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Press releases

Apple: ‘No, We Don’t Get Our Supplies from Murderous Congolese Warlords’

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Apple made a big move on the CSR front this morning (not that any of its acolytes care): the company released its annual “Supplier Responsibility Report” clarifying that none of the the materials used in the metals that form its products come from “areas engaged in warfare.”

This statement means that Apple does not do direct or indirect business with the warlords who run the “conflict minerals” trade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ever seen Blood Diamonds? Same story, different country.

Of course this is Apple, so the report doubles as a beautiful piece of not-quite-interactive content explaining the many facets of its CSR efforts. There’s a screenshot after the jump…

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5 Reminders for Your Next Press Release

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Everyone has to do something to get your attention

FACT: Press releases are a necessity in this business. We know it. The media tolerates it. Clients love it. And that’s why we do it.

FICTION: Media outlets will print your press release as-is. Child, please. If that was the case, do you know how many reporters would be out of business because some fat-fingered flack misspelled a myriad of words and didn’t really care about spell check because lunch and stuff.

That’s why it is always nice to provide a public service announcement for a few niceties on you may want to either instruct others to write a press release to get read, or just do it right yourself this time. Regardless, they work and maybe your last release didn’t, so we love you.

Get your pencil and Moleskine. Here we go…

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Christie Project Criticized for Last-Minute Press Release Edit

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Yes, we know you’ve heard more than enough about Chris Christie lately.

This mention of the embattled Jersey governor is relevant, though, because it concerns a small but potentially important edit to a press release.

The story revolves around a senior center built in Jersey’s Essex County in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. According to a report published last week by the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Christie diverted $6M in federal recovery funds to the project despite the fact that the surrounding area “was not particularly hard hit”. The key justification for this funding was that the project would house seniors from nearby towns who had been displaced by the storm.

And that’s where the press release comes in.

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China Lands on the Moon, Immediately Takes a Selfie

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Does this lunar soil match my outfit?

Landing on the moon is definitely a big deal; no “kind of” involved. So of course it didn’t surprise us to learn that China eagerly broadcast its lunar arrival via all available channels last night.

The country’s rover/lander duo touched down on the moon’s surface and quickly broadcast selfies of one another to the world at large as President Xi Jinping looked on. It seemed like a smooth operation; the rover simply had to turn around first to make sure everyone could see its bright red flag pin.

Check out the lander after the jump.

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North Korea Announces Execution with the Craziest Press Release You Will Ever Read

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“I wanna hold your hand…”

You may have heard that the other jolly fat man, Kim Jong Un, ordered the execution of his own uncle this week for “treason”, but you really have to read the press release that the North Korean media wrote to let the rest of the world know that they are completely insane. Our favorite copywriting wins via the Korean Central News Agency:

“…people throughout the country broke into angry shouts that a stern judgment of the revolution should be meted out to the anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional elements.

…a special military tribunal of the DPRK Ministry of State Security was held on December 12 against traitor for all ages Jang Song Thaek.”

It was a public execution “for all ages!” Get ready for a whole lotta crazy after the jump, emphasis ours.

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Startup Wants to Force Your Press Releases ‘Underground’

socialThis morning we got a tip indicating that Madison Avenue Ventures, one of many ‘startup incubators’, has officially acquired PRUnderground.

This is newsworthy primarily because the MAV has acquired so few startups so far, and its food app Eatopia won’t even launch until January. So someone thinks there’s a market ready for a new distribution tool and that “social media press release” is a novel product.

In case you haven’t heard of it, this company is the latest provider of super-cheap releases, hyping its service with a quick tagline:

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Like others in its space, PRUnderground offers flexible pricing plans and big promises:

We are a new generation of press release distributors.

Social media releases are made so that they can get picked up via social networking channels, social bookmark channels, RSS feed, forums and related blogs. Wire services push your press release to traditional media outlets such as journalist and online newswires.

For certain releases PR Underground sends them as well to CNN iReport, Reddit, the Associated Press, and others depending upon the appropriateness of the news in the release.

Are those fighting words? Don’t worry—this company will not make your job obsolete, because:

If it did we would charge more than $39.

As of this week, PRUnderground does, at the very least, have more funding than “$100 PR“. How well does it work, and how does it differ from competitors?

Good questions. You tell us.

Twitter Made Last-Minute Edits to Better Spin Its IPO

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You may have heard that Twitter made its IPO official this week. Despite the nonchalance of the filing announcement in September, the team put quite a bit of thought into it—and Quartz noted some revealing changes made in the four drafts the company wrote since July before making it official.

The process is nearly identical to refining the language in multiple versions of a press release, and it’s fascinating.

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Study Tells Marketers to Target Women ‘When They Feel Least Attractive’

Are you f*cking kidding me?

“Are you f*cking kidding me?!”

When we first clicked on this story about a study telling marketers how to target women “when they feel their worst”, we knew it had to be a joke.

However, upon reviewing the accompanying infographic we have determined that it is very, very real. The study was apparently created by the PHD Worldwide agency (part of the totally awesome new Publicom-Omnicus-whatever-the-hell-they’re-calling-it merger), which even pushed out a press release today.

Let’s pick out some of the very worst quotes, shall we?

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Amazon Creates a Press Release in 14 Tweets

In a cool variation on the press release delivered via Twitter, Amazon‘s PR team announced the product rollout campaign for its new Kindle reader in a series of 14 tweets*, each focused on a different element of the new product and bearing the hashtag #firehdx. Here they are:

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ESPN PR Wants You to Know Its Ratings Are Just Fine

This summer, Fox apparently realized that Americans really like to watch sports.

Well, they did launch Fox Sports 1 on August 17, almost exactly a month after media watchers began discussing ESPN‘s 32% ratings drop. The idea was that, now that ESPN’s domination of the American sports market appeared to be receding, upstarts like FS1 could fill in the blanks.

ESPN’s PR team isn’t having any of that. In July they aggressively followed ratings reports by explaining that the decline was all due to a shorter NBA season (31 fewer games). We’re not sure exactly how accurate that claim is, but the team doesn’t plan to let Fox capture any good publicity: yesterday the network posted and distributed a press release noting that viewership has risen 13% since August 17—the very day that Fox Sports 1 made its debut. Subtle? We think not.

The rest of the release is mostly statistics, but the message is clear: we see you, but you’re never going to catch us.

In other Misleading Press Releases news, Fox’s news network announced its new prime-time lineup with a release touting its status as “the most trusted television news source in the country”. This might be all well and good, but the Fox PR team neglected to mention that it’s also the least trusted news source and that distrust ratings are higher than trust ratings among the general public. So the world keeps on spinning…

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