Don’t Be the Best…

Or the first, fastest, greenest, oldest youngest, last etc etc etc!

What strange advice from a PR I hear you say – but I stand by this suggestion.  The use of any kind of superlative in press releases, campaigns or indeed marketing and advertising can be risky.

Your claim may well be true, but how easily can you prove it?  What measurement  did you use? And are you sure there really isn’t someone better? 

Making such claims can help you interest a journalist when pitching a story.  But they can easily blow up in your face – particularly when the journalist asks for more information, statistics and proof.

Our work with Magenta Security Services is a great example.  Their management team, directors, account team here at Soaring PR and I are all fairly sure that they are the greenest manned guarding firm in Europe.  Their accreditations policies and historical  figures certainly back up our beliefs. 

But… there are several thousand firms (including freelancers) in the UK alone, with new entrants every month – who knows, there could be a firm no one has ever heard of on the other side of Europe who recycle just one more piece of paper each year!  Clearly a mistake of this level is unlikely to cause problems but other claims in the mainstream press or advertising media could easily earn you a place in Private Eye  or a slap on the wrists from the Advertising Standards Agency.

What is the solution?

The best ideas are to think differently, focus on those areas you know are true and get clever with the English  language.  In the Magenta example mentioned above our solution was to talk about the FACT that they were the first security company certified ISO14001 before describing them as “arguably”, “probably” or “possibly” the greenest security firm in Europe.

The result – a slightly more modest approach such as this actually creates greater credibility and has people assuming you are more than you say you are – a win all round!

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