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Second Time Lucky?

Brought up on the mean streets of Elgin and educated at Aberdeen and Napier Universities; Chris has written on everything from exorcisms to the drinks industry for a number of publications. After a spell in advertising and marketing he is now editor of Scotcampus – Scotland’s largest freesheet for the 16-30 age group. When he isn’t writing, editing or commuting he’s normally trying to convince his girlfriend they really don’t need a cat. Ever.

Is it just me or is it really bad form for a PR agency to have to amend and re-send a press release? And if it is poor to do it once every now and then, how amateur is it for a PR to do it regularly?

Human error, deadline pressure – it’s all part of the media, marketing, PR business and I would be a liar if I said that I was perfect. Spelling mistakes, stray apostrophes, typos . . . chuck in a few and I can still get the idea of what someone is trying to convey. But I’m not writing about grammatical gremlins, this PR agency I’m having issues with like to correct the actual information in their releases.

This is fine for me because Scotcampus is a monthly and unless I’m in the last few hours of production I can filter out any duff information. But what if I was working on a daily? Or worse still, what if I was working solely for digital media? Costly press release errors cost credibility, both for those who regurgitate the info and those who feed them the dodgy document in the first place.

While this specific agency might be bad, they aren’t the only offender, they’re just the most frequent. And I can’t stress this enough, they are very frequent. Because of this I’m much less likely to read or even open their press emails. What’s the point if the ‘real one’ will be coming along in a couple of hours time after the boss has filtered out the mistakes?

In the end it doesn’t bother me, but it would bother this agency’s clients who are paying to have their brands, products and events pushed properly. I won’t mention names, but if you’ve seriously sunk a press release and had to backtrack key info twice in a week try and tighten things up. Firstly, do it for your own sake and secondly, do it for the guys who pay for your expertise.

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