Is this public relations?

The following is possibly one of the strangest examples of a press release that I’ve seen in ages.  How Committed Are We To Environmental Transport? was issued by environmental transport consultants’ Aardvark Associates.

Not only is it very oddly written for a press release, but it lacks structure and seems to have no real news value.  It also ends with a statement:

Please note that this document is for information only and is non-contractual;
Aardvark Associates decline all liability in the case of omissions or errors.

What does this mean and why would a journalist want to rely on any “experts” who appear unlikely to have checked any facts they provide. 

I was convinced that this was a DIY job with no evidence of any professional public relations advice or expertise. 

However, Google reveals Aardvark provides “public relations that impacts on your bottom line”.  This is the same company as the phone numbers match.

Apparently Aardvark PR has been in business for over 15 years, but I cannot see any names on the website (although there is a lot of legalese).  Despite the fact that they represent small automotive clients, no-one there is a member of

It appears that Aardvark represent to promote their electric vehicles – which is the topic of the above release, but not presented as a client news story.  Indeed, the company contact on the release is – maker of limos.

This is all odd.  It has the appearance of being from an environmental consultancy, but might actually be an attempt at promotional PR in disguise – or is it?

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

2 thoughts on “Is this public relations?”

  1. It doesn’t sound like PR to me. I am a public relations student and with how to write press releases drilled into my mind, I have found myself being extra critical about how others write theirs.

  2. Megan – that is good to hear as the skills are vital for being successful in PR. The challenge I find is to obtain examples of really well-written press releases as students often tell me that they would find it helpful to see best practice as well as the all too common rubbish. Any ideas?

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