I don't know about you -- indeed, how could I when we hardly ever meet? -- but I get lots and lots of press releases.
In my main mailbox, I've had 10 in the last couple of hours alone, even though Fridays are quieter and press releases are no longer the predominant form of media communications. I suppose I get a few hundred per week, down from a peak of maybe 150 per day when I held editorial positions that rendered me the cow's backside with painted target effect in the eyes of the banjo-wielding PR. I estimate that in the couple of decades I've practised in the inky trade, the total received would be something akin to a million releases.
The odd thing about most technology press releases is that they are written in a style used by almost nobody in the real world. People discuss very small things in incredible detail, use inappropriate or misappropriated words, and congratulate each other on alliances that are never followed up on. I don't blame PRs themselves: they can often write much better than journalists and are usually better educated, but they're working for The Man -- and that man is often the American who demands a steady flow of press releases that few read and fewer write up into hard copy. PR people know it's daft and I know it's daft, but there you have it.
Heck, I don't mind getting the mails. I'm not one of those self-important old lags that write blogs about being the butt of poorly targeted missives (even though these butts are usually freezing freelancers with plenty of spare time on their hands). It's my fault if I can't cut through these virtual missives with the cold steel of my common sense and bovine ability to graze over subject lines in pursuit of the rich fodder of relevant stuff.
In fact, I say, keep them coming: they're hypnotic in an odd way. They make me wonder what would have happened If Technology Press Releases Covered Great Moments In English History. (FX: psychedelic dissolve, echo chamber repeating 'great moments in history', 'moments in history', 'history'...)
Beatles To Release First LP
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND: 10 January, 1963
The Beatles, the leading providers of collaborative popular musical in the northwest of England (Gartner), have announced that they are to ship their first long playing record. To be called Please Please Me, the record is expected to have commercial availability at the end of the first quarter (see note regarding Forward Looking Statements).
Please Please Me includes several recordings including slow tracks, up-tempo tracks and romantic tracks and includes new arrangements of guitars, drums and vocals.
Paul McCartney, bass guitar player and vocalist of The Beatles, said: "We're delighted to be able to announce this record and anticipate that it will be accretive to both our first and second fiscal quarters, and all the rest after that as well. We have created the pre-conditions for further expansion as already laid out in our Project Beatlemania roadmap and expect to be able to increase the lengths of tracks, integrate stereo playback functionality and add more sonic effects in later releases."
England Wins Football World Cup
LONDON, ENGLAND: 30 July, 1966 (STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 6 AUGUST)
The Football Association has announced that England has won the World Cup.
Key features of the victory included:
* 90 minutes of play
* 30 minutes of added play
* 4 goals being scored by England in reply to two by West Germany.
* 3 goals being achieved by Geoff Hurst
* 100,000 appreciative fans
"We were delighted by our performance across all areas of the on-pitch business," said Robert C. ('Bobby') Charlton. "This leaves us well positioned for the future and will act as a solid platform for growth in future footballistic endeavours. Polls suggest 97 per cent of those at Wembley Stadium quite liked, liked or very much liked the result."
The 'World Cup Final' was a joint-venture initiative with West Germany.
"This showed that we can depolarise discussions and create tremendous added value by pooling our resources, supporting two-way interactivity in game mode, and effectively crowdsourcing resources," said Uwe Seeler, captain, CEO, COO and president of West Germany.
"We are delighted to have participated in what was a tremendous project and look forward to proactively progressing."
I'm sure you can think of your own equivalents.