When I was in high school, my mom got a letter saying that I was included in some who’s who list of high school students. She was so proud! Mom went all out and purchased an expanded profile and extra copies of the book. Moms are good like that!
However, even back in high school, I was a bit suspicious. I mean, yes, I was a good student, but good enough to be included in a book?!? It seemed like a scam. However, try telling that to a proud mother. She wouldn’t hear of it.
Of course, moms are not the only ones that buy into the ego-driven lists that infiltrate our e-mail inboxes. Who’s Who of Architects, Best Darn Attorneys in the Country, Wonderful PR People That You Should Know, etc. These types of lists are spammed across the Internet, hoping that someone will just be honored enough to purchase a book or an expanded profile and maybe even a plaque!
The problem is, while a nice keepsake, these books are typically not the business development drivers they claim to be. Don’t get me wrong. There are lists that live up to their claims. You just need to make sure that you do your research before putting time, effort and money into such a listing.
A quick way to determine if a listing or honor is legitimate is do a quick search on the Internet. There are a number of sites filled with comments of others’ experiences that will allow you to judge the listing. Also, be sure to find the hidden costs. Something that claims to be free is almost never free . . . Lastly, forward the solicitation on to your marketing and PR department, they may just surprise you by responding back that they nominated you for an award based on your stellar service. If that’s the case, make sure to tell mom, she will be proud!
– Chuck Brown