‘All press is good press’? Not always.

On TechCrunch today, I found a post that said, in part:

Unless you subscribe to the theory that there is no such thing as bad press, don’t be the company that emails us and compares their new product to Flickr, but spells it “Flicker” in the email. And don’t send us links to the product that show error messages that are completely wrong.

Alas. I agree. Press releases must be professional. I can’t imagine that this maligning will help out the site that committed the error. I’d call it the 101 of internet PR: 1) Spell correctly, 2) double-check all links before hitting Send, and — I’m embellishing here, but nonetheless — 3) have flawless grammar, too.

I’ve written before about how a company’s website, riddled with errors, caused me to not buy something I’d hoped to. Mistakes are even worse in a press release, though, because it’s being sent to members of the press, who probably have a keener eye for grammatical flaws than the general public. Add to that the fact that the news media have some level of power over their readership, and you’ve got a lethal combination.

Notice the post title at TechCrunch: “Don’t be this company.”

I second that.

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2 responses to “‘All press is good press’? Not always.

  1. DId you see the bit about teacherscount.org that I had on my site? I got a letter back saying, essentially, that crappy grammar equals creative freedom in the world of advertising. I don’t buy it, and neither should anyone else…

  2. Yes, MrsChili, I did follow that story line on your blog, and to some extent I agree that advertising is given a wide berth of “creative freedom.” Most ad departments don’t even KNOW the rules the rest of a shop has to abide by, let alone try to follow them. This doesn’t mean this state is good for the companies being advertised, though, particularly in the case you mentioned, where the point was ‘we teach you good grammar,’ among others.

    This isn’t advertising, however. Press releases are sent not to the advertising department but to the news department, which is certainly not given such “creative freedom” with grammar.

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