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Press Release of the Day: “Five Murdered in Pleasant Grove Restaurant”

We get a lot of press releases. Many of them are misdirected, poorly written, and a waste of time. This one caught my eye. It was headlined “For Immediate Release: Five Murdered in Pleasant Grove Restaurant.” Cheers to its author, Keith McKeague of Out of The Box Marketing and Design.

TO THE MEDIA:

Early yesterday afternoon, a group of armed thugs entered a restaurant on South Buckner….well, actually, it wasn’t a restaurant, it was a school, anyway, they entered a classroom and…well, actually, they weren’t armed…not with guns anyway…with books. Anyway they broke into the class and murdered…well, actually, they didn’t really break in, they walked in during 5th period, and they didn’t actually murder any “one,” they murdered some “thing”…their science test.

Maybe i should start over…..

For Immediate Release: Five High School Students Ace Their Science Exam …..

Early yesterday afternoon, five Samuell High School Students scored A’s on their science test armed only with the benefit of two weeks of special tutoring by community mentors.

Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?

Look folks… truth is, you dove into this email under the misconception that yet another violent crime had taken place in Pleasant Grove. It seems to be the only way we ever get attention from the media. On the contrary, the press release attached to this email is anything but news of death and destruction… It’s about a community on a mission…. a mission to change from the kind of place that only gets visited by the media when something awful happens. If you are truly interested in giving your audience news that interests them, news that is hopeful and inspiring, then I invite you to read the attached press release and come on down to the Grove.

You see, to those of your audience who live, work, play and pray in the Grove….FIVE STUDENTS GETTING A’S ON A TEST THAT WE HELPED THEM STUDY FOR, WELL, THAT IS THE BEST POSSIBLE NEWS YOU COULD EVER GIVE US (short of a $500 million dollar bond approval).

So dear friends from the media, we just wanted you to know, that nobody died, no one was robbed, and drugs weren’t found at the pre-school. It was just another extra-ordinary day in the Grove, Pleasant Grove that is…..Oh, and one more thing….Change is coming to Pleasant Grove….BIG CHANGE and any time you are up for the challenge we have plenty of shovels to go around!

Two Stories Are Covered In the Attached Press Release:

Pleasant Grove Residents and Businesses To Form A Human Chain Along A Four-Mile Stretch Of South Buckner Boulevard.

The Community of Pleasant Grove To Launch A Multi-million Dollar Re-Branding Campaign To Kick Start A Move Toward Revitalizing Southeast Dalla

Thank you in advance for your consideration, sorry for the deception (sorta)!

15 comments on “Press Release of the Day: “Five Murdered in Pleasant Grove Restaurant”

  1. My Violent Day in the Southeast Dallas realm of Pleasant Grove:

    Going to Devon Anderson Park south of Bruton Road to hike with my dogs on the trails above the Trinity Forest with a view of Downtown.

    outside.in/places/devon-anderson-park-dallas

    Then on to lunch at Reyes Mexican on Jim Miller at Lake June.

    local.yahoo.com/info-18723914-reyes-mexican-food-dallas

    Then on to the Audubon Center on S. Loop 12 for afternoon tour.

    http://www.tx.audubon.org

    Followed by a shaved ice over Blue Bell at Shaved Ice Snow Cones Bruton Road and Prairie Creek.

    http://www.dmagazine.com/…/A_Foodies_Guide_to_Dallas_Street_Food.aspx

    Then home just north of PG across Bruton Road for a late game of golf at the Grover Keeton Golf Course behind my house in the Piedmont Edition.

    http://www.keetonpark.com/

    Scary Stuff.

  2. Rawlins? Whatcha think? My take: I am all for exaggerating negative stereotypes in order to make a point that runs counter to accepted belief. But usually that is in teh context of Family Guy or South Park. Does it work here? It may work a few times but will it eventually do nothing but reinforce misguided views? It’s always tricky to play with negative stereotypes because you continue to burden the subject with the negative.

  3. If had been backed up with some weak copy, I wouldn’t care for it at all. But the writing (and messaging) is strong throughout. Impressive – and VERY on-target that bad news, especially about areas where the press “expects” bad things to happen, gets the attention and the good news doesn’t.

  4. Thank you all for your amazing comments and to D Magazine for honoring me in such a way. I have admired and respected your quality content, style and perseverance, ever since my days with the Cherrie Oakley Agency back in the early 80’s. Again, thank you. And to my new friend, “Cates”…I appreciate your comment and will use it as an opportunity to improve….But just so I know where it is I need to improve…which part of my press release did you feel was stupid; the part about the murdering thugs or the part about the high school students acing their science test?

  5. Rawlins…Your itinerary was the perfect illustration of the point we are making…thank you! The Trinity Forest is in fact the largest urban forest in the United States, and the New Trinity River Audubon Center, is the flagship location for the Texas Audubon Society. They are celebrating their 1-yr anniversary this weekend with a big event called “Nature Fest” http://www.trinityriveraudubon.org and it’s all free. In addition, Eastfield Community College opened a new Pleasant Grove Campus on South Buckner, this past August and are almost fully registered. Next year, DART opens their light rail station at Buckner and Elam, connecting the Grove to literally the rest of the country. All this and much more…

  6. Actually I find the whole thing hypocritical. Out of the Box used the same attention grabbing headline of murder to get the readers attention only to dispel the whole reason of using the headline in the first place.

    I find it anything but brilliant considering marketing companies have been using this tactic for years.