The public relations industry features a low bar for entry and an even lower bar for performance. Were the bars to get any lower, it would be an underground prison, rather than a hell on earth. This is PR Dummies. Hella dumb, every week.

There is a "school of thought" (a cheap, easy-to-get-into school) in the press release business that press releases should feature SHOCKING headlines, in order to grab the attention of busy reporters. In most cases, this only makes busy reporters want to murder you and/ or your client. In other cases it makes busy reporters simply chuckle at your bizarre incompetence. In this case, both.

From: [PR Dummy]
To: [Unfortunate reporter]
Subject: Cat People Deserve to Die!

OK, we all know that cat people don't deserve to die, but neither do people diagnosed with lung cancer. Lung cancer carries a stigma with it that is unfair to those affected with the disease. Ask yourself this question, when you hear that someone has been diagnosed with lung cancer, what's the first thing you think of? Was it, do they smoke? If it wasn't, good for you. But you're in the minority. Reality is, more then 2/3 of diagnoses today are in former and never smokers. People diagnosed with lung cancer are burdened enough with the disease; they don't need to be treated like they deserve the disease, deserve to die because of choices they may or may have not made in their lives. It's a disease that's an equal opportunity afflict-er.

Why should you care that there's a stigma? Because with the stigma comes:

Less research dollars (less than the 5 most common cancers)
People are not getting the necessary screenings for early detection
Most insurance companies don't pay for low dose CT preventative/diagnostic screenings
83% of lung cancer patients die (compared to 35% of breast cancer patients. They have a higher survival rate because mammography is covered by insurance companies for early screening/diagnosis)

Help us end the stigma:

Interview a medical expert about the importance and need for more research money and early detection.
Interview a member of Lung Cancer Alliance that is fighting for a bill to be past mandating insurance companies to cover low dose CT scans for those at a higher risk of lung cancer and can address the stigma that comes with lung cancer.
Interview a female lung cancer patient or family of a deceased lung cancer patient to talk about how it feels to walk around with a disease where people think you deserve to have it.

Please let me know if you are interested in helping to end the stigma and spread the word that the #1 killer among all cancers has been neglected long enough. And knowing that you typically have long lead times with stories, just an FYI, November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Thanks for your time.

[PR Dummy]


[Please send your own PR Dummies nominations here. Image by Jim Cooke.]