Memo to PR People: “GREAT NEWS” is reserved for only… GREAT NEWS.

Have you joined my incredibly non-annoying, once-in-a-while email newsletter?

Got an email from a buddy of mine, forwarded to me from their PR firm in San Francisco.

The gist of it was this: Reporter for Twin Cities Magazine (Circulation, about 30k) is doing a round up story, and wants to include my buddy’s company.

Here’s the issue my buddy (and I, definitely) had with the email.

1) It was sent to my buddy, AND the two top people in the company.

2) The wording was something like, “GREAT NEWS!!!!! Twin Cities Magazine is doing a story and wants to feature <buddy’s company.>

3) The second line was “As a result of our outreach, contributing writer xxx xxxx wants to feature <buddy’s company> in an article on <industry.>

Sigh. OK. Let’s see where to start with this one.

1) My buddy is the VP Marketing. That’s the ONLY point of contact the agency needs to have. To send it to the CEO and second in command reeks of “trying too hard.”

2) GREAT NEWS!!!! MY dog just crapped on your rug!

IT’S A ROUND-UP STORY, and my buddy’s company is one of three leaders in the space. It’s not GREAT NEWS that they’re included in a round up story on the industry. It should be STANDARD PRACTICE. If they weren’t included in a basic round-up, I’d be looking for a new agency r-to-the-ight-to-the-q-to-the-uick.

3) It’s Twin Cities Magazine. Try to grab onto something when you have the impending orgasm. It’s Twin Cities Magazine.. While they’re a nice magazine, they’re a) not national, b) not the Wall Street Journal, and c) have a reach of about 30,000. While that’s a decent size publication, does it really warrant a “GREAT NEWS!!!!!” subject?

4) Run the McDonald’s Test on your email. Would what you’re saying been translated and re-said at McDonald’s? For instance… Would the McDonald’s employee say “As a result of my efforts, I’ve put cheese on your Quarter Pounder, thereby making it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, which is exactly what you paid for.

“As a result of your efforts?” I’m paying you close to $20k a month – you’re damn RIGHT it should be as a result of your efforts, and you shouldn’t have to TELL me that it is. I should be SEEING the results of your efforts, not being force-fed that this piddly little interview is because of them.

In fact, if you say “AS A RESULT,” my first thought is that you’re covering up, and if I was in a bad mood and it wasn’t Friday, I’d call the reporter and ask if you in fact reached out, or if the reporter came to you. And if I found out that they came to you, and it wasn’t “as a result of your efforts,” I’d kick your ass.

SHOW ME results. Don’t TELL me that you’re getting them. Don’t tell me how great something is. I’m smart. If I think it’s great, I’ll let you know.

I used to have a friend who did that a lot. She’d make a joke, and then wait three seconds, and go, “wasn’t that funny?” Well, it kind of was, UNTIL YOU RAMMED IT DOWN OUR THROATS.” She doesn’t do that anymore.

Don’t tell me that something is SO GREAT!!!!! as a result of YOUR EFFORTS!!! Let me find out on my own.

With one exception. You land me an A-1 on the front page of the Journal? You can tell me how great you are. I’ll even believe you.

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