Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Having the Best Product Doesn't Necessarily Mean You'll Win

By Joanna Kulesa
The other day I ran into someone who told me about a friend whose business was recently written up in the Wall Street Journal. I guess because I work in Silicon Valley, I assumed the business was high-tech, but it instead turned out to be a winery, Cameron Hughes. I happen to be a wine lover, and a subscriber to their mailing list, so when I got back to my computer I looked up their most recent newsletter.

It contained these quotes: "Thanks to our recent feature article in the WSJ, we’ve been overwhelmed with new fans...Meanwhile, please forgive us if you can’t find some of your favorite wines. The response to the WSJ article [link] was beyond our wildest expectations and many of our wines have sold out! Every last bottle!"

I don't know how the write-up in the Journal came about, but it was obviously worth its weight in gold. And, while Cameron Hughes has some good wines, there are other amazing vintages out there. This made me reflect on the value our agency and well executed public relations brings to clients. No matter how revolutionary your product is, no matter its quality, if the world doesn't know about it, you don’t get asked to the table, get short-listed, and get to that rock-star status. One well-placed article can lift an entire business into the clouds. Let's drink to that.
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Colorful Ghosts Invading Your Living Room

By Dave Struzzi
If recent box office sales are any indication, everything 3D is hip again. We’ve come a long way from those cheesy red-and-blue (and headache-inducing) glasses.

Aside from blockbuster movies, the rebirth of 3D technology is touching other industries as well. At this year’s big video game show called the Electronic Entertainment Expo, both Sony and Nintendo will be dipping their toes into 3D gaming. With the recent introduction of 3D capable television sets to store shelves, Sony is expected to unveil games that take advantage of those sets. Imagine for a second those colorful Pacman ghosts—Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde—seemingly floating into your living room in pursuit of the insatiable protagonist. Nintendo is going a more unique route with the introduction of a portable 3D gaming unit called the 3DS, a product that doesn’t even need fancy glasses to see a 3D image.

I think 3D technology in general is going to have an interesting public relations dilemma in the near future. Mainly, how in the world do you promote something worldwide that can only be viewed in-person? You can’t view a demo video of it online and you certainly can’t experience it by looking at pictures in a magazine. You could get a sneak peek at your local electronics retailer, but who wants to wear 3D glasses that have been worn by hundreds of people already?

On the other hand, perhaps the curiosity of the consumers for next big 3D technology will allow it to become the ultimate virally-promoted product, where word-of-mouth and “buzz” reign king. The 3D product manufacturers would be wise to get their technology “live” in front of as many users as possible and letting the “oohs” and “ahhs” on Twitter and Facebook move quicker than a ghost chasing Pacman.
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