I love a good inside joke. The kind where you can have a quiet chuckle because only YOU get it.
My dad, a fulltime freelance writer. would often work on anthologies. Occasionally, he might be one writer short to contribute a chapter. In those cases, he might write that piece under a pen name. A perfectly acceptable practice in the field. My favorite pen name dad used was “Chester Butterworth.” It gives you a visual that “Martin Ebon,” his real name, does not provide. The joke for me was that reviewers or other writers would occasionally quote Butterworth. Very funny stuff.
Having a quiet chuckle is fine. Believing your own B.S., and promoting it, is another thing, entirely.
Recently, there has been growth in the number of phony awards recognition. These ersatz awards don’t pass the smell test. They are fraudulent in multiple ways.
During my 2-year tenure as NACE National Membership VP, we completely transformed the application and judging process for industry awards. The first challenge was to completely renovate the submission process, making certain subjectivity in judging would be minimized. Documentation was defined, clearly. It now takes time and effort to submit for an award, but the end result is fair, even-handed judging, and industry awards that truly mean something.
The other day, I received a solicitation from the selection committee of the U.S. Local Business Association acknowledging me for an award. Part of the verbiage read, as follows:
The USLBA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.
This is unadulterated nonsense. For the price of $80 or $100, I can buy business a plaque touting non-existent achievement, judged by a non-existent selection committee. It’s quite a scam. I’m sure they sell a lot of plaques, though.
The only weaker move would be to actually buy one of these plaques and promote them as reality. It would be the phoniest of all self-promotion. Yet, I see companies hanging these in their office, and placing plaque images on their websites.
So, I’m calling SHENANIGANS on these companies. If you see a wedding industry business promoting phony award recognition on their website, I’m deputizing you to needle them, directly.
This is bogus and any other similar hype should be called out for what it is: PROPAGANDA.
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