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Are You Superstitious?

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26. March 2014

 

I recently contacted a molding company to ask if I could visit to profile the company for one of our “On-Site” features about processors with successful business models that allow them to thrive in today’s ultra-competitive global marketplace. The manager I spoke to sounded a bit doubtful. He frankly avowed that he was “superstitious,” because other processors he had read about who received the “front-page treatment” had promptly gone downhill soon after publication.

It’s hard to argue against superstition, which is, by definition, attributing a causal connection to events that may appear to be related, when reason and logic affirm otherwise. I thought about what the gentleman said, and I could recall one or two cases in nearly 42 years of writing such in-plant stories. There was the time, decades ago, when I profiled a forward-looking molder and later found out that several of the executives I had interviewed subsequently left the company. I was told some of them had used my article as a resume.

I don’t give myself credit for magical powers to do good or ill. In truth, the vast majority of the companies I’ve interviewed have told me that the stories garnered them positive attention and even fresh inquiries. Quite a few have asked for extra copies or reprints of the issue to send to current or potential customers. Most of the firms I’ve interviewed in recent years are still going strong.

Do you have any concrete knowledge of whether the “front-page treatment” had either good or bad effects on a processing company? If so, add a comment to this post. I’d love to hear some examples grounded on fact, not a sixth sense.

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