They call it PR, I call it…

‘We are officially in a recession, as explained by an expert,’ screamed the headline of the press release.

Blimey! I always thought that a recession was announced after two quarters of negative growth, but it’s over 30 years since my economics degree so maybe I’m out of date. And this is going to be ‘explained by an expert’, after all. I wonder who it is? Some Harvard academic or Oxford don, no doubt.

Er, no. It is the chief executive of a translation business, who starts with ‘there’s no need for businesses to panic and give into the scare mongering’. What? Like declaring we’re in a recession when we’re not. Luckily for me, the PR agency (Authority, since you ask) has provided a SharePoint link to ensure that I produce the full article and images ‘to avoid any linking errors online’.

And who wouldn’t want to use pearls of wisdom such as these? ‘Big and small business [sic] alike are starting to realise that ‘local’ doesn’t just mean ‘local’ anymore.’ I’ve checked dictionary, and it seems ‘local’ does still mean ‘local’, but he’s an expert. I’m just a pedant.

Apparently, businesses usually ‘steer clear of reaching across the pond’ because they don’t have the right tools to thrive. But this ‘expert’ suggests the right tool might just be, you guessed it, ‘translation services’. (Hmm, there’s a right tool here, but probably not the one they mean.)

Simply translating into ‘as little as’ [sic] 12 languages ‘interconnects’ businesses with 80 per cent of the globe. No mention of marketing, sales, people or anything else. Honestly, why do businesses bother building global operations, if all they need to do is a bit of translation? N’est-ce pas?

And people wonder why PRs get such a bad name. I’ve checked out Authority. Apparently, it gets paid by results. If this ‘press release’ – I use the term loosely – achieved any coverage (beyond this diatribe), I’d be extremely surprised – particularly when it is sent to journalists like me.

It’s only a step below those PRs who conduct a spurious survey, such as today’s offering from Centropy PR that almost half of people going to events miss them because of travel issues, which is accompanied by a quote from an events management platform. (See what they did there.) I know the objective is to get coverage for a client, but surely something that looks less like an advert is more appropriate.

Still, at least they didn’t resort to rhyming puns, like a recent corker from IllicitEncounters.com. ‘You better Brie-leave it! Brie eating Brits are the biggest cheats!’ Yep, its survey of ‘2,000 married men and women who cheat’ found one in five prefer Brie. But just one per cent of the adulterers choose Cheshire cheese which, according to the press release, makes them ‘the most faithful’. You couldn’t make it up!