Some social media stories on my mind- just four this week, that’s how it goes.
I don’t have much to say about the recent blogging slap-fight between Kami Huyse and Peter Shankman (except to say you’re beautiful people and I love you all, and Geoff Livingston too), but this post by Joe Hall at Marketing Pilgrim about a different spat, between WordPress Founder Matt Mullenweg and Thesis theme creator Chris Pearson, seems to hold some good advice for anybody looking to air a disagreement online. (Yes, I used a Lolcat for an illustration. Bite me).
Apple’s Arrogance is a Feature, Not a Flaw
I have long been a non-admirer of Apple’s communication tactics- bullying PR, arrogance, non-response, and the reliance on a cult of rabid fanboys to keep their brand image positive. Well, that and great products (nevertheless I switched from my MacBook Pro to my Asus Windows 7 PC to write this post to ward off electrocution or some other “accident”). I have also often said that Apple is a “Newton or 2 away” from having pent-up ill will kick them in the butt.
This communications arrogance was on display yet again last week, as the company addressed “antennagate” by simultaneously saying the iPhone 4 antenna problems were not problems, and offering free cases to solve the problem that’s not really a problem, but if it’s a problem, all other phones have that problem, and hey you’re holding the phone wrong dummy.
Favorite posts on the topic? An Apple-hating Shel Holtz (hyperbole perhaps Shel, but you did recently forswear Apple products) shows how Steve Jobs and Apple broke all the rules of crisis communications, and venture capitalist Jeffrey Bussgang wonders if Apple has “jumped the shark” already (I’m not sure it has hit yet, but I do contend that moment can exist).
Apple, you make wonderful products and I hope you continue to do so. But I continue to be appalled by your communications and PR strategy. Stop it.
Old Spice, blah blah blah
Even predating my tenure as a PR guy, I tended to be allergic to advertisements that featured cleverness over, well, selling the dang product (leading, of course, to my “law of inverse proportions as relating to beer ads vs beer quality- Sam Adams, may your ads always suck). Great “creative” in love with itself is still creative in love with itself. I have at least one colleague who may make the “will this campaign actually move product?” argument more eloquently than I can be bothered to, but if sales continue to go down after this clever set of ads, who gets fired?
No, I’m not inserting a video. We’ve all seen them.
Prezi Fever- Catch it!
We all know that PowerPoint in the wrong hands is an instrument of the Devil, but could the alternative tool, Prezi, spark Armageddon? So far I love what I have seen, from Andrew Davis of Tipping Point Labs, to Garr “Presentation Zen” Reynolds’ pointing out its use at a recent TED Talk by Kiran Bir Sethi. I’m interested in checking it out and though I won’t be able to make this tutorial that Davis is putting on, I expect we’ll see more of the tool before long, by presenters who can master the fluid presentation theatrics the tool offers. I hope to give it a go at some point, when I am ready.
(A Prezi example from Davis- I know I used it in a blog post recently, but it’s still pretty cool)