Re: Ethics

Subject: Re: Ethics
From: "Robert Plamondon" <robert -at- plamondon -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2003 07:27:04 -0700

Bill writes:

>I've even seen a company mandate that their employees troll on discussion
>boards as induhviduals and praise that company's products through the roof.

>Ethical, no. But you gotta admit, if they pull it off, it's good marketing.

Most people simply don't have the skills to pull this sort of thing off, so
I think we can rest assured that such a policy carries its own punishment to
the offending company.

The key to promoting products on-line is to be friendly and helpful, not to
push, and to never say anything bad about anyone, even if someone heaps
abuse on you or your company. Answer hostile questions as if they were asked
in a spirit of friendly inquiry. Never overplay your hand, never use hype
except in the form of your personal enthusiasm for genuine product features
that make your actual life easier. Never lie. Never say anything negative
about the competition except in bland statements of indisputable fact, such
as "An electrical engineering degree is a big help when documenting
semiconductors." (Note that I didn't actually mention the competition in
that statement. Implicit comparisons are safer. It's also safer to talk
about your own good points than about the less-good points of others.)

If you can do this, it's best to identify yourself openly as an employee of
your company. If you can't, you shouldn't post at all.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon
President, High-Tech Technical Writing
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com
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