Editor’s Note: Huh?
Oct 1, 2004 12:00 PM,
By Mark Johnson
I receive quite a few press releases in the course of a day. Recently, I reviewed a release from an organization that said I should register to come to its event, which included an interesting and full schedule of seminars and activities. What the release failed to mention was when the event was happening.
A few weeks prior to the Olympics, a hotel chain ran some TV ads that featured a contest in which you could win a trip to Athens and, as the company mentioned in the ad, passes to some of the events. However, nowhere in the ad did the company actually say anything about the Olympics. Although I would hazard a guess that’s what the passes were for, the ads were not specific about it.
Or have you seen the commercials that tout some medication and tell you to ask your doctor if XYZ brand is right for you, though the ads never really explain what XYZ brand is for? The message is widely broadcast, but it’s ultimately targeted toward a much more focused audience.
However, it’s frustrating and alienating to read or watch something that assumes you know what they’re talking about when you don’t. In particular, materials for some technology products are often heavy on specs and stats without much — if any — mention as to what the product actually does. Certainly more questions can come up after reading the piece, but the first question shouldn’t be, “What are they talking about?”
When describing products or services, fully explaining uses, benefits, and features can often be more helpful to your customer than, in the words of Thomas Dolby, “Blinding them with science.”
This month Sound & Video Contractor has replaced the “Line Out” column with a new forum, “POV,” which provides insights and opinions from the chairpeople of the various InfoComm/ICIA councils and committees. The debut column on p. 104 is by Jim Smith, chair of the Sound, Audiovisual, and Video Integrators (SAVVI) council. I think you’ll find these columns informative and interesting regarding the inner workings of InfoComm and the industry as a whole.