So while I'm keeping one eye on an ESPN online gamecast showing Boston College vs. Miami in an ACC quarterfinal matchup, I receive what we believe is the first of what we are certain will be many press releases warning of the pending business apocalypse that is the NCAA men's basketball tournament, better known as March Madness.
(Miami 43, BC 42 with just under 12 minutes left.)
The PR pitch begins as all of these PR pitches begin:
With March Madness starting next week, the tournament has the potential to sink workplace productivity, according to (my client, who can prevent that from happening to your readers). Below is a news release from (my client), a web filtering company, that includes tips from (my client's CEO) about how businesses can prevent a surge of online gambling at work.
Please let me know if you would like to speak with (the CEO) about this topic.
(Miami 45, BC 44 with 11:15 left.)
From the press release:
Between keeping up with March Madness brackets, betting pools, fantasy football, and even more detrimental online gambling sites, can businesses get a fair shot from employees working - and playing - online during work hours?
"Not when you consider that most online searches and personal Web use occurs during business, not personal, hours," contends (a company executive). "And given that, according to BusinessWeek, some 10-15 million Americans use the Internet for online gambling, you can guess the extent of the problem during major events like March Madness."
(Miami 48, BC 44 with 10:03 to go.)
Every year these press releases flood our inboxes like college students storming the court after an upset victory for the home team. And every year they pound home the same full court press: Buy our products and services or watch your business dribble down the drain.
(Miami 48, BC 47 with 7:44 remaining on the clock.)
Personally, I think these warnings are way overblown.
(Miami 50, BC 50. Go Eagles! ... Down to 4:56)
Responsible workers can be plenty productive, even during March Madness.
(Miami 55, BC 55 with 3:01 to go. A nail-biter.)
Trust your employees. Let them have a little fun. And you'll reap the rewards, not just in terms of greater productivity, but on the bottom line.
(Miami 57, BC 55 ... 2:07.)
That's all. I've got to find a TV.
(Update: Miami pulled away at the end, beating BC by a final score of 69-58. Go Harvard!)
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