Posts Tagged ‘RMI’

The Apple-Gizmodo Affair…Publicity Stunt or Accident?

April 29, 2010

Having been in the high-tech marketing and public relations industry for decades and as president of MarkeTech, I find it hard to believe that this Apple-Gizmodo affair was an “accident.” An Apple employee inadvertently leaves the next-gen iPhone prototype in a bar. Really? Someone picks it up and just happens to sell it to Gizmodo for $5,000. Are you serious? From where I sit, this looks more like a brilliant publicity stunt and calculated press leak to build anticipation.

As a former principal at Regis McKenna, Inc. (RMI), the firm that launched Apple, I can tell you that every move, every message, the timing and substance of communications with press and analysts, were always carefully choreographed by Apple down to the last detail. Nothing was leaked “accidentally.” RMI employees couldn’t even share information with other in-house personnel who were not on the Apple account.

While at RMI, my team had wrapped up a marathon session on Motorola’s launch of the industry’s first wireless LAN. My team and I, along with a group of Motorola engineers, dashed to O’Hare airport. Two days later Motorola called. Which one of us had left confidential

Breakfast at Business Wire

April 13, 2010


The PRSuperSnoop recently sat in on yet another gathering of journalist-speakers. Sponsored by Business Wire, these breakfast clan gatherings are rarely newsworthy events. This time there was something of note that impacts both the marcom industry and its clients.

Simply put, the first item is that the press release is really, really dead! The PRsnoop’s added emphasis is for those who didn’t pay attention to “Regis Himself.” Back in the early ‘80s, he declared the press release dead, then totally revamped his firm to focus on market relations. (Regis McKenna was the marketing/PR guru whose RMI firm almost single-handedly created Silicon Valley). At the Business Wire breakfast, several key editors and journalists re-affirmed Regis’ proclamation, by acknowledging that press releases “often [make that usually] go unread.”

Second, when asked how these newspaper and periodical writers filter their story leads, the response was that decisions about the value of a potential story is determined by the blogosphere. “If the bloggers are writing about it, we go with it too.”

Shocking! The PRSuperSnoop was startled. Not about the press release being DOA at any journalist’s desk, but that these professionals no longer wanted a “scoop.” This de-positioning of newsroom editors and journalists to playing second fiddle to bloggers has implications for PR firms engaging in traditional press relations. The new paradigm is apparently chase and pitch storylines to bloggers, instead of to the good old boys in the press corp.

As to the prosaic press release, the PRSuperSnoop suggests you “just say NO” to those clients that are still hopelessly addicted to them.

The PRSuperSnoop is fully aware that Business Wire makes its money distributing those old fashioned releases. Sorry about that!

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