Press release training lacks irony

I receive these regular emails inviting me to attend a Press Release Master Class.  I have no issue being emailed by this company (I can unsubscribe if I wish) – but the nature of the “sales pitch” drives me mad.

As an editor and journalist, I receive thousands of press releases a year. Hardly any of them make it into the magazine I edit or the stories I write for other publications. When I conducted a survey of 89 other editors, I found they’re also deluged with releases – sometimes as many as 1,000 a week.

The entire approach breaks my #1 rule for press releases – which is about targeting (as has been discussed endlessly online recently).  The sender clearly knows nothing about me – if they did, they’d realise I am unlikely to attend their course.

I also loathe being pitched by a journalist who insults my profession, whilst ironically showing the same lack of knowledge of his target audience by sending me irrelevant information.

The sender claims: “What makes the Master Class different from other PR events is that it draws heavily on the views and experience of the 89 editors in my research project.”

I’m not knocking this guy’s credentials – but I run very successful press release writing workshops and didn’t need to undertake specific research with 89 editors (or journalists) as a hook. 

There is certainly a need, and demand, for improving basic PR skills – but why take advice from someone who cannot even manage their own contact database?

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.