I’ve seen some godawful, unfathomable and buzzword-riddled headlines in my day, but I felt compelled to present November’s ‘Headline from hell’ award to Ms. Debbie Hayes of Ronald Trahan Associates. Congratulations, Ms. Hayes! Your headline "Arterial Remodeling Technologies (“ART”) reports that its second-generation bioresorbable stent promotes vessel lumen enlargement in post-angioplasty in vivo model" is among the most obtuse and arcane couplings of unrecognizable words and phrases I’ve seen in many a moon.
Please understand that I’ve tried my very best to make some sense out of it. And, I know that it relates, in some incomprehensible way, to heart surgery. But that’s as far as I can get. In fact, I’ve given up. Case closed. Nurse: please apply the paddles to this lifeless hulk of a headline and let’s see what happens.
That said, I’ll mail a free, top-of-the-line, seldom-worn Peppercom baseball cap to the first reader who can tell me what the heck this headline means (aside from Ms. Hayes herself. Sorry, Debbie, only one prize per customer).
I’d also invite readers to send me some classic headlines from hell you’ve come across in your daily readings. I’d love to run these gems on a monthly basis.
One final thought: while I understand Ms. Hayes probably wrote this release with, perhaps, a neurosurgeon in mind, why am I on the distribution list? I panic at the first sight of blood. But, maybe Debbie already knew that. Maybe she thinks I’d benefit from one of ART’s second-generation bioresorbable stents that promote vessel lumen enlargement in post-angioplasty in vivo models? I’ll bet the super stent, chased down by a cool glass of sauvignon blanc, would be just the ticket for an interesting evening.
Thanks Julie. I do think Debbie should take a deep breath before banging out her next headline. Her press releases are enough to cause a heart attack.
On second thought… I take back my defense of Debbie Hayes… She should work in a legal dept., not in PR.
Here’s my translation of her latest headline:
Miracor’s PISCO System Helps Patients who Have Suffered Heart Attacks”
Debbie Hayes just can’t help herself. Here’s her latest:
“Miracor to report successful clinical study results of its PICSO® system designed to improve myocardial perfusion following primary PCI.”
Nicole from Chicago: RepMan will throw in an Ed Moed signed business card if she can decipher this one?
Valid point, Julie. Writing by committee often produces such trash.
In defense of Debbie Hayes, I bet you the headline on her first original press release draft was actually “ART announces post-surgery success with heart stents that reabsorb into the body.” But once the press release was vetted by a committee of surgeons and hospital bureaucrats who moonlight as PR experts, it became incomprehensible.
I totally appreciate your point of view, Art. But, that’s precisely why I decided to shine the spotlight on this particular press release. A good public relations person will take the time to check and ensure the recipient of his or her press release is the right one. Sending mass e-mail blasts such as this one from Ms. Hayes is precisely why so many reporters bash media relations people, publicly ‘out’ them and blacklist them from any further contact.
I think you’re being a little hard on the intrepid Ms. Hayes, Rep. Having once worked in the pharmaceutical industry and having seen headlines like that, I think one must remember that she is likely working hard to appropriately engage her audience. You are not their target audience, so the headline doesn’t resonate with you. But it doubtless has cardiologists–and the publications that serve them–salivating. I think that’s valuable, and right on the mark from a PR perspective.
Thanks ghost. That may be worthy of an Ed Moed autographed business card. Up to you.
I’m so honored, Trish. I will wear the cap in your honor the next time we go out 🙂
Yay, Nicole! I knew you would know. Such a PR pro.
My favorite headline of the week has been from Newsday: “Michael Jackson’s doctor says he won’t testify.” I had to read the article to understand that there would be no seance involved in the trial.
And we have a winner! Repman is pleased to announce that Nicole from Chicago came thru with the translation.
Nicole sez: ” Without seeing the actual release, for a lay audience, it would be something like this: “Post-surgery success with heart stents that reabsorb into the body.” Or “Mending a broken heart with a better stent that reabsorbs into the body.”
Nicole: A never (or gently) worn Peppercom baseball hat is on its way to you. Wear it proudly, and congratulations on being the first winner of Repman’s Headline from Hell contest. Who will win next?
Nothing beats Calvin & Hobbes, absolutely the best comic ever written! Great post – I didn’t understand one word of it. Is resorbable even a word. Comes up on my spellcheck.