By Jill McCubbin
At market2world we communicate daily with bloggers, software developers, R&D experts, reporters, producers and CEOs. Yes, we are a tech PR and product launch agency. And no, we don’t indulge in hype-driven babble and promo-girl language. Our position sits firmly at the understated end of the spectrum, based on our CEO’s experience on the other side of the desk as a business writer, editor, broadcaster and author. Hype and spin is not our style and is not successful in the long term. Exaggerated hype can even backfire in the short-term, if your news release, blog post, product demo or corporate video doesn’t pass the smell test.
We believe that sincere, direct, specific and matter-of-fact business writing – which definitely includes differentiated market positioning and attention-getting, creative detail – results in successful marketing campaigns. Just recently, I had this insight confirmed in an email to me from Project Shrink blogger, Bas de Baar.
Bas interviews software developers, CEOs and others in the project management and information technology industries and has acute radar for PR hype. Bas provided the following clearly worded suggestion in regards to the e-interview market2world initiated between Bas and Asif Sharif, CEO and President of eDev Technologies, developer of inteGREAT™, a requirements development platform and IT project management tool.
“If possible, please refrain from ‘Our Tool Is The Best. We are the world, we are the children’ kind of answers to interview questions. My experience shows that if the answers are generally answered and genuine and perhaps include some references, people will visit the posting of our interview now and also in the long run...”
We couldn’t agree more. The lesson here is simple: Don’t over-hype or indulge in making unfounded claims when describing your new product or service. No blogger, reporter, news producer or business editor reacts well to an inflated or unverifiable claim. Read Lewis Green’s bizsolutionsplus blog for more about the differences between evangelizing and informing.
Hype, short for hyperbole, is defined as “exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally and/or impossible to be taken seriously”. Keep hyperbole out of your marketing content. Nobody takes “world’s best” or “fantastic in bed” as genuine description – not from a public relations person nor from an overly keen technology engineer, developer or CEO during an interview.
Your product likely IS the world’s best and you ARE fantastic in bed, but saying it with larded adjectives won’t make anyone believe it. A focused PR program over time will communicate the customer kudos, product benefits and third-party endorsements that will prove your product’s worth so that they versus you will be singing your many praises. We’re here to help.
(Jill McCubbin is a Communications Architect with market2world communications inc., Ottawa, Canada's Web 2.0 tech PR and product launch agency.)