Self-serving research published with the sole aim of flogging wares is a fairly standard PR tactic. But every now and then something so artfully shameless pops up it transcends the genre. Step forward, PHMG.
The company, which designs audio-branded call handling for businesses, has an important message for IT firms. After conducting a "major new study into telephone practice" it has found their call-handing muzak... wanting.
Rather than further pissing off customers on hold by blasting them with corporate messaging, IT firms are instead playing generic music down the phone. The horror!
PHMG's study involved an "audit" of 127 companies (in other words ringing them up) and found that 65 per cent of IT firms still leave customers listening to nothing but generic music, while 14 per cent subject callers to beeps, 9 per cent leave them in silence and 3 per cent just ring at them.
But don't laugh. According to Mark Williamson, sales and marketing director at PHMG, this is serious stuff.
"The trends over the past three years suggest IT firms believe generic music is enough to keep callers entertained but this can actually have the opposite effect," he cautions.
"An existing, generic piece of music should not be repurposed to convey a message it was never intended to, as its characteristics may not match those of the company."
Can you imagine if a generic piece of music being inexpertly applied to a company's brand image, such as, say, Michael Bolton's Can I Touch You... There? The consequences could be disastrous.
"Hearing is one of our most powerful emotional senses so the sounds customers hear when they call a business will create a long-lasting impression," added Williamson. "Every element of a music track, whether tempo, pitch or instrumentation, will stir different emotions so traders should ensure they convey the appropriate brand image."
If only there were such a company proficient in "expertly blending creative copy, world-class voice artistry and brand-matched music".
Don't call us, PHMG. We'll call you... ®