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HEXUS.opinion: Never mind the hyperbole

by HEXUS Staff on 20 July 2005, 00:00

Tags: abit

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So on with it.....

Never mind the hyperbole

Michael LittlerWelcome to the newest in the latest line of astounding quality unique articles – with ultra performance boost and Extreme HyperboleTM technology which will change your digital life, your way, all ways for the next generation of industry-leading capability – the Kn9PQY73962-2n V.2 GTX UltraMAX edition – a remarkable innovation with royal performance!

ABIT LogoYes, this is the industry where everybody's a "leader" and you can always add another superlative or make up a new technology by (cleverly?) combining two words that are completely unoriginal, but sound vaguely technical when put together in the right order (especially when you sprinkle some of those little TM symbols around).

This is the world of Public Relations in the IT industry; this is my world – the subtle dark arts of spin, briefing, counter-briefing and oh yes, the indiscriminate and brainless mass mailing of formulaic press releases. Unfortunately, it's a habitat where originality and subtlety are rare species.

With so many products competing for attention from the media, somehow we've lost the plot; as if inserting one more adjective than your competitor in a press release, or adding an 'xtra "X" at the end of the product name will persuade the hacks, and consumers (let's not forget you guys) that the product is more worthy of attention.

It's an amusing, but ultimately pointless game, which is played out every day between corporate marketing departments and journalists. You know, sometimes a succinct press statement is more effective.

Another area that would benefit from brevity is model names - I know there is a weird logic to them, but I wish my industry colleagues would exercise a bit of common sense. Of course this article is not a forum for me to criticise competitors (by name at least), but the Gigabyte "GV-NX78X256V-B"?! What is with this company? Did they decide not to bother with model names at all and just use catalogue numbers?

Having said that, it is hard to decide what is worse – the catalogue numbers or the companies that name their products things like "Xtreme GT Ultra FX WonderX".

Alright, maybe I exaggerate a little, but then I do work in PR.

Perhaps worse than hyperbolic press releases and self-indulgent product names are the two words which exercise journalists more than any others; "paper launch". This is the practise of announcing products before they are available. Believe it or not, this is actually a deliberate strategy; oh yes, I'm afraid that my colleagues know very well that the product will not be available for weeks or months, or in some cases never. That's right; you can announce brilliant new products, without actually having to bother manufacturing them. I guess on some level that is a stroke of genius.

Ask most journalists what they were most impressed about with the nVidia 7800 and they will give you one word – "availability". Try finding that in a press release.

So come on guys and girls, stop letting the profession down, and start writing some decent press materials which journalists might actually read and the public might take seriously. Start giving your products original names, or stick to short code-based names, and please don't announce products until they are actually ready, however tempting it may be to appear 'market leading'.

And above all, next time you write a press release think to yourself... what was the name of that Sex Pistols album....?

HEXUS Forums :: 19 Comments

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He does have a point there.

Some of the names are getting a bit of a mouthful now to pronounce, and I've got tongue-tied a few times and had to put my teeth back in to recite the names of some motherboards and graphics cards :)
Just like Michael, I don't like to single a company out in this, but seeing as I've owned their products I think I'm entitled too. Gigabyte have possibly the worst naming scheme on the planet. GA7VAXP - what's that about?
my aopen i855gmem-lfs is a bit of a mouthfull already…
GA7VAXP - what's that about?
Kez…honey…..sugar….my love ;)
Guess mode = on

G = Gigabyte
A = Athlon
7 = K7 (ie normal athlon)
V = VIA chipset
XP = no idea at all ;)

Now that IS a guess…but I bet a lot of it's right :D
I think Foxconn are probably the worst culprit, but that's irrelevant to me because I wouldn't even touch their motherboards with someone else's 10 foot bargepole. :)