A World-Class News Release

Hey all you P.R. folks, learn from this guy!

As writer of five columns a week, my inbox is a veritable cascade of news releases.
Sometimes there are 50 a day or more.

A good 90 percent of them are unreadable.

The second image in the media player at right is typical of the crap people send me—gray walls of type.

A couple of weeks ago, a subject line popped out of the morass:

Infographic: Who is a fraud perpetrator?

What followed was an email release—perfect in every way:

Scott Patterson

To Denny Hatch
Today at 1:03

Dear Mr. Hatch:
What are some of the characteristics of a fraudster? That is, who are the people who commit occupational fraud, stealing from their employer or clients? The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) has fascinating research on this subject, and our infographic is available for your use online. Just download it here: www.acfe.com/rttn-profile-fraudster.aspx.

A few details about fraud perpetrators:

The higher the perpetrator’s level of authority, the greater fraud losses tend to be. Owners/executives only accounted for 19% of all cases, but they caused a median loss of $500,000. Employees, conversely, committed 42% of occupational frauds but only caused a median loss of $75,000. Managers ranked in the middle, committing 36% of frauds with a median loss of $130,000.

Collusion helps employees evade independent checks and other anti-fraud controls, enabling them to steal larger amounts. The median loss in a fraud committed by a single person was $80,000, but as the number of perpetrators increased, losses rose dramatically. In cases with two perpetrators the median loss was $200,000, for three perpetrators it was $355,000 and when four or more perpetrators were involved the median loss exceeded $500,000.

Approximately 77% of the frauds in our study were committed by individuals working in one of seven departments: accounting, operations, sales, executive/upper management, customer service, purchasing and finance.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

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  • Judy Colbert

    Denny, you and I have discussed the sins of the many too many times. The main sin is the lack of contact information. If I save something for future use, I have to make sure I have at least a name, email, and phone number. I’m constantly dumbfounded by the lack of basic information.

    As a travel writer/photographer, the next sin I see is “The XYZ resort in Wherever is now …” without a clue as to what state or country the resort is located. If I don’t know where it is, how am I supposed to know if some place I’d like to cover? Although I’ve traveled extensively, I don’t know every hamlet or even every big city. I used to know area codes, but I’ve either forgotten or they’ve added too many for my brain.

    Grumble, grumble.


  • David Emil Henderson

    It’s the kind of stuff we learned early and then forgot. Thanks for the briefing!

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