Friday night is the night when the editorial and marketing team from Untold Websites and Blogs meet to discuss the week’s news, and what lies ahead. And wild and crazy nights they can be too!
This week it was Russell Sprout’s turn to present, and his subject of choice was the desks we have in our offices.
It seemed Russell and been doing some research and he had received information on desks from Waste Yourtime and Charge, PR agents to firms with money but limited sense. Which by and large includes most desk manufacturers.
Russell gave us each a brochure published on thick quality paper, accompanied by a set of glossy colour photos of tables. Lots of tables. Lots and lots and lots of tables.
Did I mention the tables?
The staff gathering in the saloon bar of the Bollard was rapt in its attention as each and every Bollardière and Untolder alike studied the press release.
At first there was silence.Then the first murmurings. And within seconds the whole place was in uproar as the blogging elite rocked back and forth in their chairs and there were repeated calls for use of the fire extinguisher on valued team members whose heart rates had just gone over the red line. And there was laughter. Lots and lots of laughter.
Order was only restored when Billy “the Dog” McGraw, landlord of the Bollard and Head of Investigative Marketing and Spurious Things, announced that the bar would be closing earlier than its normal 3am if the meeting didn’t pull itself together this instant.
We obeyed of course, and eventually it was Doggerel Tired, one time popular singing artist and now resident resident at Untold, who wiped the tears of laughter away and explained.
“This press release comments on the fact that Blockthat Drain has supplied tables to the offies of Accrington Stanley, Manchester Teepee, West Ham Untidy, West Bromwich Wobbly and Cheslea.
“Cheslea?” I queried.
“What it says, boss,” said Doggerel. “It tells us the size of the building, the size of the tables, the covering on the tables, the use of the tables, the dimensions of the legs of the tables, the status of the chrome used in building the tables, the number of students who sit at the tables…. but it doesn’t anywhere tell us a single benefit that derives from having these tables.”
“Should a presentation press release and sales pitch include benefits?” asked Ima Newcomer timidly.
Doggerel calmed down further and spoke more reasonably. “Yes they should. They can deal with functionality, but you can’t get a story out of something as everyday as a table without somewhere mentioning the benefit that this particular table brings. It’s like trying to explain why some people persist in supporting Tottenham. It’s there, it happens, but you can’t explain it.
“So all this lovely printing about tables doesn’t tell us why we should buy them or why we should buy them from this company?” I asked.
“But that’s as bizarre as tipping West Ham for a top four finish,” I said and there were murmurings to suggest it probably was.
“But it mentions that the table top is of a special non-mark, easy wash material,” said Ima.
“That is still a feature,” declared Doggerel. “The benefit is that these tables cut the cleaning time in half. It is the same with stacking. People often say that claiming tables or chairs can be easily stacked is a benefit but it isn’t. The benefit comes from the fact that clearing the room takes half the normal time, and the space taken up with the stacked furniture is half the amount.”
“Benefit! Benefit!” shouted Repeat Datword, and he was gently escorted from the room.
I rose to the challenge. “What is the benefit of supporting Manchester City?” A silence fell.
“The benefit of supporting Liverpool?”
“One can remember the old days and pretend they never left,” said Billy.
“And the benefit of supporting Arsenal?”
“Good football, always coming near the top of the league, never struggling against relegation, sound financial strategy, brilliant stadium, winning many more than we lose…” the list was called from all quarters and went on and on.
So after four or five hours of listing the benefits of supporting Arsenal, ended another rumbustious night at the Bollard. As the last guest left I turned to Billy “the Dog” who was still mulling over the evening’s discussion. “When will they ever learn?” he asked.
I had no idea what he meant, but it is never a good idea to argue with Billy. Instead I nodded, and made my way home up dale and down hill, realising after a while that I had had too much to drink and was heading in the wrong direction.