?

  30. Damien says:

    Read my comment above. Then read it again. This was NOT a word document. This was an HTML email. The screencap is how it was seen in my email client.