Keep an eye on your PR personnel who are going beserk across the Indians forums- again, you’re being watched!5
01/12/2010 by The Sorcerer
Public relations. In layman’s terms they are supposed to maintain/protect the public image on behalf of their companies. Some PR personnel are inhouse and within the management, some give it to 3rd party agencies. Tough job for hardware companies and their people in this field especially with so much competition but if your product stands out, all you need to do is display it properly and maintain the usual PR attempts like press releases and forward review samples/collecting badges like “value for money”, “best performance” and such so that it can be used the product’s website. Through a business guy’s point of view Gigabyte’s 2oz copper+ all solid caps being put up at the right moment at the right time in a right manner is a win! Brilliant marketing/PR of a product that actually works.
Now, here’s the downside of certain actions done by a certain public relations- cover up, especially if their clients don’t know about it which could potentially damage the company’s image if the facts are surfaced and worse if the product is good/great/brilliant. If the company guys are reading this, I hope they end up getting the image that I am actually highlighting some actions being taken which in my opinion is wrong, but there are those who are constantly observing and asking me about it. So I am posting this on behalf of them. According to some, maintaining and manipulating is pretty much the same thing, but I see otherwise because you are damaging the same community who also end up helping people like you- not just for PCs, but also cellphones, cars, etc.
I was in Gigabyte India‘s facebook page and suddenly I see this (to which I have posted a comment):
I am saying this for a very good reason. That facebook page as on today’s date has only 381 people as fans. The link that was posted is through tech arena. Other than the fact that many people/members from other respected forums believe and know that the forum is filled with bots, spammers and sorts to show high pagerank (in what? alexa?) . Its also recently used to rig the polls by putting up proxy votes by certain personnel. To makes things more funny that would most likely make you facepalm yourself, the poll was made back in 2008 and was bumped pretty recently with a lot of proxy vote counts and couple of comments:
A spammer made the following comment:
GIGABYTE is the best. as its quality is good and specialize on cloud computing overclocking!!! haha, the overclocking requires higher technique knowhow and better quality~
That was not the only one. This is another post at the same time with another ID :
NO DOUBT!! the bese in the best is GIGABYTE!!! why i say like that?because that’s true! GIGABYTE have a good customer service ! Professional,gentle,nice,kindly whatever they do just only think about the coustomer what really need at the first point!
That’s not all, if you see closely- someone with an ID is hooting for Asus:
ASUS unveils E.L.I.T.E. 2.0 service for Motherboards
India’s largest service initiative for Motherboards by ASUS gets bigger and better in its second version as E.L.I.T.E. 2.0. ASUS now expands its reach to 798 Indian cities from the previous 270 and will also offer Burnt and Corrosion Warranty for all Motherboards with E.L.I.T.E. 2.0. An innovative service initiative launched in July 2010 – E.L.I.T.E. ensured effective service support for motherboards across the length and breadth of the country by providing free Pick-up and Return facility. E.L.I.T.E. 2.0 will offer Burnt and Corrosion Warranty which is a first for any motherboard vendor and will be launched exclusively for Indian customers. It will be effective for all ASUS Motherboards that need RMA service and fall within the 3 years warranty period.
Most consumers often face voltage fluctuations due to erratic power supply which is one of the main reasons of burning of components in motherboards. Also many Indian cities are situated near the coastline which causes corrosion in motherboards. So implementing the exclusive Burnt and Corrosion Warranty in E.L.I.T.E. 2.0 will address most concerns of customers about their ASUS Motherboards.
Even if the company’s respected PR agencies/body says otherwise, judging by the comments and the history of the account (especially the one above), one can deem it easily that its meant to advertise/spam company’s name.
The reason I am highlighting this is because many people in India generalize hardware and therefore make polls based on brand names rather than models, like this one in digit. Everyone does it. I am sure you do (blackberry phones, dell laptops- take your pick we all generalize it) but I am afraid that if such antics being done by the company’s respected PR, they are actually spoiling the good name of their own brand, even if they have a history/not-so-history of their series of good hardware being manufactured. Worse, you are knowingly/unknowingly damaging the same community which advices you whenever you need help for purchases. How would you feel if YOU spammers bought a brand based on popularity but it turned out otherwise? In other words- indirectly you are shooting your own FOOT!! Those who take such desperate measures can create multiple IDs and multiple proxies/email addresses. Possibility exists as such antics will be done in techenclave, digit, erodov and chip eventually so you mods/admins- keep your eyes on this and switch on your instincts.
SPEAKING OF CHIP. Its one thing doing all this garbage is done on the forums (I hate it and stand against it) by the respected personnel, but its far worse doing through printed media which usually caters to the crowd that doesn’t have access to online content (believe me, there are lot in our country who don’t have near decent ISP even though they can afford such plans). Chip is recently doing 7th anniversary special- reader’s choice award 2010.
This is an online poll and its not restricted to subscribers. Therefore, possibility is extremely high that one can use proxy to do similar antics like how its done on the forums. But the result is different and huge bragging rights are achieved for atleast a year. This award highlights a brand- not just a particular model. Usually magazines give out a logo and a certificate (I’ve seen in many manufacturer’s management offices in India) that acknowledges them that they are awarded with “reader’s choice award”. Manufacturers use this as a bragging right- putting up press releases, putting a big logo in their respected website and hence- good PR. While it might seem to be honest award through a 3rd person’s perspective, even through the management’s point of view in Taiwan/U.S./Wherever they have their international headoffice and through readers. But the ways to achieve it is unethical and its damaging the very essence the communities are built on and what you and I rely on- for the members and by the members.
I have forwarded this link to Jamshed so that he can make up his mind whether he still wants to go ahead with this poll or not. That’s all I can do over there.If Jamshed says something and wants me to put it on his behalf, rest assured I will add it here. Same goes if any PR personnel from the respected companies.
What I urge to mods/admins of the respected forums is to prevent/avoid/even ban hardware generalization based on brands so that such antics can be curbed. If its not possible, fair enough- atleast lets make sure such crap is not done in our community.
I also urge the main management of the respected companies to keep a strict eye on PR attempts being done on them as it could hamper their reputation permanently for silly reasons. If you haven’t noticed, people in advertising agencies (not hardware- but they are 3rd party agencies) have such similar antics to impress clients directly, but ended up making it worse for the company (a show was done on CNBC long back ago, citing the reason that people do it for boosting their career profile once it works out right) I am not dismissing the fact that the PR attempts could have be made on their knowledge, but its extremely unlikely that the main PR who is responsible for doing an honest PR job on an international level will bring themselves and the company down with them (then again, I could be wrong about this). In any case, you’re being watched the same way I am being watched.
By the way, if you as readers are wondering why is this happening- the reason is pretty simple reason if you know what’s REALLY going on. Its for the badges- best performance, value for money and editor’s choice. Many contributors will agree that Indian reviewers are nowhere compared to the internationally recognised review sites AND their testing methodologies. Still, through company’s point of view, such badges matter for them very seriously. They raise an eyebrow that if their product is good, if not best- they should atleast get a value for money award? But it ends up being a pressure over those who are assigned such jobs rather than questioning such articles directly.
But they don’t. Its because of this rather than questioning reviewer’s testing methodology and award methodology, company personnel feel that its more time saving by doing such proxy jumps whenever they get the opportunity- such as polls and posting in various social media.
If the PR/marketing head is reading this, it makes sense to question their testing methodology and award methodology if they have a problem with it rather than using the community to compensate for it. Technically, you have the right to ask them (assuming that’s the reason what your PR folks are doing such stuff online)- so ask them!
If this is done in techarena, it can be done in other forums. The things I do is for the good of the community as a whole so keep your eyes sharp boys because there’s some fishes who want to swim in our swimming pool. To company folks, if you think that I have damaged your brand name, don’t. I’ve actually helped to prevent it before its too late and it reaches an uncontrollable stage. Also to few people whom I am afraid will not take this as a feedback- ain’t my problem as this is something that you started.