Buzz Word Overkill

Recently I was asked by an organization to do an independent review of a proposal that was submitted to them by the PR firm that they have been working with, as a lead up to their contract renewal. This is something that I have done time and time again over the years for clients, so I was more than happy to help them out. What I read left me scratching my head, and quite frankly angered. This proposal was literally a blatant attempt to take advantage of the client, disguised behind that WOW factor of buzz words.

The proposal was broken down into 2 sections, Branding/Marketing and Social Media/Web, each with a price attached to it.

I read through the branding/marketing section, and while some (emphasis on some) of the general marketing aspects made sense, there was very little substance to it to substantiate the price tag they attached to it. The item that glared out at me larger than life though, was the fact there was no breakdown on pricing. That is a huge first sign indicator that you are about to get taken to the cleaners. Without line item prices, you can’t completely evaluate exactly what you are getting. It would be like going to the grocery store, and having the person at the register look at your cart and give you a price. I don’t know many people that would shop that way.

The second part of the proposal, Social Media/Web, is what really got me. It was crammed with so many buzz words that my head was spinning. Things like: seed your social media, ongoing SEO performance enhancements, engage your audience, and campaign saturation monitoring with targeted site modifications. Again I looked at the price tag (this one was an exorbitant monthly charge), with no breakdown of what cost what, not even listing the Social Media platforms to be utilized. Knowing that this was a contract renewal, and now being very suspicious, I decided to do some research and digging. This PR firm had no idea how deep they just stepped in it.

I decided to start with the web site and social media, since these are the core of my business, and where many businesses and organizations get taken advantage of. Here is what I found:

  • The FaceBook page and the Twitter account for this organization were both active, and currently maintained, including an active engagement with their audience. This raised a red flag as to why the PR wanted to charge for the “engage your audience” in the proposal.
  • The web site was being hosted by a small media company in Maryland (Red Flag raised high). Upon further digging, I found the server domain name was also registered to this company, and I would be willing to bet the server is located in their back room, given the IP look-up location ping back.
  • There was NO SEO done at all to the site. The only reason it came up in the search engine is because of the organic content and the site name. If this is ongoing SEO, it should have been there to start with.
  • The website was built on WordPress, which isn’t a bad thing, except that there didn’t appear to be any tags.
  • The PR firm was in charge of building and hosting the web site, and the maintenance.

There is more, though hopefully you get the picture.

So what lessons can we take away from this experience I just shared with you? The answer is: you need to be fully aware of what you are paying for, and if you have any doubts, ask questions. If the company is honest, and values you as a client, they will answer your questions.

At Delaware 302, we take pride in being transparent with our clients, and building trust. Our solutions are geared to be affordable, and we don’t believe in a one size fits all approach. We also will never charge our clients for something they don’t need.

Contact us today to learn how we can help your business grow.

Let’s build the future together.


About delaware302
Delaware 302 is more than an online clothing store. It's about giving Delawareans a way to express their pride about being from, or even just living in, the First State. Whether you're wearing it or displaying it on your vehicle - let the world see you are Delaware proud. But you don't have to be born here to "represent" the 302.

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