6 reasons to hold back prank press releases

On April Fools’ day, a good many brands will issue hoax announcements. Here’s why you shouldn’t.

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With April Fools’ Day nearly here, many PR pros are secretly preparing clever tricks, but if you’re thinking about distributing a prank press release, you may want to reconsider.

Though these hoaxes are intended to be harmless, fooling reporters with an untrue press release can be extremely damaging to your reputation and create a host of problems. Consider these factors:

1. Journalists.

When you send a fake press release to a reporter, you’re putting his or her credibility on the line. Consider the flak Brian Williams received for exaggerating a story, resulting in a six-month suspension from “NBC Nightly News.” By providing reporters with completely false news, you jeopardize their careers and tarnish their reputation for reporting solid, credible stories. While a joke may seem totally obvious to you, it isn’t always readily apparent, particularly for someone who is stressed out and on deadline.

2. Your reputation.

If the media reports your fake news as a legitimate story, your own reputation as a trusted source and your relationship with reporters could be damaged. Good luck getting a story placed again anytime soon.

3. Wire distribution services.

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