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July 13, 2015

Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science | Volume 2 | SCI-NEWS 8

Tungsten hires publicist amid image overhaul

BERGARA, SPAIN – Desperate to re-ignite its appeal among scientists, the element Tungsten has reportedly hired the public relations firm It’s Elemental to help overhaul its image. Tired of its exceptional properties being overlooked by scientists and engineers, and fearful of the effects of the recent ban on incandescent light bulbs on tungsten consumption, tungsten felt that hiring a PR firm was necessary to become a competitive element in today’s fast-paced research environment. “It’s all about staying relevant and forming a strategy to be sustainable for the next 100 years,” said tungsten.

In a press conference, Thomas Davis, a spokesperson for It’s Elemental, divulged some of the strategies his company was pursuing to revitalize tungsten’s standing among the Elements. “I think that most people’s familiarity with tungsten is derived from light bulbs. But with those going away, we’re looking to promote some of the other products that tungsten is used in, such as jewelry, darts, and fishing lures,” said Davis.

According to Davis, many problems with tungsten relate to its position on the Periodic Table of the Elements. “It’s currently in a non-descript location in the middle of the Periodic Table. The first thing we’ll do is try to see if we can get it moved to a more desirable location, like a corner or, our best-case scenario, the top row,” said Davis. Davis added that he feels the relatively low ranking of tungsten (currently at #74) has also limited its opportunities. “Our goal is to get a rank or atomic number in the 50’s at the end of this year, and to get into the top 10 at the end of this decade.”

Tungsten’s etymological problems also have hampered its image. An alternative name for tungsten popular in many European countries is wolfram. In fact, tungsten’s symbol in the Periodic Table is “W” for wolframite, an important tungsten mineral. “Something definitely needs to be done about Tungsten’s name,” conceded Davis. “Two different names just end up confusing people. Remember the backlash when Netflix wanted to divide into Netflix and Qwikster? That’s what tungsten is living every day.”

Between tungsten and wolfram, Davis admits that wolfram is decidedly the better choice. “It just sounds cooler, so we think it will better resonate with a younger crowd,” said Davis about the naming. “I mean, you’ve got WolframAlpha, a popular computational website among the ‘science geeks’. Plus, there’s a bit of connotation with the dire wolves from Game of Thrones, which is really hot right now.”

In closing the press conference, Davis unveiled tungsten’s new slogan: "Some call it Tungsten, others call it Wolfram, we call it Remarkable!"




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