Robert's Feed
Jan 11, 2011

“Vertical tillage.” Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

Ingersoll Tillage of Hamilton, Ontario recently published this press release. My colleague in Bangalore, Jochelle Mendonca, spotted it and thought it might make a good addition to my, “Portraits in purple prose” files in which I sport with press release “language.” She was right. What is vertical tillage? Can I ask my friends to do it with me, or will I get smacked for my rudeness? Does it need a license to operate? Do eight states make it illegal? Would anyone care to tell me what it is? Whoever answers first gets to go to a 4-H Club fair with me.

Ingersoll redefining vertical tillage with new SoilRazor(tm)

VT PR Newswire BOULDER, CO, Jan. 7 BOULDER, CO, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ –

Today, tillage and planting expert Ingersoll Tillage Group, launched a new innovation set to redefine the vertical tillage industry in North America. Unveiled among industry peers at the AG CONNECT Expo in Atlanta, the new Ingersoll SoilRazor(tm) VT vertical tillage disc (patent pending) features a unique serrated edge that maintains its cutting ability as it wears, season after season.

Jan 6, 2011
via MediaFile

CES: Portraits in purple prose (Part four: leftovers)

The Consumer Electronics Show rages on in Las Vegas. So does the purple press release prose. Here are a few more examples that I scraped together. I’ll keep a lookout for a fresh batch on Friday.

Here are part three, part two and part one.

Rediscover radio. (What is “radio?”)

08:00 05Jan11 – PURE Launches New Internet-Connected Radios and Ground-Breaking Digital iPod Dock at CES 2011

Jan 6, 2011
via MediaFile

CES: Please turn off your phones and your Wi-Fi

English literature teachers, please tell me if I’m wrong to call this ironic.

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is all about technology, and pack journalists and tech experts all over the world say that wireless will be the next big boom. So why are various companies at this year’s CES begging and in some cases instructing people not to use their wireless devices or their Wi-Fi connections?

Here’s an email that my colleague Alexei Oreskovic received.

Alexei:

We have all heard of or experienced Wi-Fi challenges at high-profile events.

Please help our sponsors demonstrate their products. We ask you to turn off your phone before you enter Showstoppers tonight. If you can’t do that, please turn off Wi-Fi access on your smartphone and other mobile devices, including all mobile hotspot devices and anything else that acts as a mobile access point.

Jan 6, 2011
via MediaFile

CES: Portraits in purple prose (Part three: Revenge of the purple)

Here is Thursday’s first delivery of hot, overwrought, steaming, challenging, game-changing, erotically charged press release prose from the Consumer Electronics Show, the place where adverbs, adjectives and hyperbole go after they die. Click the links to see parts one and two from Wednesday.

We breed renowned turnkeys

01:00 05Jan11 -Option to CES Exhibitors: “Mobilize Your Products With The World’s Smallest 3G Module”

Jan 6, 2011
via MediaFile

PR and the press: fear, suspicion, antipathy and other healthy emotions

It’s neither fair nor fun to dominate a platform — however few people read it — that pokes fun at public relations if PR professionals can’t land a few blows on the press. I would love to get some of that and share it here as well as on my personal blog. If you see this, please contribute. Otherwise, I’ll flack you soonest.

Jan 6, 2011
via MediaFile

For best news, chill, then serve

My colleague in Helsinki, Tarmo Virki, received this e-mailed pitch on Wednesday. Why am I reporting day-old news, you ask? I must correct you: it’s two-day-old news.

You might wonder how often press agents pitch reporters with overtures that begin, “Yesterday, we did X,” “The New York Times reported X today. This is proof that it’s big news. Would you like to do the story too?” or “Earlier today, we issued a press release. Would you like to write it up now?”

Jan 5, 2011
via MediaFile

CES: Portraits in purple prose (part two, now with 30% more purple)

Here’s another crop of special announcements emanating from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. As with the first installment of “CES: Portraits in purple prose,” we bring you a selection of products and services that will revolutionize your paradigm, provide you with a turnkey solution and even pick the kids up from school and cast your vote for you on Election Day.

How to take over the entire world, vanquish capitalism and stop paying your bills with one software program—DO IT TONIGHT!

Jan 5, 2011
via MediaFile

CES: Portraits in purple prose (part one)

I was going to call this blog entry about this year’s Consumer Electronics Show press releases, “language crimes.” But that’s overheated. I’ll call it “overexcited claims” instead. It’s a sample of the sometimes purple, overwrought prose that press agents produce to show off clients’ products. At shows like CES, where 125,000 people overwhelm Las Vegas to gawk at consumer electronics for several days, there’s a lot of effort to get attention from harried, cranky journalists.

Odd results occur when you pair dramatic words with products that, no matter how much you might love them, don’t lend themselves to such… Byronic descriptions. Often accompanying them are typical buzzwords of the technology public relations corps, which after 15 years still leave me wondering if perhaps I haven’t mastered my native language.

Jan 5, 2011
via MediaFile

CES: One strip club, one Howard Stern producer and 125,000 friends

In my second day of searching for the most interesting and interestingly written press releases about the Consumer Electronics Show, I came across what appears to be an invitation for 125,000 people:

LAS VEGAS–(Business Wire)– Gary Dell`Abate, best-selling author and long-time producer of The Howard Stern Show will host a party January 8th at Rick`s Cabaret Las Vegas, to which he has invited all fellow attendees of the world-famous Consumer Electronics Show. The club is part of the Rick`s Cabaret International, Inc. (NASDAQ:RICK) group of upscale gentlemen`s clubs.

Jan 5, 2011
via MediaFile

“Dear Robert, I read your article with interest…”

Nearly every time I write an article that hooks into the big news of the day, I get within minutes or hours several e-mails that begin, “Dear Robert, I read your article with interest.” The spokesman or spokeswoman who wrote the article usually introduces me to a lawyer, professor, businessperson, doctor, philosopher or some other person who would like to add their point of view to the next update of the article that I write.

The e-mail usually includes a condensed resume of the person to whom I’m being introduced, and explains why that person is an expert and should appear as such in my article. I appreciate getting these. There is every reason to add more people to your list of contacts. Yet, these people never quite measure up to how they’re advertised.