Sometimes, I honestly don't know whether to bang my head against the wall or break out into hysterical laughter. Probably all the above, as you will see in a minute.
Just an insight into the world of reporters -- we probably get at least 50 "helpful" story ideas a day. Truly, I get that public relations people need their jobs as much as I need mine, so in some ways, the writer of this pitch probably deserves a gold medal for making a valiant effort. Personally, I really enjoy/hate (that's the head-banging, laughing part) how every single pathetic cart of a story is attached to that over-worked recession, unemployment horse.
I'm just going to cut and paste the entire pitch so you can laugh or gasp, as you see fit:
"In today’s trying economic times, companies are asking their employees to take on more responsibility, often meaning more hours spent in the office and away from home. In an effort to keep morale up, employers are finding new ways to bring the comfort of “home” into the office.
For example, more and more companies are allowing their employees to wear jeans to work – and not just on Fridays anymore! Employers are also being more flexible by allowing employees to listen to their iPods while they work or tune into their favorite TV program.
Another trend is bringing quality, fresh tea, indulgence drinks and coffee into the workplace, through gourmet beverages lines like Mars Drinks’ FLAVIA. With their decadent hot chocolates, calming teas and delicious coffees, employees can enjoy the same beverages they would make for themselves at home while on the job. Not only that, FLAVIA is the only single serve beverage line to offer authentic Cappuccinos, Mochaccinos and Chai Lattes allowing employees to give themselves that extra treat to help get them through the day.
And workplaces are starting to notice that when employees stay in for coffee, they spend less time off the job leading to greater productivity – it’s a win-win!
Please let me know if this sounds interesting, as I’d love to set up an interview for you to learn more."
I'm not going to include the woman's name, because I'm pretty sure she didn't write this press release. But ohmygod...
Here's my suggestion for FLAVIA -- how about a "decadent hot chocolate" that includes an extra delightful dollop of Kahlua, so that when people are being laid off, they'll be more cheerful on their way out? Or perhaps, as a good will gesture, the company could treat the laid off to several "authentic cappuccinos" each with its authentic shot of whiskey. Enough of those authentic drinks, and employers can simply roll the laid off out, and leave them draped over their boxes in the parking lot. Another idea? Place a carafe of Thorazine next to the hazelnut-flavored syrup. Add the Thorazine to the "calming tea" for some extra calm. That'll help the survivors. Or, FLAVIA could rig the machine so it dispenses two shots of espresso for every cup. Then the survivors will be able to work twice as fast and do all the work their laid off colleagues did! Lo-ooove that productivity.
It's a win-win!!!