European time - that would be UTC minus five days, would it?

21 August 2007

Every time I think PRs have got out of the habit of sending out European versions of press releases days late (and re-dating them), one clutters up the inbox. Today's offender is Text 100 with a release about Cadence Design Systems buying Clear Shape. It was a purchase that has been rumbling on since before the Design Automation Conference (DAC) in June, something that John Cooley at Deepchip picked up on weeks ago.

Cadence declared that it had done the deal on the 15th: the US release went out the next day. What should turn up this morning, dated the 21st, but the Europeanised version of the release. Which, by the way, hasn't actually been translated into UK English - analog is still analog, for example. All that has changed is that the slug now reads "Bracknell, UK" rather than "San Jose, CA".

In my position, this is not such a big deal as at least companies like Cadence put their stuff out through the PR wires, which helpfully have RSS feeds (unlike big companies like Cadence, hint, hint). And I can generally remember from one day to the next what I've dealt with. However, this is the kind of thing that has news editors on weeklies or higher-frequency newspapers foam at the mouth. What happens is that in that space of time, you can have dealt with the story only to have someone else turn up days later with the same story. Most of the time, that will get spotted early on. The PR firm responsible will be resoundingly cursed but no bones broken.

But, you may have someone doing holiday cover or the release is steered into the main news section versus the business section, so that different people are now dealing with the same thing. The problem only gets noticed down the line and ends up with the page being remade or, worse, getting into print. This is not the way to PR popularity. It is also one of the reasons why some newspapers insist on releases only ever being sent once rather than splattergunned out to every writer on the book.

In short, sending out releases days after the event for those oh so slow Europeans is an irritation. Re-dating those releases is even more irritating and unlikely to endear you to editors. Leaving it five days to send out an almost identical release just puts it into the realm of the bizarre.

1 Comment

It's always surprised me that my compatriots in the PR industry have never really learned the Law of Diminishing Interest), which states that an editor's interest in a bit of news is directly proportionate to his ability to publish it when it is actually news.
And I would have thought the folks at Text 100 would understand that.
Oh well.