As if the trucking industry wasn’t already being harangued enough … .
PR Newswire was founded in 1954 to provide public relations agencies and in-house public relations departments a worldwide platform for distribution of news releases.
In 2017, it was integrated into Cision Communications Cloud, which, according to its website “is the only platform that empowers you to manage, execute and measure your earned media campaigns — all in a single integrated solution.”
Cision has 35 offices in 18 countries, including 10 in the United States.
It’s obviously a powerful player in the communications business.
But, in our opinion at least, the credibility of both the PR Newswire and Cision wavers when it sends out releases such as the one that crossed our desk recently.
It was from the Semi Truck Accident Victims Center and started like this:
“About a week ago we started a national initiative intended to identify the most skilled and qualified local law firm for innocent victims of a semi-truck accident in the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas. We thought no problem. Unfortunately, what we soon discovered was either there are not extremely capable semi-truck law firms in every single top 100 U.S. metro area, or these law firms have some serious work to do on their websites.
“What we did discover is dog bite attorneys, slip and fall attorneys or Social Security disability attorneys listing on their website’s assistance for truck accident victims with no supporting proof they know what they are doing. We (the Semi Truck Accident Victims Center) are the top-ranked semi-truck accident victims advocate in the United States and if you are a partner in a law firm that specializes in assisting innocent victims of a serious semi-truck accident in a major metro area, please call us at (866) 714-6466 and please let us know who you are, and we’ll provide you with information about our initiative.
“If we can’t find a competent local law firm to represent an innocent victim of a catastrophic accident involving a semi-truck or commercial vehicle in the state or local metro where the accident occurred, we seriously doubt an innocent victim, or their family members, will be able to find them either, as we would like to discuss.”
We didn’t call the number to express our displeasure at anyone trying to recruit lawyers to go after victims of accidents involving a big rig, but we are recommending a few changes to the organization’s website where it lists reasons why a big rig might be involved in an accident.
What the organization listed is in lightface type; our recommendations for changes to the release are in boldface type.
- The truck was traveling too fast.
- The passenger car was traveling too fast.
- The truck was involved in an improper lane change.
- The passenger car was involved in an improper lane change.
- The truck driver had highway or roadway unfamiliarity.
- The passenger car driver had highway or roadway unfamiliarity.
- The semi truck or commercial truck driver was distracted or talking on a cell phone.
- The passenger car or passenger vehicle driver was distracted or talking on a cell phone.
- The semi truck, or commercial vehicle was involved in illegal maneuvers.
- The passenger car was involved in illegal maneuvers.
- The semi truck, or commercial truck driver was driving too aggressively.
- The passenger car or passenger car driver was driving too aggressively.
- The semi truck, or commercial vehicle driver had alcohol/drug/prescription drug issues.
- The passenger car or passenger car driver had alcohol/drug/drug prescription issues.
- The semi truck, or commercial vehicle driver was overdriving for current weather conditions.
- The passenger car or passenger car driver was overdriving for current weather conditions.
The list could go on, but you get the point: The Semi Truck Accident Victims Center is trying to find more lawyers to plaster on those billboards that show the smiling, dental-veneered lawyer along with a car smashed by a tractor-trailer (and there is a 75 percent change the car ran underneath the tractor-trailer).
The news releases continued: “The reason this service is so vital is because if you have been innocently involved in an accident with a semi-truck or commercial vehicle and you do not retain the services of the most skilled and experienced truck accident attorneys, you or your loved one will probably not receive the best possible compensation results.”
Yet, who out there is trying to recruit lawyers who will help the small trucking company owners and independent contractors who can get wiped out with a single jury decision?
The PR Newswire ought to be ashamed of itself for sending out this “fake news,” to paraphrase the man who lives in the White House.
Lyndon Finney’s publishing career spans over 55 years beginning with a reporter position with the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 1965. Since then he’s been a newspaper editor at the Southwest Times Record, served five years as assistant managing editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock and from November 2004 through December 2019 served as editor of The Trucker. Between newspaper jobs he spent 14 years as director of communications at Baptist Health, Arkansas’ largest healthcare system. In addition to his publishing career he served for 46 years as organist at Little Rock’s largest Baptist church.