Bad Press Releases: BS + Bafflegab = PR Fail

by coach on November 5, 2010

Highland Bull and Calf

Press release was loaded with bull

Sometimes the best news release is no news release. That’s certainly the case with this week’s “bad press release” from Zeta Technology Group in Westlake Village, CA. It was issued November 4th on 1888PressRelease.com.

This press release is wrong on so many levels, it qualifies as a “spoof.” It’s hard to know where to start with a critique except to say you can’t take anything about it seriously. You can read the company news release and judge for yourself.

Just for the record, let’s go through the motions with our usual nine-point Press Release Report Card:

Criteria Perfect
Score
Zeta Technology
Headline 10 0
Lead 10 0
News Value 20 2
Content 15 2
Writing Quality, AP style 10 2
Grammar, Spelling, typos, etc 10 5
Social Media IQ 10 0
Resources – pics, video, reports 10 0
Contact Info, boilerplate 5 1
Score Potential vs Actual 100 12

.

It’s not a pretty picture! As you can see, the best mark this poor press release got was a bare pass for grammar and spelling. At least the spellchecker was working.

The product description and benefit statement were the funniest:

Jeremy Madvin uses the analogy of a cosmic “tuning fork” or converter of energy without the need for electricity or any other artificial input. Zetathermide will never run out of energy, it will transfer energy as long as there continues to be energy around it. It can be used in its purest state or as an additive to silicone, plastics, ceramics, wood, resins, paint or any other substance that transforms from a liquid to solid state.

Got that? I do give this press release 10 out of 10 for “entertainment value.” If only that counted for something in the newsroom.

468x60 logo on right side and green

Overall Press Release Assessment

I’m sorry. I’m laughing so hard it’s hard to sit up straight. I hope you are too?

Here’s the rundown: no news release fundamentals; no news; no website; no bios of company principals; no third party research; no verifiable patient or consumer benefits; and no product substantiation. No credibility.

The company’s previously archived news release is equally mystifying. It offers no further insight into the technology, the principals, third party credibility, pictures of the product, nor any real “news.”

The company website doesn’t work, sending you instead to a GoDaddy hosting service sales page, offering to sell the company’s domain. Somebody help me understand that one?

Maybe someone simply has a great sense of humor? I know I do. Now!

At the end of the day, there is just one simple lesson. This press release shows the danger of do-it-yourself writing and distribution of your own press releases.

In the wrong hands, as with Zeta Technology, it’s simply laughable. And now this “bad news” is on the record forever.

Sigh. No wonder the media don’t want news releases anymore.

Our goal in this regular series is to learn news release best practices through “real” news releases. Unfortunately, this one is pure entertainment but it was simply too good to pass up for that reason. We hope you enjoyed it.

We’ve got more than 220 additional news release tips and social media release resources in the PR Library. All designed to help you write a better press release, learn more about news release strategies and explore social media releases and distribution.

Let us know what you think of our new series of worst press releases in the comments below. If you’ve got another favorite bad press release, please share it!

Author:  Jeff Domansky is Editor, The PR Coach

Photo credit: Tony the Misfit

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