Posts tagged ‘Media Relations’

What Apple’s Maps Experience Teaches

The introduction of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 went relatively well, with one notable exception – many people are up in arms about the quality of Apple’s new maps software. Withering criticism has been heaped upon the company. Here is the New York TimesDavid Pogue. Here is The Wall Street Journal’s and All Things D’s Walt Mossberg. You know it is bad when a Tumblr blog has been created lampooning your software’s shortcomings. Yikes.

What does a company do in the face of such a maelstrom?

We previously chronicled Netflix’s botched rollout of a separate DVD-only service called “Quikster.”  However, Apple’s move is different in that they can’t just create a system update that reverts back to Google Maps – which previously came pre-loaded on iPhones and iPads. Doing so would: a) defeat the business rationale for creating a maps app; b) admit that a competitor is flat-out better than they are at something; and c) provide Google with leverage – should they even allow such a move – to force Apple either into an exclusivity pact or to provide additional concessions.

Still, Apple’s maps stink.

Today CEO Tim Cook admitted that the company blew it. He even apologized, saying he is “extremely sorry.” This is from an AP article:

“While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.”

It is a bold move for a company to mention, let alone outright endorse, competitors. However, as a PR move, this may prove extremely shrewd. Apple’s famously loyal customer base may appreciate Cook’s honesty and give the company some time to get this app right.

A key lesson, and one that applies to professional services companies as well, is that if you truly have botched something – oftentimes honesty is, as the cliché goes, the best policy. One of the worst things a company can do is stand their ground and remain tone deaf to their customers as they get pummeled by criticism.

These words can go a long way in preserving relationships:

We are truly sorry. We will fix the issue. In the meantime, here is what we can do for you.

Michael Bond

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September 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm 1 comment

Now, More Than Ever, Messaging is Crucial

Last week a few interesting things happened. First, on Monday the New York Times published a column from media critic David Carr highlighting the issues surrounding sources being given the opportunity by journalists to “approve” quotes. Then, on Wednesday, the Internet Archive launched “TV News Search & Borrow,” compiling thousands of hours of TV news in a searchable database available to the public. And on Thursday, the New York Times, after Carr’s column ignited a spirited conversation, announced that reporters were no longer going to allow sources to review and approve quotes.

How does all of this relate to professional services companies? Well, primarily these developments underscore – in triple-underlined, bold ink – the importance of crafting, understanding and conveying intended messaging.

Taking the time to speak with marketing and public relations professionals who understand both your company and how the media operates is critical when it comes to communicating publicly. Choosing the right words and the right points to emphasize can make all the difference. Media training can also help one role play what to say when asked a potentially troublesome question.

Speaking on point is mutually beneficial to a company and the media. Members of the media are generally looking for concise and precise commentary. If you can provide this, working within the framework of agreed upon messaging, you will benefit both your organization and are more likely to be quoted – favorably – in an article. You are also more likely to be added to a reporter’s “go-to” contact list.

Now, more than ever, it is important to say the right thing in the right way the first time.

— Michael Bond

September 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm Leave a comment

For Press Releases: Stick to the Facts

Writing good press releases is not as simple as it would seem. The right words in the right place can make an enormous difference, as can a good message-focused quote versus a stock, throwaway one.

Continue Reading July 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm Leave a comment

Protect Your Brand – Use Caution When Jumping on the Royal Wedding Media Bandwagon

Remember, the point of conducting a public relations campaign is to reinforce your brand. For example, how does a press release announcing a new law firm partner serve the brand when it appears on a Royal Wedding News website? Better examples include law firms focusing on pre-nuptial agreements, issues for workers on a national holiday and the licensing of wedding merchandise.

Continue Reading April 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm Leave a comment


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