15.3.09

The Final Solution

There are reputedly around 600,000 words in the English language so, with so many to choose from, why is the technology marketing industry so fixated with using just one of them ad nauseum, ad infinitum? This word, of course, is “solution”.

What is a “solution”, anyway? Food is a solution to hunger, but do you ask your colleagues if they’d like to step out at lunchtime for a good, old-fashioned solution?

During my journalist days years back with IT Week magazine I’d be confronted by this word on a daily – no, hourly - basis and rebut it with the same question: “so, what does it do?” The number of times I received blank looks from sales people when I asked them to do anything other than allow them to tell me it “solved” a problem (which often didn’t exist anyhow) was astounding. From what I still see on the circuit this nasty habit still continues unabated.

I randomly guestimate that 80 per cent of press releases generated by PR people in our sector include that over-used and hopelessly inadequate word to describe a product or service, and it’s time for a change, it really is.

I know that some (i.e. good) PR professionals will seek to counsel their clients against the use of the word, even if their valiant endeavours ultimately end in defeat at the hands of the client’s ego. But really, people, it’s a tired format and there are 600,000 words to chose from so grab a dictionary and let’s inject some imagination back into our industry.

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