Press Releases: Read them and weep or reap
Editors receive a plethora of press releases on any given day. Most talk about big deals or new products or pitch interesting stories. However, lately it seems like my inbox is cluttered with some real doozies. You’ll never see the following pitches as stories in Franchise Times (thank goodness), but if you need cocktail-party fodder, keep reading.
The No. 1 press release of the week: Cosmetic surgery for dogs
Apparently, according to my source, “there are thousands of dogs who have face lifts and nose jobs.” Because I couldn’t find a franchise angle, I didn’t bother calling the “animal whisperer and expert in holistic health for animals” to find out what the most popular procedure is and whether it’s risky. But if you can franchise the removal of pet stains from carpets using salt from the Dead Sea, you can franchise nips and tucks for man’s best friend. After all, since it’s a well-known fact that pets and their owners start to look alike after a few years, if one gets a nose job or a face lift, it’s only fitting the other follows.
Best headline: “Mom Builds Million Dollar Business From a Bag of Frozen Peas and a Personal Massager”
Trust me, it’s not what you’re thinking—or at least, what I was thinking. The mom is a doctor and the product is a cold pack that gently vibrates to lessen a child’s pain during routine immunizations. About 63 percent of children are “needle phobic,” the press release says, which means they won’t grow up to get flu shots. “Buzzy,” the wing-shaped ice packet that buzzes, takes away the sting from a shot and is more helpful than a mother’s kiss on a boo-boo.
Most bizarre press release — ever “Lohan Opens Up About ‘Tan Mom’”
The Lohan in question is not Lindsay, troubled teen star, but the troubled teen star’s father and perhaps the reason said teen is troubled. Here’s the actual text (you can’t make up this stuff, people):
“After the ‘Tan Mom’ aka Patricia Krentcil was arrested and placed into a detox facility following complaints of an intoxicated woman at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Michael Lohan reportedly ‘reached out to her.’
“Lohan opens up and tells what is really going on between himself and the overly bronzed woman.
Michael Lohan can discuss this by answering the following questions:
• What is your relationship with Krentcil?
• How did you meet Krentcil?
• What can we expect to see in the future regarding this?
• Is this a part of your ‘helping hand’ for celebrities in need of recovery?”
My only question is: I, too, live in Minneapolis-St. Paul. How did the woman get overly tanned?
Most arrogant headline: “What Does God Want?”
To answer that question, I need to call Pastor Bob Richardson, a nationally known pastor, and the author of "The Many Shades Of Joy."
As soon as I finish the book I’m reading now, I probably should read Pastor Richardson’s book. I’d like to know if there are more than 50 shades of joy.