Post 25, 2009: What happens when 30 seconds of research shows a press release is gold-plated bullshit

Okay … so I just got a press release from a company proclaiming that its product has been given a “Gold” award in an independent test.

This is utterly “meh” to begin with.

But then I look up the tests in question and found that this release is actually gold-plated bullshit.

Here’s why.

Firstly, NINE products were given a “Gold” award in the same tests. Two were rated “Platinum ” and one fell over the line for “Silver” status.

So the vendor in question is claiming it is very important for having come somewhere between 3rd and 11th in these tests.

As it turns out, it is actually in 12th place on one of the criteria tested  – ability to detect viruses – and 3rd on its ability not to fall for false positives.

The product concerned is in a lonely place on the graph demonstrating competence in its field.

It took about 30 seconds of research to come to this conclusion.

This raises some questions, the first of which is: Why on earth would any self-respecting vendor emit a press release that points out how mediocre its products are?

Secondly: What’s happened in the PR agency responsible? This release is dross, pure and simple. Why isn’t the agency doing 30 seconds of research and advising its client not to emit a release that positions them as mediocre?

I’d argue that this release should never have been emitted, because it only takes a journo half a minute to figure out that this vendor is a follower in a very large market. As luck would have it, I was only dimly aware of the vendor’s existence before this crock  landed in my Inbox. Now I’ve mentally filed them under “irrelevant clowns.”

Good work everybody!

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2 thoughts on “Post 25, 2009: What happens when 30 seconds of research shows a press release is gold-plated bullshit

  1. Agencies are terrified of “pushing back” on clients, lest they offend the client and, in time, lose the business through too much pushing back. Believe me, the average PR bod would be saying the release is “gold plated bullshit” too — even the person who sent it to you, I daresay — but the attitude within agencies, especially the bigger ones is, “The client wants it, so the client will get it. This isn’t worth fighting WWIII over with some arrogant marketing manager about…”

  2. There’s always a good chance some publications will simply do a rewrite, push the BS out and get tons of Google power in the process.

    This happens because:

    1. Some journalists are just plain lazy.
    2. Some publications are seriously understaffed
    3. Some publications will print anything if there’s a whiff of advertising dollars somewhere in the mix
    4. Some publications will run this as part of an advertising/editorial swap

    Not everyone is as professional as you (or me).

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