Press releases that created more questions than answers, or, who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

  1. 1. “The formation of the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series was made possible by the financial commitment and support of ProCare Rx and Get Screened America, led by Roger Burgess.  NHRA hopes to find a new series sponsor to replace Get Screened America and continue the series beyond 2014. However, if a sponsor is not found before December 2012, the Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series will be discontinued after the 2014 race season.”
  2. 2. INDIANAPOLIS, July 4, 2011 – Rob Wendland, involved in drag racing since the age of eight, has been promoted to crew chief on the Service Central Racing Team Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driven by Johnny Gray out of Don Schumacher Racing. Wendland, 45, who had been the assistant crew chief on the team since its late 2010 formation, takes the tuning reigns beginning with next weekend’s Joliet (Ill.) race from veteran Lee Beard, who will remain with DSR in an engineering-consulting role for the seven-team organization.
    According to Don Schumacher, “It was time to make a change on the Service Central car. The team was not performing with the consistency we believed it should at this point in the season. We think Rob’s overall knowledge and work with this team can provide just what is needed to get it to the next level.”
  3. 3. Los Angeles, CA (June 21, 2011) Lucas Oil announces an almost 100% increase in prices for their products.

Many of the press releases that come across the old Burkster’s computer monitor just get deleted. They are what we in the journalism biz call “boilerplate”. Boilerplate is a press release that doesn’t deliver any real news or information not already known, and they are only used when you have to patch an editorial “hole” in the newspaper or magazine.

Every once in a while, though, a press release actually has serious news value, but, for a real journalist, getting that info requires more than just reading what is printed.

So, let’s start with the blockbuster of a press release NHRA sent out on Friday July 1, just prior to the three-day Fourth of July weekend. Although it probably wasn’t intentional, waiting until the beginning of a national holiday virtually assured that the press release wouldn’t get the attention with the media that it warranted.

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