Monday, January 11, 2010

I wish real celebrities sent me emails

This morning, I got an email from Michael Jordan.

Was it from THE Michael Jordan, you ask? The world famous basketball player who starred in the movie SpaceJam with Bugs Bunny?
Probably not. Unless he’s moonlighting as a public relations professional for an upscale retirement community in South Carolina.

Of the 50-plus emails I get each day about happenings, events, oyster roasts, chili cook-offs, honor rolls, etc., all from people wanting, hoping, needing to get the info published in the paper, reading the name “Michael Jordan” immediately grabbed my attention.
What a great marketing tool! I thought. Create email addresses with famous people's names!
Oh, Katherine Heigl wants me to go to the Habitat for Humanity meeting? Sure!
Hugh Jackman wants me to attend the ribbon cutting for a new dentist in town? Sign me up!
Yes, I realize that Michael Jordan the public relations professional probably just happened to be named after the celebrity (better than Michael Bolton), but still...I excitedly opened his email. Marketing at work!

Press releases have long dominated what gets printed at our newspaper. As a true “community paper,” there’s also a big trend for parents to drop off handwritten “student kudos” regarding their children, usually a photo and a two-page article.
The children in these photos are always doing something grand, like horseback riding or playing a tuba, and it's up to us to transcribe it on the computer.

Last summer, I remember typing up a particularly creepy letter about a seventh grader who spent all summer attending violin camp in Florida.
As I started typing (and reading) the article, the camp began to sound less like a camp and more like a religious cult.
I had to severely cut out large paragraphs of the write-up because I didn’t want to include information about how a seventh grader and his priest would “eat Jell-O together after dinner and talk about the Bible.” FOR SIX WEEKS.

Sometimes, press releases are funny, intentionally or not.
One that I'm pretty sure was meant to be funny centered around a hair stylist who came to town in hopes of breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for the most number of haircuts given in 24 hours. (Why did he come to our town specifically to try and break this record? I don't know, maybe the majority of the population in South Carolina needs a trim.)

He ended up winning the record, giving 340 haircuts in 24 hours, shattering the old record of a mere 300 cuts in a day.
It was quite a feat, since “he was not able to simply shear heads. He had to perform complete haircuts with approval from Guinness judges,” according to the press release.

He also broke two other records - the fastest haircut (55 seconds) as well as the most haircuts in one hour (34).
His catch phrase? “It is time to put your man pants on.”

I know that one is hard to beat, but for me, the press release that takes the cake (no pun intended) came last year from an organization that helps people lose weight.
Of all the doctors the national organization could have quoted about losing weight, they chose DR. SKELETON, the head of pediatrics at a northeastern hospital. No, seriously.
“I know how hard it is for people to lose weight,” said Dr. Skeleton. “I know how it’s a constant struggle for some to maintain healthy body weight.”
I found it so hilariously insulting. I mean, who wants sympathetic advice about losing weight from a skeleton??
I could just imagine an actual skeleton giving these words of wisdom, like the one in science class, his hinge jaw opening and closing.
"Don't use too much salt! Bad for the arteries!" (like he even has arteries)
"Exercise!" (like he even has muscles)
And then I imagine him demonstrating healthy eating by putting some carrots in his mouth and having them fall out of his stomach.

I find it makes the workday go by faster to find the humor in the small things. In the time it took me to write this, I received 17 emails that need attention. Unfortunately, none are from celebrities.


1 comment:

  1. What kind of jello was it?? Lime? or dirty jello??


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