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Spin: Beware of celebrating low hanging fruit

Beware of what organisations are NOT telling you. Are they celebrating real success or masking a hidden issue? Is it a genuine success story to be proud of? Is the real question a case of what they are NOT telling you:

What do claims like ‘well over 65%’ actually mean – it can’t be more than 70% or they would have said so. Is ‘well over’ spin for ‘marginally over’?

If 75% of faults are attributable to human error, why have they invested their budget in technical fixes?

Beware of changes in reportable metrics; is the company ‘comparing apples with apples’? Remember – 88.93% of statistics are made up on the spot.

What is the definition of ‘of its kind’ or ‘of its type’? It sounds wonderful for an object to be the safest of its type or ‘best in class’. What aren’t you being told?

But perhaps more saliently – is YOUR organisation celebrating low-hanging fruit and does your press release give rise to cynicism and distrust for no more reason than the style of phrase you have used.

If you are promoting genuinely good news, then think carefully before celebrating early successes. If you are reading a company’s press release then take a moment to consider what you aren’t being told.

Finally, remember: 76.234% of statistics are made up on the spot!

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