Press Release Into Trouble 7 March, 2011 at 12:00 pm

This is something I owned up to at a session Luke ran entitled Failure Swapshop. Read more about Failure Swapshop at http://www.socialtech.biz/blog/the-failure-swapshop.

It was 8 months into my employment, and along came April Fools Day. I hadn’t written for a while, and I decided it was a good opportunity to be creative. After overhearing some conversations (as I recall, two out of three quotes below are correct) I had an idea. I created a fake press release (included below), and just after midnight on the first of the month, created an anonymous e-mail account, and sent it to everyone in the company.

The next day, I go into the office, and check my e-mails. Sure enough, my e-mail is sitting there. You could tell when someone had read the e-mail, because there was a bit of giggling, followed by a nasty silence. The next e-mail after my press release was from the Canadian director who was screaming that no notice should be taken of the e-mail. Shortly after, there’s another e-mail from the same director after he’d realised it was April Fools Day, saying that it is still unacceptable.

This was followed by an e-mail from the CEO, sounding rather annoyed. Also, a very strongly worded e-mail in my anonymous inbox from the CEO.

I eventually went to the CEO very sheepishly and owned up.

What I learnt from this was:

Don’t try to be funny!

At least, that’s the lesson I should have learnt.

Here’s the offending Press Release:

We are proud to announce the latest in our distributed systems, new technology that will do away with the cumbersome wires that have plagued the field since it began.

With installations already in place in some of the top companies, this technology has proved itself as a low-cost low-maintenance solution that maintains a reliable status that can survive unprecedented shock. Also, all systems have the ability to withstand power outages.

These breakthrough systems utilise the latest in Hope based technology, meaning the draw from mains outlets is reduced in exchange for pure willpower.

This willpower system has already brought in several contracts for the company and has proved to be especially potent in Ireland where hope is abundant. Here there have been many studies into the increased strength of Guinness fuelled Hope.

The most successful implementations have been during these studies and was found to be a combination of Guinness and optimism that provides the most hope to drive the system.

The initial idea to try out these systems came from Mr Puller when he found several clients hadn’t switched on the servers provided for part of the previous deployments. He is reported to have said “What’s the point of rushing to get a system out the door if they don’t even switch it on?”

He then deduced an empty box would work just as well, And then the first Hope based system was born.

Mr Hay also commented “They can have it Pink with Yellow spots if they want”

Which just shows the customer orientated approach we have have taken on this product.

Even the installation procedure has been optimised with the customer in mind. Simply put the box supplied in the server room (or anywhere suitable) and hope it will work on the screens you desire.

If there’s any problems with the picture, then more Hope is all that’s required.

When developing this product, the development team found there was a lot of hope being wasted in offices and hotels.

“People are always hoping for things they won’t get, so why not amalgamate all that hope for a common cause” says an one of the lead developers.

With this logic, the system can be driven by existing employees redirecting their Hope from futile desires to a common cause.

The only limitations that have been found with the system is that it has been noted that redirecting this hope can cause various Microsoft products, and temperamental printers to stop working, we would like to assure customers, that any problems outside of the our system, is in fact, your problem.

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