CNET just released a slideshow of the decades 25 biggest tech flops.
While HD DVD made the list since Blu-ray is now industry standard, I am not entirely convinced that Blu-ray is here to stay. A recent Harris Poll report indicated that consumers were uninterested in adopting Blu-ray Disc. However, a report earlier this week cited that consumer spending on Blu-ray discs was up by 91 percent, to $407 million. It will be interesting to see if Blu-ray is still around come 2019.
For any PR professionals out there who have helped launch a tech product, what are some lessons learned to avoid having a product on this list?
The New York Times article on PR and the Michael Arrington response have been a must read among PR people. I find Richard Edelman’s post the one that most clearly identifies some of the misconceptions our profession battles with.
One additional thought I’d add is that many people in Silicon Valley and in the social media space believe PR is one-dimensional: they define it as media relations. PR is not a “one-hit wonder”. It does not stand for “press release”. We build brands, enhance and protect the reputation of our clients and are here to stay. To use a music analogy, we are the Bruce Springsteen of the communications world. Not Right Said Fred.
Savvis has expanded its relationship with Ogilvy PR for global communications support, expanding a U.S. market relationship in place since October 2007.
I can’t help but shed some more light on a very interesting article on the cover of the Business section of the NY Times this Sunday titled, “Spinning the Web: PR in Silicon Valley.”
Although it provides a good broad-brush overview of some of the social media work PR practitioners are engaging in, the story is much more about a particular PR professional who is very well connected in the Valley.
Brooke Hammerling is not only noted as a good publicist for her start-up clients, but as someone who is well connected to the tech industry’s elite cognescenti, she does some business development as well. Because of her expansive rolodex of contacts, she can make the right introductions to the right dealmakers on behalf of her clients.
By now, a somewhat loosely defined influencer relations program is part of what most PR firms can offer - but biz dev is a very different beast altogether.
While PR agencies may never truly deliver business development as a distinct offering, a lesson learned here is that all agencies have their own ecosystem of contacts.
Connecting them and proactively making the right introductions within their own ecosystem can be a huge value-add and build customer loyalty.
There is a new web application that we have been using within our Digital Influence practice that I believe can be beneficial when beginning just about any initiative. It’s called “Tag Crowd” (http://tagcrowd.com/) and essentially, it allows you to make your own tag cloud from content that you either upload or copy and paste. You can also add in a URL and they will create a visual tag cloud of the word frequency contained in that entire site.
So how would this tool be useful in a PR setting?
For those of us who spend countless hours a day in front of a computer screen, chances are, we’ve spent some portion of that day on video sharing sites such as YouTube, Blip.TV or AOL Video. According to the web analytics site, Compete.com, YouTube alone had over 76 million unique visitors to the site in May 2009 alone.
With millions of people watching hundreds of millions of videos per day and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily-ten hours of video is uploaded every minute according to YouTube-the task of guiding users to your video content, can be quite a challenge!
In June, I provided tips for “Implementing Video in Your PR Campaigns,” and discussed “Best Practices for Creating Video Content.” But once you have begun creating video content and posting to video sharing sites, how can you ensure that your videos will ever be viewed?
Right about now, the Global Financial Crisis has probably hit most companies marketing budgets, with CEO’s tightening the belt on expenses as their revenue lines come down. Prudently these chief executives seek to bring costs into line with revenues.
A study by the Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks company, found ‘82% of companies have reallocated their planned marketing spend for 2009 to varying degrees on account of the recession.’
The Aberdeen analyst continues with what would seem to be the bleeding obvious: ‘Companies need to ensure that they’re allocating their limited marketing funds in the most productive ways possible … In other cases, companies are actually investing more aggressively in various types of marketing programs, sensing an opportunity to capitalize on the grim economic headlines.’
So for PR managers across the globe this means that marketers are probably beating a direct path to their doorstep looking to leverage ‘free PR’ to augment their dwindling demand generation dollars. This is good news.
It’s good because like the Marines, PR comes to the rescue and to the forefront of marketers’ consciousness. It’s good because PR executed and managed correctly can do enormous good for awareness, consideration and preference. And finally it’s good because social media is the next black and PR as a discipline is primed and ready to take to this new vehicle with a vengeance.
Smart PR managers will be evaluating and prioritizing their core dollars and then looking to see how they can maximize and deliver results on the incremental dollars that some of the marketing folks will bring to the table. The even smarter ones will start to factor into their PR programs effectiveness metrics and will be able to provide a correlation between the campaign or program spend and execution and whatever pre-determined measures were agreed with the marketing folks. That then provides clear accountability and enables PR to talk the marketing talk and walk it at the same time.
Unlike traditional media, social media metrics provide a fantastic opportunity to highlight PR ROI, if done correctly. Linking back a PR-specific program to traffic, or eyeballs or community conversations can be easier (and cheaper) than the more traditional qual and quant analyses of print and broadcast media. There are powerful online tools that allow you to do this and even automate the reporting.
All in all, now is a great time to be in PR.
There are many differing opinions on the value of citizen journalists, and often they can be negative. But no matter what your own personal opinion may be, I think we all have to agree there is a place for it. The recent Mumbai terrorist attacks, the Hudson plane crash or the events that have unfolded in Tehran are all good examples.
In an interesting move, TechCrunch has just reported that You Tube launched a new channel called Reporters’ Center over the weekend. The goal is to educate us on how to be better citizen journalists. A number of journalists and media experts will share instructional videos with tips and advice for better reporting. Media training is a better way of describing it.
It also shows that real journalists DO embrace citizen journalists, which is great to see. I know from comments here in Australia, a lot of journalists have been very negative. Their reasons vary, but largely it’s either because they feel threatened, or they just like to bag the quality of it. On the latter, they often have a case, but really there is no real threat here. There is always a place for quality journalism and I think citizen journalists now provide a new source for stories, with several major events breaking first from video or a tweet.
I think this will be a great training resource, and if it means the quality of citizen journalism will improve, that has to be a good thing right?
I guess there will be some journalist’s that will still trash it, but if they do, at least they now have a chance to improve it. Like Katie and Bob, they can simply jump in front of a camera and share their tips with the rest of us. We shall see.
I moved to the DC area from New York almost five years ago. I’ve taken the Washington Metro almost daily since then. Like most who’ve been paying attention to the news I’ve been deeply saddened by the accident and the horrible loss of life on the metro earlier this week. I’ve also been disappointed, though hardly surprised, by the actions of the metro system leading up to, and in the aftermath of the accident.
What do I mean by this? Reports indicate that the train cars involved were overdue for service and that the NTSB had recommended - years ago - that the type of car involved in the accident be put out of service. After the accident commuters expressed frustration at the Metro’s inability to update them with accurate information. The communication issue isn’t reserved for the Metro system, according to this article in the Washington Post the mayor’s office is coming in for some criticism as well.
The problem at the heart of all this isn’t that Metro employees aren’t doing their jobs, it’s that the system doesn’t have the money, or the operating structure to conduct long term planning and replace aging equipment.
I’m convinced - and have been for some time - that the reason for this stems, in large part, from inadequate communications.
For the past five years I’ve ridden the metro because it’s safer, more cost effective and more efficient than my only other option: driving. I’m what you might describe as a loyal customer. I have a stake in the system.
But every single day I see equipment out of order that goes unexplained or experience delays or random stops and starts that are given a perfunctory and wholly inadequate explanation. On more than one occasion, when the system does post a sign explaining maintenance, I’ve seen the end-date for the maintenance pushed back with no reason given for the obvious lack of progress. It goes without saying that there is no meaningful attempt at rider engagement.
This bothers me. Not because I’m left uniformed but because I want a metro system that doesn’t have budgetary or long term planning problems and because the system doesn’t appear to make any attempt to engage and activate me (and others) to help make that a reality.
In any endeavor, but especially those involving the general public, solutions stem from building a constituency, getting people invested in rectifying a problem, rallying them to take some sort of action.
Accomplishing this takes understanding your constituency; it involves giving them the information they need to be your best and most committed evangelists; it requires being agile and flexible enough to communicate with them on their own terms and through their preferred channels; it necessitates qualities of transparency and empathy, speed and clarity.
It takes a serious approach to listening and talking. It takes a communicator.
The Washington Metro has established a relief fund for the victims but I’m not sure if it’s taking outside contributions. It’s always a good idea to donate to your local Red Cross chapter, however.
Media Relations Myths