Bad Press Releases: Weight Loss News Losers

by coach

Some press releases are simply hilarious

Some press releases are simply hilarious

This week’s worst press release – for weight loss pills –  loses everywhere, but especially on two critical fronts: no news and no credibility. Why they even put this out is a mystery. It’s a thinly veiled effort to promote affiliate products and nothing more.

News releases like these make it really easy to show how NOT to do things. So let’s get right into it.

The press release How does Meizitang botanical soft gel capsules work? [sic] was issued Nov 2, 2010 on the Free Press Release site by Belle Jour Diet in Pearl, Mississippi. Take a moment to read the press release and y’all come back when you catch your breath.

Ready? Let’s use our handy dandy nine-point Press Release Report Card to analyze this gem:

Criteria Perfect Score Belle Jour Diet
Headline 10 1
Lead 10 0
News Value 20 3
Content 15 3
Writing Quality, AP style 10 0
Grammar, Spelling, typos, etc 10 0
Social Media IQ 10 4
Resources – pics, video, reports 10 2
Contact Info, boilerplate 5 3
Score Potential vs Actual 100 16

We won’t spend too much time doing an analysis. It’s pretty clear. This press release was a classic “do-it-yourself” PR failure.

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It’s another case of people who don’t understand news and shouldn’t be issuing what they think is a news release. This happens all too frequently with the “free” news release services.

Just to run quickly through it, the headline and lead are missing in action. They’re not news. There is virtually no news in the release body either.

That’s not to say you couldn’t create some real news with a survey or highlighting weight-loss research, scientists or experts, and linking it to real products of value.

The release is weighed down with grammatical, spelling and typographic errors. In several spots it’s nonsensical:

Why some people lost tons of weight while other lost just little?
Well, since as we explain before the active ingredients of the Meizitang reduces the fat and fat does not weight but it is voluminous they might not see a drop of 30 lbs in a month but instead a slim figure in the mirror. Also some others lose a lot of pounds because they might not have much fat in their body but have another problem which is liquid retention so when they eliminate that plus the fat the results are just jaw dropping.

Again, it’s a transparent attempt to sell diet products using a news release when other marketing channels would be more appropriate. And who knows if this product is even credible? No reporter is going to take a look beyond the poor first paragraph.

All in all it’s not worth the effort and it certainly destroys any company or product credibility. This is an example where the company could hire a journalism or PR student to do a better job.

The moral of this weight loss product press release? It’s a loser! And an amusing reminder once again that business and individuals should think before they issue a press release.

There are more than 220 other news release tips and social media release resources in the PR Library. All designed to help you learn how to 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 worst press releases series in the comments below. If you’ve got another favorite bad press release, please share the link. We can always use another chuckle.

Photo credit: Marind via Flickr

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Author:  Jeff Domansky is Editor, The PR Coach

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