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Please Don’t Follow the Leader

The ‘leading’ this, the ‘unparalleled’ that, the ‘preeminent’ other thing … am I the only one who has grown weary of product announcements that are filled with pomp and circumstance, but signify little?

This isn’t a new phenomenon, of course, but it does seem to be running especially hot in process and content circles at the moment, and it leaves me with one burning question:

If all these vendors are the leaders, is there anyone who is a laggard?

Now, no self-respecting company (and yes, there are some!) would characterize itself in that way, but doesn’t someone have to be trailing? Unless they all somehow have found measures that allow them to honestly claim the title. Hmmm …

So here’s my suggestion: whenever you see or receive a press release, take a marker and cross out all the adjectives – scribble right there on your screen if you have to! Then read the first paragraph to see whether it’s relevant or interesting to you, or merely self-serving to them. If it’s the latter or, worse, you can’t even tell, then move on. For if the vendor can’t articulate its value to you in a written communication it had luxury of developing for days or weeks, how is it going to explain it to you in a real-time meeting with your most influential executives?

Don’t forget for a moment that the conversation has to be about you and your situation, and don’t let yourself become distracted by the flummery that plays so large a role in today’s PR and marketing.

Take it from me – the world’s leading expert in process and information management.

3 thoughts on “Please Don’t Follow the Leader”

  1. This is the most wonderful post I’ve ever seen since learning how to read. You’re the leading blogger out there. :-))

    Seriously, though —

    I’ve heard say that developing name recognition in the market is a big part of the game, and that it can take 6-12 “impressions” before an audience remembers a name.

    If true, this would explain the sheer volume of PR that is ” … a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Macbeth Quote (Act V, Scene V).

  2. This is the most wonderful post I’ve ever seen since learning how to read. You’re the leading blogger out there. :-))

    Seriously, though —

    I’ve heard say that developing name recognition in the market is a big part of the game, and that it can take 6-12 “impressions” before an audience remembers a name.

    If true, this would explain the sheer volume of PR that is ” … a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Macbeth Quote (Act V, Scene V).

  3. You’re right: name recognition is a big part of the game, but I suspect these poor constructs often have more to do with the publicist than the practice.

    Thanks for the brilliantly sardonic comment!

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