If a shark jumps in the forest, is there a splash?

August 11, 2010 by Dave Haynes

Let me state right up front that I have absolutely nothing against the Noventri folks. Never met them. They’ve never upset me. Never been burned by their product. Nothing.

But I keep writing about them because they issue the goofiest PR …

They jumped the shark by building Madonna into a release about a snack counter screen at an arena. Then they issued a screwball “off-white paper” that spelled out the ills of the sector and set up how their new product was the answer.

Now we have word that the company’s contributions helped restore a Florida forest. The headline: Digital Signage and Reforestation – An Unlikely Partnership Plays Key Role in the Reforestation of Florida State Forest

It is, without a doubt, a nice gesture that Noventri plants a tree for each media player that it sells – and the money was directed to 37,736-acre John M. Bethea State Forest. However, the reforestation work needed after bad wildfires last year is the planting of some 571,000 slash and longleaf pine seedlings on 840 acres of that area.

So … unless Noventri is having a better sales year than the rest of the industry combined, and then maybe cube that, it would be just a wee bit of a reach to describe the contribution as a key role.

It’s almost like those instructions you get for putting stuff together. You tighten something up by hand, and then the manual says use a wrench for another half-turn (AND NO MORE!!!) The “key role” thing – used twice, I’ll note – just torqued things a few extra turns and turned a nice story into another PR exercise that will have industry people smirking and shaking their heads.

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