Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Bad PR 

It is difficult for a company to overcome an article like this.  The journalist received a Boosted Rev electric scooter to test and the hinge on the machine crushed his finger, cutting it open and breaking it.  This happened even before he had a chance to test it.  Boosted will need a good deal of positive publicity to overcome the gruesome details in the story and the photos.  The journalist is upset that the company sent him a pre-production model with some changed parts because the company is in a hurry to get positive reviews.  A mistake and a big one.  Marketing and PR should examine and test any machine sent for review.  Long ago when I was responsible for a small auto fleet, we put intense focus on making sure the cars were ready -- polished, clean,mechanically OK.  It made a difference in the reviews.  Boosted failed to do that, and it has reaped bad PR.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Dream On 

This article envisions what will happen on the moon in the next 50 years.  It is a dream that might have a smack of reality to it.  We know with 50 years of hindsight that going to the lunar surface is a hard and dangerous task.  Once we get there, the landscape is hostile and unfit for life.  Everything to support humans must be ferried in and resupplied.  To undertake continuous habitation would be an enormously expensive undertaking for any country, nations or corporations.  And, what return is there but research?  Exploiting the resources of the moon requires machinery, large scale installations that must be sent from earth.  That won't be easy or practical for a long time, if ever.  While it is fun to think about living on the moon, a continuous presence there won't be achievable for some time.  That makes articles like this space publicity and not PR.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

About Time 

Pearson, the British text book publisher, is going digital.  It's about time.  The cost of printed editions was a marketing and PR scandal.  In addition to a steep tuition, students have to lay out hundreds of dollars for books.  There is no good reason for it, and publishers should have gone digital years ago.  It is less expensive and more up to date.  One suspects they have held on to paper because that's where the money is, and why sacrifice profits for something better, faster and less expensive?  Pearson understood that high book prices drove students to the used and rental market.  Pearson gained nothing from a second-hand text.  Now it will win back some of that revenue with an affordable, electronic option.  Eventually all publishers will be 100% electronic.  It can't come too soon.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

When Will They Ever Learn? 

How many times do we have to write that in the internet age little stays secret for long?  Here is another example of an incautious politician's private emails being made public.  He should have known, but he thought he was protected.  There is little or no safeguard from leaks and hacking.  The rule is simple.  If there is anything you don't want to go viral, don't write it and don't say it.  Keep it to yourself.  Because if you do either of those two things, someone is likely to post it.  This precept applies especially to notable personalities, celebrities, people of power.  Someone is always trying to show them up and perhaps, bring them down.  There is no safety of a closed room anymore or of an encrypted message.  Obama learned the hard way when he made remarks about the poor in a closed door meeting in San Francisco.  Someone recorded it then posted his words.  It was a profound embarrassment.  The governor of Puerto Rico might lose his job over his emails.  Well he should.  He has been exposed as a hypocrite, and he was dumb.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


What happens when a retailer promotes a sale, creates a viral moment, heightens anticipation among millions of customers, then they can't buy because of a glitch?   This is the marketing/PR disaster that Amazon finds itself in with Prime Day.  For the second day in a row, customers have had problems with its web page.  They can't put things into their shopping cart.  As a result, Amazon is losing millions in sales, and it has upset tens of thousands of customers.  Is Prime Day worth the aggravation the company is causing?  Amazon needs to step back and evaluate its systems, why they are failing when demand surges and what it needs to do to make sure this doesn't happen for a third year in a row.  If Prime Day gains a reputation for being a phony sale,  Amazon will have lost far more than it gains from the promotion.  It's a rare misstep for the online giant but a serious one.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Smart Marketing And PR 

This is smart marketing and PR.  Even drivers with automatic toll payment in their cars would like to know what driving a road will cost.  In fact, they have more of an incentive than those who stop and pay a toll taker because automatic payments are deducted from one's account without a receipt.  Waze is launching the addition to its system in the US and Canada and will expand it elsewhere in the world in the months to come.  It is a good idea well executed.  

Friday, July 12, 2019

From Anywhere 

Criticisms can come from anywhere and become a crisis.  Consider this.  A conservative group is protesting a brief scene in Pixar's Toy Story 4 because they say it shows lesbians.  There is little indication in the movie that this is so, but they have read into the scene and say it isn't for young children.  Disney, Pixar's owner, will now need to defend the animation, especially if the charge becomes viral.  The film has already earned more than $650 million so Disney might not be too worried, but it is a reminder that nothing is safe in the internet age. 

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