I was fascinated by Dick Selwood’s excellent article Does the Hype Get in the Way of the Message?” on EE Journal. I don’t always have a lot of time when editors complain about PR, but as Dick has a distinguished career as both a journalist and working in PR, what he says is always important and interesting.
Dick talks about Cadence’s launch of their EDA360 initiative, concluding that, “I have reached a positive view of EDA360 despite the marketing hype, rather than because of it.” This is worrying. Here is a journalist who understands how PR and marketing works: he knows the pressure that various individuals and groups within the client put on the marketing department, and he has used many different techniques to try to communicate the importance of a product to journalists whilst working in PR. Despite being able to see through the “flowery stuff” that gets put into product launches, the way EDA360 was launched actually made him think less favourably of the product!
As an industry, are we guilty of trying so hard that the “marketing stuff” gets in the way of what we are actually trying to say? At Napier we try very hard to make clients understand that B2B technology marketing can’t be based on puff: you need to communicate specific facts and advantages as well as benefits. However, I’m sure there are instances when we’ve overdone the hype.
In a world where Apple seems to claim that every new version of a product makes a huge “dent in the universe”, it’s easy to get carried away and swamp the message with marketing fluff. Although I believe that the electronics industry is much more realistic and reasonable than many others, I’d strongly recommend that anyone involved in technology marketing reads Dick’s article.
What do you think? I’d be particularly interested in hearing from journalists to know whether they think the problem of over-hyping launches is becoming widespread in our industry.