Posts Tagged ‘Blackberry’

One problem with Internet publishing

Monday, March 16th, 2009

I am a huge proponent of Internet publishing – obviously. I’ve built an entire business around creating online media sites and supporting publishing companies with software that facilitates and improves the publishing process. But there is a problem with Internet publishing that many people have referenced in the past, but came to light for me last week with a first-hand experience.

left sign pointing rightI was working on an article for The Industry StandardWhen will BlackBerry App World launch? And I found a lot of reports from various media organizations, including Gizmodo, that the App World store was set to launch on March 4. It didn’t. So then I was looking everywhere for the reports that the store launch was delayed, trying to find out what happened to RIM to delay the launch.

But I didn’t find any stories about the App World delays.

So that oddity caused me to send a quick note off to a BlackBerry PR rep to ask her about the March 4 launch date. Her response:

“RIM announced the official name of the application storefront – BlackBerry App World – on March 4th. The company did not set March 4th as a launch date. I did see some articles that mistakenly said the store was announced on the 4th, but that was just the date the official name was released xanax bars (the storefront was actually first announced in fall 2008). BlackBerry App World is on track to launch within the next month.”

I sent the note and heard back from the rep about 1.5 hours later. Easy. But this experience brought home the point that Fred Wilson made on March 4 (ironically) about talking to the source to get a story right. It is so easy to send a quick note to a company or an individual to check on the facts of a story before publishing, but it’s easier to NOT send that note. Trust me – I’m as guilty of this as the next guy. I just happened to notice a discrepancy when I was researching the story; otherwise it’s doubtful that I would have sent that note to the PR rep at all.

This is definitely a problem with online publishing. Not that one publication could make a mistake – that happens in print publishing, too. But that one publication makes a mistake, which is then picked up over, and over, and over again by various online media outlets without anyone ever checking the facts.

The solution to this problem is the readers. It will be up to all of us to determine the reliable publications, and support them by reading the ones that are good, and not the others.

Photo by srslyguy

The power of the celebrity endorsement

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

There is no empirical evidence proving that Barack Obama’s love of his BlackBerry accelerated sales of the Research In Motion (RIM) smartphone in the fourth quarter of 2008. But stunningly high sales of the gadget are so coincidentally timed around the news of the president’s refusal to give up his BlackBerry; they seem hardly a coincidence at all.

I dig into this issue a bit more in today’s article on The Industry StandardiPhone vs. BlackBerry: For once, Apple might lose a popularity contest.

Cameron DiazBut the larger discussion of celebrity endorsements as a marketing strategy for product sales is an interesting one. Companies have been hiring celebrities for years to be the face of their products, to often remarkable results. And research shows that there is usually a benefit to companies that hire a celebrity to endorse their products.

According to a report that explores the relationship between celebrity endorser effects and advertising effectiveness, the key factors for a positive celebrity endorsement are:

1. Celebrity Performance
2. Negative Information
3. Celebrity Credibility
4. Celebrity Expertise
5. Celebrity Trustworthiness
6. Celebrity Attractiveness
7. Celebrity Familiarity
8. Celebrity Likeability
9. Celebrity/Product Fit

If the keys to a celebrity endorsement’s success lie in these factors, it would seem that a celebrity that has these factors, uses a product in “real life,” and is a fit would be a homerun for a company. Someone like President Obama, who currently has incredibly high ratings in all these areas – and is a perfect fit for the professional BlackBerry user profile – is a major win for the company.

But how can companies harness that publicity and put it to work for their products? How can BlackBerry take advantage of Obama’s support? How can Prius use Cameron Diaz everyday driving of their car to their benefit? How can Baby Bjorn take advantage of star power mom Angelina Jolie’s use of their product as she travels with her six kids to Japan?

 Jolie Pitt Family

Taking advantage of the power of these types of everyday celebrity endorsements will be an interesting challenge for companies as they wade through the legal issues involved. Perhaps the best hope is in spreading images and information virally, and hoping that the media catches onto the story.

Cameron Diaz photo from sheksays
Jolie photo from ChinaDaily