Would You Send a News Release Like This?

In anticipation of Drew Peterson’s murder trial which was supposed to start today in Joliet, Ill. (which always reminds me of the Blues Brothers, but I digress…), the PR firm representing the Peterson defense team released  a media alert/press release that was, I think, rather odd.

It makes me curious about what their defense strategy is going to be, and maybe that’s the point. After all, the trial has been delayed… But, overall, my impression is that the release is pretty damning about the client. It’s a “just the facts” release that is, nevertheless, not very favorable to Peterson.

It leads with a reference to the death of his third wife, and then talks about the disappearance of his fourth wife in 2007. The only somewhat “positive” reference is: “Peterson denies any involvement in either case.”

What was the point in issuing the release I wonder? My husband has an opinion: “Lawyers don’t care if they win or lose, they just want their names out there,” he says. (Our son resembles that remark, by the way.) In this case, I suppose that may be somewhat true – after all the lawyers *do* have a PR firm and they’re using them to issue this release.

I have, of course, heard that old aphorism: “even bad publicity can be good publicity” and sometimes I agree that’s true. In this case, though, I’m struggling to come up with a good reason to distribute such a release. Wish I knew “the rest of the story.”

Can you think of times when you might send a news release like this? Do you have any ideas about the strategy behind this one?


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