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October 22, 2013
#PR Fail: A Soggy WSJ-Blessed News Release
 
The Wall Street Journal is lending its masthead to press releases issued via the Internet. That's a bad idea, and some of the releases published there are horrible examples of the craft. Today, for instance, there is the headline "Alkaline Water Co. Engages Innovative PR Agency Rogers & Cowan to Build Brand Outreach." Above the story is the obligatory notice: "The Wall Street Journal news department was not involved in the creation of this content." That, at least, is a good thing. 

You can read the release forward and backward and gain little idea of what "Alkaline88," the product in question, is or does, granted that it's difficult to talk about the features of water. But the release's run-on lead is unbelievable, including as it does "packaged and sold in 3 liter and 1 gallon sizes under the trade name Alkaline88," and has two "in order to" phrases following hard upon each other in that same sentence. Maybe "Alkaline88" can help in the removal of litter. Then, too, The Wall Street Journal could show a little more pride in its own standing by avoiding association with such stuff, presumably for a few bucks. What's up here Rupert?      

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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