Wednesday 26 November 2008

The Press Release - very faint voices shouting into hurricane force winds

The Press Release. Aghh! Sometimes light humour can help

Every PR campaign needs a press release. Writers spend days writing only a few hundred words. PR managers spend an equal amount of time rewriting these tomes of commerce. Days are spent crafting the ulitimate quote. Clients agonize over every last comma. Large profitable companies like Canada News Wire Group and PR Newswire Group have armies of young journalism grads working around the clock to email, text, post, fax and mail that release to working journalist around the world.
Yet for all that sweat and bother, the media rarely read a release. At best the headline of the release will be looked at ... for a nano second. Aside from Saturdays and Sundays, thousands of press releases are issued every hour in North America. There are just too many releases arriving at a news outlet computer for a reporter or editor to actually read. As a result, most press releases never end up being used by anyone!
One of the ways a press release can catch the attention of a jaded reporter's eye is by using gentle humour. Below is a release recently written for the state of New Hampshire. It uses rhyme to bring attention to events and places that normally would not make it into print.

For Immediate Release
March 26, 2008

On the first day of Christmas, New Hampshire gave to me
A Chop and Shop Weekend and a big free holiday fir tree
The Granite State gears up for holiday season with pizzazz and price conscious events

Toronto – Toronto – New Hampshire has so much on the go this winter that it would take more than just 12-days of Christmas to experience the best that the Granite State has to offer. And the State has it all –- which makes it really hard to pick just a dozen unique things that tourists can enjoy before December 25th. Consulting the Official 2008 In-State Visitors Handbook and using a dash of poetic licence, visitors should consider the following:

On the first day of Christmas, New Hampshire gave to me, a Chop and Shop Weekend and a free holiday fir tree! The Gale River Motel and Cottages in Franconia provide two nights accommodation, dinner for two at the Sugar Hill Inn, a 22-inch Balsam Fir Wreath and an 8 ft tall Christmas tree. The special is $290 US and the hotelier will help load the tree onto the roof of your car!

On the second day of Christmas, New Hampshire gave to me, amazing holiday shopping that is always tax-free. This is the best time to get one’s Christmas shopping done sans tax in the outlet stores of Settlers' Green Outlet Village and North Conway Village. For just $198 the Cranmore Mountain Lodge in North Conway has an affordable Shop Till You Drop package for visiting couples. Package includes a bag of samples and coupons and a standard room for two nights.

On the third day of Christmas, New Hampshire gave to me, an antique hunter’s map and a bottle of wine for thee. In December The Glynn House Inn in Ashland has an Antique Get Away For Two. Guests receive a delicious picnic lunch for two, including a bottle of wine, plus a special folder containing information about the best antique shops and auctions.

On the fourth day of Christmas, New Hampshire gave to me, ten-minutes of quality time up on Santa’s knee. The North Colony Motel & Cottages in Bartlett offers a Santa’s Village two-night package (starting at $212) for families which includes 2-nights lodging for 2 adults and 2 children and 4 Santa's Village tickets.

On the fifth day of Christmas, New Hampshire gave to me, turkey dinner and a huge Bingo win under B Three! Join the Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society at the Funspot Bingo Hall every Tuesday in December . Doors open at 4:00 pm. The charity Bingo is catered by Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant. Weirs Beach

On the sixth day of Christmas, New Hampshire gave to me, a mountain hike to photograph a moose behind a tree! Grab your camera and come see the views and maybe a moose, December 20th and 21st. Outdoor Escapes New Hampshire holds its popular 2-day Guided Nature Backpacking Tour, in the Great North Woods. The price for 2 days of guided hiking with a nature/history focus and 1 -night remote camping is $200 per person.

On the seventh day of Christmas New Hampshire gave to sis, a hayride in the snow you don’t want to miss! This December 13 th tourists are invited to the Farm Museum in Milton to celebrate Christmas on the Farm. Take a sleigh or hayride, make a gingerbread man and tour the beautifully decorated farmhouse.

On the eighth day of Christmas, New Hampshire gave to you, a walk in the park with the state’s solstice crew! The Margret and H.A.Rey Observatory in Waterville holds a very popular walk every winter solstice. The free annual winter solstice hike to the Solstice Stone on Dickey Mountain will be held on Saturday December 20th.

On the ninth day of Christmas New Hampshire gave to me, snowshoeing followed by eggnog for free! From December 19 to 29 children and adults of all ages will find winter merriment at Mount Washington Resort. Enjoy a festive celebration of sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skiing, stories with Santa and holiday refreshments. Snuggle in front of the fire before being tucked in by one of Santa's elves. Christmas Day invites a full day of skiing and outdoor adventure!
On the tenth day of Christmas, New Hampshire gave to dad, a guided snowmobile ride that is really really rad. Alpine Adventures have guided snowmobile tours through the White Mountain’s Franconia Notch during the holiday season.

On the eleventh day of Christmas New Hampshire gave to us, a magic light show worthy of a fuss. After a day on the slopes head to the White Mountain Holiday Magic Light Park in Campton where you can ride through a mile of animated light displays with thousands of enchanting lights. Take a family portrait with Santa, snuggle up on a free wagon ride, build a free craft with the kids, and sip hot cocoa by the bonfire.

On the twelfth day of Christmas New Hampshire gave to families, an invitation to ski on New Year’s Eve above the trees. Ring in 2009 at Cranmore Mountain’s Crantastic New Year's Party. Ski until midnight, and enjoy tubing, music, fireworks, party favours and more.

The 2008 Visitor’s Guide Book is supported by a sophisticated, user-friendly website ( ) which has comprehensive sections geared specifically to the Travel Trade. The site is updated daily and has the latest information on holiday season event listing throughout the state.

To find out more about New Hampshire or to receive the new free visitor’s guide, call 1-800-FUN-IN-NH (386-4664) or visit Canadian travel trade and media may call 1-888-423-3995, or email