Thursday, 30 July 2009

You spin me right round baby right round

The Worcester Park Blogger and myself recently ranted against news sources that publish press releases as news, in that particular case the Harvester chain was the source and various local newspapers were the culprits and just this week the Met Office have discovered to their cost that having a PR person tout a 65% chance of decent weather as a "Barbecue Summer" has backfired horribly.

This week I've had a couple of press releases from Andrews Estate Agents about their reopening (they call it an opening) in Worcester Park so in the spirit of pointing out PR spin bear with me while I raise a couple of small points, but first I'd like you to skim through this press release:

Andrews Estate Agents enters its Golden era by opening its 50th Estate Agency branch in Worcester Park, Surrey next week.

In a sign of increased confidence in the Property Market, the branch at 50 Central Road, Worcester Park will be officially opened by the Deputy Mayor of Sutton, Councillor John Leach on Monday 3rd August.

Area Manager for Andrews, Nigel Churaman said: “The opening of the Worcester Park branch is a sign of Andrews commitment to the area, it compliments Andrews’ other branches in New Maulden and North Cheam which further improves our service to our customers.”

Local residents are invited along for a free Home Health Check from 6pm – 8:30 as Property experts from Andrews will be on hand to give advice on buying or selling your home, renting or letting out your property, how to get the best surveys and give details of the latest mortgage deals.

New Branch Manager at Worcester Park, James Ankers comments: “Andrews is always one step ahead of the Property game and we are delighted to be opening our 50th Estate Agency branch in Worcester Park. The housing market has been through a challenging time recently, but there are overwhelming signs of improvement and our new branch demonstrates our belief that the tide has truly turned. Andrews staff will be on hand to answer any queries the community of Worcester Park might have. There is an exclusive special opening offer to the first 10 people who instruct Andrews to sell their home will pay just £1500 plus VAT*”

We will also have a Limited edition Bag for Life with a Worcester Park design which we will be giving away to show that we are proud to be in the local community.

The Grand Opening of the new Andrews branch on 50 Central Road, Worcester Park is from 6pm – 8:30pm. The first 100 people to visit will receive the special limited edition “Worcester Park” Bag for life.

Still with me? Good.

Point number 1 (A minor one for sure) - Skating over their inability to spell New Malden it's really a re-opening... not an opening. If you close something (like your bathroom door) and then open it again you re-open it. If you want to take it to extremes then Costa shutting it's doors on Tuesday night and (re) opening on Wednesday could be called a "Grand Opening".

Point Number 2 - This one's more tricky. Exactly how many branches do Andrews have? When I visited their website the first page Google took me to it said that they have 48 branches but on the front page it says that they have "a network of 80+ branches across the South" but I'd have thought that the most reliable counter should be the "Branch Locator" page as obviously they don't want to send people to non-existent branches. If you go to the Branch Locator and click on the "All Branches" button then count them, like I did, then the number of branches you should find is 57. Count 'em. 57! That includes their Head Office in Keynsham but is still more than 50 (and yes, the list does include Worcester Park).

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy that Andrews will be back on Central Road and they did a good job for us when we bought our house years ago so I'm happy to recommend them. My photo of Phil Spencer outside Andrews (top) is still one of my favourite WP photos, it's just that I'd rather have had a press release that said it was re-opening and didn't mention 50 branches. Don't they know how pedantic we can be on the internet?

Pedantry aside, you can get a free bag out of it and the other email I received from them promised " a glass of bubbly" and if those don't appeal then you could just go along and harangue the Deputy Mayor about why the council has been spending its time lobbying TFL to stump up £2 million enhancing Wallington High Street and not matched that effort in Worcester Park.


Anonymous said...

Not just New Malden they cannot spell .... should be complements and not compliments!

Worcester Park said...

Perhaps against my better judgement I resisted the temptation:

1. To have a pop at the New Maulden spelling

2. To have a cheap laugh at an estate agent being called Mr Ankers

3. To mention that I already have a Worcester Park bag for life (the wife dislikes being referred to in such terms).