The Kenwood Press
Publishers' Corner: 04/15/2019

PR 102

Alec Peters

Dear PR people,

Thank you for your press releases on behalf of your clients. We appreciate your efforts to get publicity in our newspaper. As you can imagine, even a small publication ours like gets a huge number of emails from all over the country.

Causes, events, editorials, politics - you name it, your submissions land in our inbox, which we then filter through to see if there is something we want to follow up on (97 percent of it is a “no,” but thanks anyway).

To streamline the process, our new policy is that if your press release contains certain words, we automatically hit the reject button. See below.

1. “Winegrower.” First of all, it's just wrong as one word. It's really two words and should remain so. Second, no one “grows” wine, right? It's not as if you're going down the vineyard row and picking off little airplane-size bottles of Cabernet or Chardonnay. If you're not putting grapes in my wine, I don't want to drink it. “Winegrower” is uber annoying. Take it out.

2. “Handcrafted.” Handcrafted cocktail, handcrafted sandwich, handcrafted cider, handcrafted sausages. Hey, if you're making my food and drink, it better be with your hands and not, say, your feet. Please remove all references to handcrafted.

3. “Artisan, artisanal.” (See handcrafted). Double demerits for putting the two together, which we are seeing more of lately. “Artisanal handcrafted chili bowls” crossed our desk the other day.

4. “Curated.” Stop it. This word is being overused faster than a newspaper person snapping up a higher paying public relations job for a government agency or politician they used to cover!

We got a press release from an organization about a hike they referred to as a “curated adventure.” Then there's the “select brewery offering curated by Sonoma County craft beverage expert” so-and-so. Oooh, got “craft” in there too. Bonus annoying points for you.

Curators work in museums or for art exhibits of some kind, period. You don't curate a wine list or a selection of cheeses. Just pick out the delicious cheese and put it on the menu, and leave the crappy cheese off. Easy. I should be in the restaurant business, it's that easy.

5. “Sustainable.” This word is so overused as to make it almost meaningless. If you must use the word “sustainable,” please explain to me what the heck you mean. I'm a very simple person.

As you delete these words from future correspondence, while you're at it get rid of “influencer,” “thought leader,” “unpack,” and “drill down.”

So, dear public relations friends (by the way, never use “so” to begin a sentence), here's an exercise for you. See how many unacceptable words you can cram into one sentence. Repeat until you, too, are sick of them.

Example:

So, little Timmy dreamed of growing up to become a winegrower, curating artisanal handcrafted beverages, while drilling down and unpacking what sustainable winegrowing is all about, enabling him to be a more successful influencer and thought leader.

Of course, Timmy became a public relations guy instead.

All the best,
Alec Peters
Kenwood Press Influencer-in-Chief