Archive for January, 2010
My oh my. I have years of experience launching consumer technology products, but what David Pogue accused Barnes & Noble PR and marketing teams regarding the true weight of the Nook e-reader clearly shows why many PR and marketing folks are loathe by the press.
From experience, I base all the information I write on press releases and pitches that I feed reporters from the spec sheets provided by my client. As PR pros, we have the challenging task of finding the unique selling proposition of every new model or version of product that comes out. I never ask my client whether the spec sheet has accurate information or not. And we shouldn’t! So I don’t blame the Barnes & Noble PR team for not knowing the accurate weight until David Pogue called them on it because just like Pogue, these PR folks are referencing a spec sheet from a client that we accept at face value.
What irks me (and hopefully other PR pros like me that have an ounce of integrity left ) is the PR team’s reaction for being called out about the error whether it was intentional or not. I absolutely agree with Pogue that the reply from the Barnes & Noble’s spokesperson was a complete attempt to spin the issue in their favor. The statement provided looked to me as a canned response from a crisis communications playbook that was created in the early 90′s. When will PR pros learn that those days are gone? Stop the spinning and be truthful about your error? When making a mistake, apologize and make things right. This is the age of social media and what you say and do will live online forever.
Another lesson that PR pros must remember and never overlook here is that reporters (and in this case, their daughters) have inquisitive minds.
Trust me, the truth shall set you back, but it will also set you free.