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I am going to post a stack of stuff about WTM soon... I promise. But I HAD to just stick this up.

Regular readers (all two of you) will know I have little time for PR agencies. I resent the way they pump meaningless waffle at me dressed up as news just to keep their clients coughing up the cash. Ironically one I received today from Siren PR for their client Canvas Holidays was actually genuinely interesting. (Shock horror.) The France specialist now offers quirky Gypsy Caravans (in French Roulottes de Campagne)to stay in on several of the camp sites it features. The full release isn't available on the Canvas Holidays site, but as soon as it is I will add a link here... that's assuming it still carries this howler of an error...

The call to action at the bottom of the release is as follows:


"For more
information on Canvas Holidays see www.canvasholidays.co.uk,
or call 0870 192 1159.
"

Yes try the link... it goes to Royal Caribbean Cruises... Oops.

16 thoughts on “Siren Pr… know anything about hyperlinks then?

  1. "I was actually genuinely interesting. (Shock horror.)"

    Actually, I got the pics from Siren. They are not quite as sexy/authentic as they sound. I'll email them to you. (Don't think I can post them in this comment post)

  2. Hi Becks
    OK... I nearly told you, but I wanted to see if it would also end up on the Canvas Holidays website too...
    So... spill the beans (please) how did you find this post? I'm very curious to know. Did someone tell you or are you watching travel blogs? (see my more recent post about Rules of Engagement etc)
    Best wishes
    Jeremy

  3. Hi Jeremy, quite funny really but I attended an online training session yesterday with e-consultancy and I discovered your blog then - and to my horror the posting about our mistake. We have obviously rectified this now but initially I wasn't sure how it had actually happened.

    I am going to sign up now and yes, I found your article above on replying to blogs very interesting (hope I haven't flouted the rule of engagement too much)...anyway, I am going to subscribe now because I am keen to hear more, also enjoyed your blog on travel writing, very amusing!

    I'm glad you found the release at least a little bit interesting and I am sure we can't tempt you but if you ever did fancy testing out a Roulotte, let us know! Please also let us know if we ever send you something that is irrelevant or not interesting because this helps us to advise the companies we work for. Best wishes, Becks

  4. Hi Becks
    Thanks for divulging. Interested to hear about eConsultancy... are they touting me about?! Great that you are reading my news and views. I would normally have emailed you a link to the post asking if you'd like to respond. That's my standard practice. But I spotted that the releases then tend to go up on the Canvas Holidays site (presumably a while after you circulate them to journos). So I was curious to see it it got picked up before you put it up on the website. I'd have most certainly let you know at that point if the mistake was still there(honest!)
    Thanks for reading
    Jeremy

  5. Ha, no they aren't touting you! I just found travelblather whilst doing a search on addictomatic.com....we're currently focusing on building our knowledge online so we will be checking things more regularly and hopefully have a Siren online press centre soon...with all the correct hyperlinks..promise! Look forward to your next update, Best wishes, Becks

  6. Hi Jeremy,

    Great posts which will are extremely helpful to PRs and the wider digital community who are increasingly engaging with bloggers.

    We've not been 'touting you' but I was aware of your blog and your work. Glad to see that yesterday's training session had an immediate effect ;-)

    In our online pr training sessions we ensure that delegates don't just learn how to find relevant bloggers but that they apply a big dollop of common sense and take time to read and engage with bloggers outside of 'campaign' time and agree with them what bloggers want and to create genuinely valuable information, materials etc.

    I also recommend that they don't just blog, but that they try all forms of social media on a personal level so that they can start to understand the different rules and nuances that exist in every social media channel and appreciate that they are not 'push' channels.

    I think the media release URL mistake was just that, a genuine mistake made by a person. We all make them and we learn from them.

    I still cringe when I recall the time that I cc'd a client into a rather 'colourful' personal what I did at the weekend email. I haven't made that mistake again.

    Siren PR are a bunch of nice people. I get wary of the current vogue of PR bashing as the common conception of 'PR people' is far from the truth (with a few exceptions. I can also think of some search marketers, Ad people, media planner buyers, web developers that could easily be 'named and shamed' and not as strategically brilliant as they claim to be as far as SEO and Online PR are concerned and who have also messed up blogger outreach campaigns.

    Good to see this work itself out. A great case study that I'm sure that I use in my training sessions and presentations.

    All the best.

    Michelle

  7. Hi Michelle
    Thanks for your comments and yes, I agree we all make mistakes. (and I am sure the guys at Siren are nice people! :-)) Though that one was a howler and I felt as a result due some scrutiny. If it makes people just reread and double check before hitting send then I think that's a good thing, Particularly when you are sending stuff to a judgmental and influential audience like journalists.
    I sometimes think PRs almost forget there's an audience out there that read their stuff that they send out??
    I regularly email PRs who send me releases and take issue with stuff they have written... if someone wants to send me something, fine. But I have a right to examine it and make up my own mind about the information contained in it. And to comment too. I think blogs are a great thing in this kind of context.
    Were you at the WTM Blogcamp session? If so you'd have heard me rant a bit about PR.. I have quite strong opinions which I will share sometime here.
    In the meantime... another case study might be this exchange:
    http://www.travelblather.com/2008/06/writing-a-press-release-quote-your-stats-in-context-please.html
    Lots to debate there!
    Best wishes and thanks for taking the time to comment
    Jeremy

  8. Interesting thread from that article.....

    Join Chris Lake, E-consultancy's editor, and Wired editor, Chris Anderson in their frustrations about 'lazy' PR approaches.

    The stakes are increasingly high for PRs who get things wrong....before it would have just resulted in a fax/posted press release being torn up, email deleted and the story would never have graced a mag, paper, radio/tv show - now journalists like Chris Anderson publish offending PRs email addresses on his blog when their approaches,releases or materials are irrelevant.....ouch! Spam-alert!

    It will be a while before the majority of PROs get it right, but I promise you, there are many out there who do a great job and are learning bloody fast.

    All the best.

    Michelle

  9. I was seriously thinking of setting up a blog/forum/website for journos to name and shame poor PRs... and provide examples of offending releases etc... several journo friends of mine were keen to contribute...
    Indeed, the stakes are getting higher... and I think that's no bad thing...

  10. Hi Jeremy, I wanted to chip in with my thoughts. First off, I'm a journo now employed by Siren, so have a foot in both camps! I think you're right in pointing out the original gaffe, and have been good enough to accept that innocent mistakes do happen.

    There's certainly a place for a blog pointing out PR puffery and rubbish (I've seen some shockers in my time too), but there's a definite 'pot-kettle-black' issue here.
    I've got almost 10 years experience on travel trade papers (ex chief sub and deputy editor on Travel Weekly and freelancing) and before that spent a good deal of time doing casual Fleet Street subbing shifts. And guess what... there are plenty of journos working today who couldn't write their way out of a wet paper bag. I've worked with many excellent writers and have good relationships with plenty more - and they'll all say the same, that they know colleagues who are kept in work purely because of the efforts of sub editors.
    Blog with examples of bad PR by all means - but let's have a section where PRs can shame lazy/rude hacks, and subs can submit examples of the illiterate, ill-informed and hackneyed that they stop getting into print on a daily basis.

  11. Hi Mark
    Really good summaries there... Very interesting that you have gone out of your way to engage and offer advice... Makes a lot of sense, and maybe my approach has been a tad too combative at times. I SO agree with some of your tips. 'Put contact details on every email' and 'learn to spell' in particular. I'd add learn some proper grammar too. I've been thinking of an 'apostrophe of the week' award for some time now!
    Cheers!
    Jeremy

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