Most of my dozen readers engineers or managers actively involved in manufacturing or production. But a number are marketing people. This post is sort of to explain to the latter the attitudes of the former.
My friend Walt has a “PR Wall of Shame.” Sometimes every editor feels the same. Press releases often try too hard to convince us that something is important. I write another blog on spiritual living where I’ve been discussing simplicity. A good press release could practice some of that. Instead of saying “fastest,” stating the actual speed is much a more powerful message to engineers.
Try these words lifted from a recent press release:
They must have fallen in love with the word “unprecedented.” I don’t see that one often. But I love the marketing hype that is now in titles–vice president of best-in-class products. I don’t think I could give out that business card with a straight face.
None of those modifiers add any value to the statements other than to try to get the reader to think that this is really great stuff. This might work if you are writing to the readers of Seventeen magazine. Or E. But not to professionals.
A famous man once said, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” I learned this 30 years ago–how to write about technical ideas with simplicity and (hopefully) power. Turned into a career. I bet it could for marketing people, too. 😉
Gary, I try to tell our marketing folks that no automation professional uses these "marketing-speak" words in their Google searches. It's better to converse in the language of problems and how they can be addressed if one wants to make them worth the time to find and read. Like others, there is room for improvement!
That is an excellent point, Jim. Thanks. I'll remember that.
I guess "press release" means the release is for the press?
So since any press person of any credibility would (first groan) and then immediately take out "leading", "paradigm shift", etc, it would certainly save everybody's time (and likely increase coverage) if marketing folk really did pitch the release to the press and make sure to include the necessary informaton rather than all this promotional fluff.
Example from last week: "Even before its release, clients are lining up to take advantage of what the ***** has to offer."
Ah, yes, the first rule of writing–know your audience! Also don't talk down to your audience. Thanks Bob.
I am sorry guys, but you have missed one important topic. Maybe it is funny for you, but for me serious problem – try to translate "marketing-speak" to my native language. English marketers were born to complicate my clean Oxford English:-).