Sunday, April 08, 2007

Pet Peeve: PR Spin

For several years, one of the brokers I covered regularly in the annual survey of online brokers would try to twist the fact that they were included in the story as evidence that they could call themselves, “One of the Best Online Brokers!  Ranked in Barron’s for 10 Years in a Row!”

When their manipulative marketing was brought to my attention—by a securities fraud investigator, no less—I decided to disrupt their ploys by dropping them from the survey.  As it is, this firm had put very little into the site in years, and consequently dropped in the rankings every March as other, more innovative, brokerages blew past them.  I feel that an online broker who stops adapting to changing marketing conditions and technology is doing no favors to their customer base, and did not want to mention them in case they kept referring to my story in their deceptive marketing practices.

Well, now I see that the game is being played anew, this time by a brand new brokerage that ended up close to the bottom of the rankings. But their press release says, “In recent months, SogoInvest was rated in Barron’s among the ‘The Best of the Web-Browser Based Online Brokers’ and SogoElite was ranked among the ‘The Best for Software Based Online Brokers.’” (Entire press release can be found by clicking here.)

Sure they were ranked.  At the bottom. 

Listen folks.  Being in the story means a) You are an online broker who b) Answers all my intrusive and rude questions and provides me with a trading account for the duration of the story.  It does NOT make you a “Best Online Broker.” Look up towards the top of the list to find the online brokers I think are the Best.

In the future, I may refer to the story as, “Best Online Brokers and A Few Other Firms.”

PR spin ticks me off.  Don’t twist my stories to say things that they do not say. 

Posted by twcarey on 04/08 at 09:01 PM
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