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The bear facts

Earlier this week, HTFP featured the preliminary results of a survey being carried out by a postgraduate student into the changing nature of press releases. Its key finding was that journalists regard most of the PR material they get sent as irrelevant, and that this has got worse since the invention of email.

A typical example arrived in my inbox yesterday morning from a group calling itself Release The Bears

It informed us that a ‘brown bear’ has been released into the wild at a secret woodland location to highlight the group’s campaign to reintroduce the long-extinct British bear into the English countryside.

If this were true it might even have been newsworthy, though perhaps not for HTFP readers. Alas, the ‘brown bear’ in question turned out to be a man dressed in a bear suit, who will spend the next week living in a cave and eating only berries, roots, sprouts and fungi.

Given that real wild bears would be unlikely to discover the merits of vegetarianism if reintroduced into the UK, is this possibly the most pointless PR stunt of the year so far?