Three headlines and leads: basic errors and poor news judgement

 

Today’s post covers three headlines and leads. All make basic errors in PR, journalism and style and demonstrate poor news judgment, all sins in ThePRWriter’s humble opinion.

1. Kite Mobility partners with community builder Brigil

A dull headline is as bad as an incorrect one. So Kite partners with Brigil. Who are they? And for what reason? It’s a non announcement. Ho hum in the extreme. The lead isn’t much better

Original lead

TORONTO, Dec. 9, 2022 /CNW/ – Kite Mobility announces a unique partnership with The Dale, a 33-storey rental high-rise located in Ottawa, built by real estate developer Brigil. In continuing their commitment to enable and promote active and electric transportation, Brigil’s partnership with cleantech platform Kite will provide residents with unprecedented access to a fleet of eVehicles. (51 words)

Let’s see what a rewrite accomplishes:

Kite Mobility partners with community builder Brigil for access to eVehicle fleet

TORONTO, Dec. 9, 2022 /CNW/ – Kite Mobility, a cleantech platform, has partnered with real estate developer Brigil to provide residents at The Dale, its 33-storey Ottawa rental high-rise, with unprecedented access to an eVehicles fleet. The move represents both companies continuing commitment to enable and promote active and electric transportation. 46 words

  • The headline at least now says what the story is about. 
  • The lead is wordy and includes passive voices and places where words such as ‘in’ can be avoided. 

The partnership is really with the developer Brigil and not the building itself. Instead of the flabby ‘unique partnership with The Dale, a 33-storey rental high-rise located in Ottawa, built by real estate developer Brigil,’ this treatment works much better: 

Kite Mobility…has partnered with real estate developer Brigil to provide residents at The Dale, its 33-storey Ottawa rental high-rise, with unprecedented access to an eVehicles fleet.

It avoids the passive voice ‘built by real estate developer’ and actually says what the partnership is about, tying it to the newly modified headline. 

In this next headline and lead pair, there are several classic errors. The headline works, more or less

Original lead

TORONTO, Dec. 8, 2022 /CNW/ – PwC Canada unveiled its second Canadian ESG reporting study that assessed the ESG maturity of Canada’s top 250 publicly traded companies, as measured by revenue and market capitalization. The PwC-developed framework was used to examine the strategy, materiality, targets, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), assurance and other elements of ESG reporting in Canada. Significantly, ESG and financial reporting are still treated as separate processes by many Canadian companies and companies are lagging on many aspects of their ESG evolution. 80 words

PR Writer Edit

TORONTO, Dec. 8, 2022 /CNW/ – PwC Canada unveiled its second Canadian Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) reporting study that assessed Canada’s top 250 publicly traded companies’ ESG maturity based on revenue and market capitalization. The PwC-developed framework examined elements of Canadian ESG reporting including strategy, materiality, targets, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), and assurance. Significantly, many Canadian companies lag on much of their ESG evolution and financial reporting treating them as separate processes. 65 words

This just moved around clauses to make a tighter fit and avoided passive voices. Few know what ESG is, so I added the explanation. Compare the two. 

  1. ESG and financial reporting are still treated as separate processes by many Canadian companies
  2. Many Canadian companies lag on much of their ESG evolution and financial reporting

Original – 7th paragraph

To help combat this global issue, nearly 300 locations across the U.S. and Canada Fit Body Boot Camp held their first-ever brand-wide food drive from November 1st to November 23rd. The initiative was named “The Fit Body Food Battle” as franchise locations competed to raise the most food. As part of the Food Battle, clients were also encouraged to bring non-perishable items to these locations, which go to the local charity of their choice.

Commentary

  1. Fit Body Boot Camp ‘held their’…
  2. No, it’s held ‘its’. A company is an ‘it.’ 
  3. November 1st to November 23rd – dates are cardinal not ordinal and there repeating November twice is unnecessary. Make it November 1-23. 

Locations is repeated twice; it’s a word that can be generally eliminated. Here’s how to do that in the new lead. 

To help combat world hunger, Fit Body Boot Camp held its first-ever brand-wide food drive at nearly 300 U.S. and Canadian locations from November 1- 23. The initiative, named “The Fit Body Food Battle,” had franchises competing to raise the most food, encouraging clients to drop off non-perishable items. 

The word location now does not appear in the lead at all. 

Fit Body Boot Camp Takes Action to Combat World Hunger

CHINO HILLS, Calif., Dec. 8, 2022 /CNW/ — After progressively declining for a decade, world hunger is rising again. Around 10% of individuals globally are impacted by this problem.

Hunger is a complex issue with several underlying causes and wide-ranging effects that surpass empty stomachs.

Understanding the causes and solutions to the worldwide hunger crisis is the first step towards ending it in a world of abundance.

Author: rotmanprwriter

PRWriter, Copy Doctor, Humber College PR and writing Prof

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