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I just stopped laughing, barely.  When did I start?  Monday.  My pal Jay Flemma forwarded me an email response he had to a, shall we say, “over the top” golf press release.  If you want to laugh now and skip my personal rant, just jump to the quoted text  below.

Tis better NOT to send out a press release, than it is to send out a bad one

“Bad golf press releases” is a subject I know all too much about.  I get about 20-30 press releases PER DAY.  You wouldn’t believe how bad many of them are.  From grammatical errors to just plain stupidity, it amazes me the lack of quality of these things.  Do people actually proof read these before they spam the hell out of golf cyberspace?  People forget to do the simplest things, like use a freakin’ spell checker or check their web links.  Just the other day I tried to click on a link in a press release, but the URL was formatted like this:  http://wwwgolfsitecom.  Yeah, that’ll get them to your web site.

Folks, if you send out press releases and they’re full of dumb quotes, over the top hype or just plain bad grammar, you’re doing more harm than good.  I instantly ignore and delete bad press releases.  And one other thing… I get press releases from some golf fitness company EVERY FREAKING DAY.  DELETE!  A press release is supposed to give us new and useful information isn’t it?  Repeating the same spammy garbage on a daily basis isn’t going to get you any new clients.

And now for your reading pleasure, the Pièce de résistance as forwarded from my pal Jay.  First here is the original press release:

Dear Jay –

Please find below some information surrounding ruletwentyone’s green technology – bamboo charcoal. We would love to be considered for any upcoming product reviews or gift guides. Feel free to contact me for additional information, samples or photography.

Thank you!

RULETWENTYONE PlAYS IT GREEN and CLEAN with BACK POCKET TOWEL
r21 Brings Clean Shots and a Cleaner Environment to Golfers with Bamboo Technology

(SALT LAKE CITY) – As golf evolves into a more eco-conscious industry via courses and apparel, rulegolf is bringing ‘green’ to the world of golf tools and accessories. The company’s ruletwentyone back-pocket towel is created with a sustainable bamboo material, and serves as a catalyst for consumers to send the message that it can be easy to “green” the game of golf.

The new back-pocket golf towel and ball cleaner fuses an absorbent bamboo terry layer with a waterproof shell folded to conveniently fit into a golfer’s back pocket. The bamboo terry stays wet for an entire round, hosting a clean ball for clean rolls – all day long. Bamboo’s key features bring exceptional performance qualities to ruletwentyone. In additional to being anti-microbial, bamboo is anti-fungal, anti-static, and de-odorizing.

Often referred to as the world’s most sustainable resource, bamboo possesses natural qualities that contribute to its reputation as a leader in eco products:

-Bamboo grows rapidly and naturally without any pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. Growing bamboo improves soil quality and helps rebuild eroded soil.

-Bamboo plantations are large factories for photosynthesis, which reduces greenhouse gases. The plants absorb five times the amount of carbon dioxide and produce 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees.

-Bamboo is a natural water control barrier, greatly reducing rain run off and reducing water pollution.

-Bamboo can restore degraded lands by being grown in soil damaged by overgrazing and poor agriculture. It feeds topsoil, restoring healthy agricultural lands for generations to come.

Ruletwentyone’s charcoal technology brings inherent benefits that may contribute to a golfer’s game:

-Bamboo Charcoal soothes the nerves – the infrared production promotes human body blood circulation and active brain cells.

-Bamboo Charcoal provides an “anion effect” – relaxing nerves, purifying the air and curing headaches and insomnia.

“As golfers report that ruletwentyone ‘focuses them over their shots and putts,’ we know that this benefit is a function of its intuitive design and simple operation,” says Joe Borgenicht, CEO of rulegolf. “We are now also instilled with a level of confidence in knowing that the bamboo qualities contribute to improving your mental game as well,” he adds.

Borgenicht also explains that in the game of golf, the natural elements truly come into play – the weather, the turf, the position of the sun and more. “The time has come for us to sustain our tracks and our game in a more responsible manner, and rulegolf is doing everything in its power to create the most eco- and socially-conscious innovations to serve the purpose and the game,” he says.

With many ruletwentyone towels being given away as tee prizes, Borgenicht sees fields of golfers with R21s tucked stylishly from their pockets. “ruletwentyone is so many things: it’s hip, cool, functional, innovative, eco-friendly and now serves as an icon of environmental awareness and responsibility,” he says. In addition to being all of these things, the towel has another level of social consciousness, as it is Made in the U.S.A. and affordable – with a price point of $10.

As for the future of rulegolf, Borgenicht’s vision is to build a company that lessens the environmental impact for the golf industry. He says that this will be achieved via clean production processes and by supporting future partners who develop and sustain more eco-friendly golf courses.

To learn more about ruletwentyone, visit: rulegolf.com or call 866-584-7762.

And here is Jay’s abosfreakinglutely BRILLIANT response:

Hey Amy, can someone make an anti-microbial, anti-fungal, non-stick, deodorizer for your godawful press releases?  Seriously, I don’t know which is more laughable:

“sustainable bamboo material serves as a catalyst for consumers to send the message that it can be easy to “green” the game of golf”

By the way, I didn’t know the word “green” was a verb… or maybe it’s this one…

“Ruletwentyone’s charcoal technology brings inherent benefits that may contribute to a golfer’s game.  Bamboo Charcoal soothes the nerves – the infrared production promotes human body blood circulation and active brain cells”

So should we smoke the towel or inhale it to get maximum effects?  Is that what you did to write these press releases?  I’m not sure it’s working, you may need to activate a few more brain cells if you think golfers will actually buy this funky jazz…

“Bamboo Charcoal provides an “anion effect” – relaxing nerves, purifying the air and curing headaches and insomnia.”

Is that before or after it shaves five strokes off your handicap?  Turns water to wine?  Finds my lost car keys?  Forget that missed chip, somewhere there’s a golfer not sleepwalking through his round!

Don’t go changing, sister!  You are too funny the way you are!

2 responses to “Bad golf press releases, and golf media members who have the golf balls to call ’em out”

  1. NewsGuy says:

    As a member of the broadcast media for the past 17 years, I have learned a few things about press releases and PR folk. 20-30 press releases a day? How about over 1,000. And yes, there are plenty of bad releases out there.

    However, what really bothered me about this post wasn’t the release from Rule 21, rather the response from you and your friend Jay. Come on, really?

    As a real journalist- not some hack who has a day job and got into citizen journalism to get free samples- I see people like Jay as parasites that are eroding the foundation of the Fourth Estate.

    As members of the media, we are supposed to be unbiased storytellers. We are consumers of ideas. And where do we get many of our ideas? PR Professionals. If you and Jay don’t like getting press releases, perhaps you should evaluate your motives for being “journalists.”

    If you don’t like a pitch or a release, then don’t do a story on it. Don’t sit there a ridicule a professional for their work. This is a big part of the reason that the public trust in the media is on a steady decline. People go around calling themselves journalists, when they have no idea what that means.

    Being an asshole is not “having the golf balls to call’em out,” it is just being an asshole with a pen, or in this case a blog.

    I don’t find Jay’s response “abosfreakinglutely BRILLIANT,”
    I find it petty and childish. Try figuring out what it means to be a real journalist, and then start acting like one.

  2. NewsGuy,

    First I’d like to thank you for a well written response and I can see your side of what you are saying. If you’re ever in my neck of the woods, I’ll buy you a beer and we can have fun arguing some of these points in person…seriously.

    First, please direct me to any place on this blog where I claim to be a “journalist” or anything close. In fact, in the “about” section I actually say “I’m not a professional writer, nor do I pretend to be one.”

    And let’s be clear on something. I may be a hack, but that is on the golf course. 🙂

    I didn’t start this site to get free samples. I started it because I love the game of golf and wanted to write about it in my own twisted way. Perhaps if you read my first post “you can only understand if you golf” you’d realize that. This blog was one of the first 3-4 golf blogs ever, started back before many people even knew what a “blog” was and before “getting free samples” was even a thought for companies.

    I’ve worked countless thousands of hours on posts, photos and design and produced content with an “edge” and unique humor and I’ve apparently separated myself from traditional media. Being able to do that is actually fun.

    Unlike a “member of the broadcast media” I don’t have a boss looking over my shoulder. I don’t have attorneys who tell me what I can and cannot say due to conflicts of interest between advertisers. I can write whatever the hell I want, good or bad. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is horrible. When it is good I’m happy to read complimentary comments here, and when it is bad I’m happy to publish and not delete comments calling that out. Sometimes I’m sorry I posed things here, but I’m human and I’m willing to take some lumps along the way. I don’t have to tow the corporate line and worry about not stepping on someone’s toes like “members of the broadcast media” must.

    You say the public trust in media is on the decline? It is probably because “journalists” have been pumping out generic, vanilla, no-name brand, sanitized, castrated garbage content for so long. The public has a hunger for something different. Don’t you suppose that is why people are turning away from traditional media to blogs and other outlets? They want something different, not stamped out of a cookie cutter like traditional media does.

    If I don’t like a press release I typically do refrain from writing about it. For the most part I just delete them. If some press releases make outrageous claims of increasing my brain activity by putting a golf towel in my back pocket (near my ass I might mention), I think claims like that, put out to the public by bonehead PR firms, deserve to have a rebuttal. They deserve to have someone stand up and call them what they really are, PR garbage.

    Perhaps my content isn’t for everyone. That’s by design. I don’t mind being politically incorrect, or calling a poorly designed driver head cover junk. If someone doesn’t like my content or opinions, they don’t have to come back. But someone must like them, because this blog had over 2 million hits in JULY.

    If you please everyone you can only be one of two things:

    1. A Holiday Inn Lounge Band
    2. A member of the broadcast media

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