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Chriss Scherer Scherer has been the editor of Radio magazine since 1997. His experience in radio includes work as chief engineer at stations in Cleveland (WMMS-FM, WHK-AM, WZJM-FM, WJMO-AM...more

Fact-free Press Releases

The 2010 NAB Show is days away. My e-mail box is full of information from exhibitors. It’s a mix of great, good and useless information.

The great
We cover the technology of radio broadcasting. You already know that. When I receive information about new products, product updates, significant transactions, new installations, company appointments and similar information, we share it with you right away. That’s a big part of what we do. We process information for you so you can do your job better.

The good
I also get plenty of material that has relevance, but it tends to serve the manufacturer’s interests more than anyone else’s. Quite often I have to do more legwork and get the real meat from these items. The fact that a company is exhibiting at a convention is nice to know, but there has to be more to it. Begging for both visitors does no one any good.

The useless
Then there are the releases that say absolutely nothing. I think these releases are written for the company CEO so he can feel good about himself, or they are written for potential investors who want to read a series of buzz words that have no substance, or they are written by a PR person who was given no real information in the first place but was told to issue a press release. (There’s an art to issuing a press release that says nothing but appears to be loaded with great information.) I call the useless releases fact-free press releases. They say nothing. They often say nothing but still use 1,000 words to do it.

Here’s a great example I just received:
“[The company] will use its industry skills to form a product offering that will give value to the customer, while keeping stringent control over quality. [The company] aims to introducing higher end features into a cost effective range of products for the broadcast media market. This is great news for the end-users as they have gone through a torrid financial crisis and have been forced to trim the organizational fat. [The company] has done this from the beginning! And [company] will endeavor to bring in new business ideas to keep overheads at a minimum while giving fantastic value.”

The release goes on and about how this manufacturer will develop new products that help the bottom line, but there is no mention about what these products might do.

And my final peave? The exhibitors who spam the news media list with releases. Do you think I need to know about the newest $20,000 camera lens?

Lucky for you, these types of releases never make it to RadioMagOnline.com or the pages of Radio magazine.

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Related Topics: Industry

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