Just finished Steve Jobs official biography by Walter Isaacson. I’m really glad I invested the time into learning more about this amazing individual — someone who has made a huge impact on computing, music, movies… Fascinating stuff.
It was interesting to read how Jobs approached public relations. He threw out the playbook in certain areas — and followed closely in others.
For example, after hearing different opinions from PR veterans on how to handle widely reported problems with a new version of the iPhone, he decided against those who wanted him to apologize. He instead listened to a PR pro who counseled him to be factual — share data about industry cell phone standards, showing all phones have similar issues — and not sound a contrite tone. They felt an apologetic Jobs wouldn’t sound genuine. So he offered no apology, but did offer refunds for those who wanted to turn in their phones. The return rate ended up below industry standards, and the phone went on to be a top seller.
On the other hand, he followed a more traditional path — getting front-page coverage in top publications by brokering exclusive interviews with trusted journalists — when doing product launches. He knew how the media worked, and built on mutually beneficial relationships to achieve his objectives.
The bottom line for me, was the confirmation that PR is both art and science. There’s no cookie cutter approach. You’ve got to consider the individuals involved, the culture of the organization, the product/service, the market… Many factors.
Would be curious of what you thought about the book, from a PR or marketing angle.
Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage
Within hours of getting my Kindle Fire (on the first day of availability!), I had downloaded an excellent new book by David Meerman Scott called Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas Into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage. I read it in two days.
Scott offered me a peak into the playbook of PR pros who have capitalized on real-time communication to score big media coverage. It got my mind going about the tremendous opportunity for us to shine the media spotlight on our clients, their products and services.
“In a 27/7/365, second-by-second news environment, savvy operators realize there are new ways to generate media attention,” Scott writes. “…Newsjacking favors quick, observant, and skilled communicators.”
He shared example after example of PR pros who jumped into the news cycle early and came up with angles that got their clients widespread coverage. For example, a high-end sunglasses company got coverage valued at $41 million by giving glasses to Chilean miners as they emerged from 69 days being trapped in a mine. In the political world, Rick Perry newsjacked the Iowa Straw Poll by announcing his candidacy the day of the poll. Bloggers wrote about controversial topics as stories were breaking and put a link to their posts in the comments sections of online articles — and found their comments inserted into followup coverage…
Scott spelled out this technique:
“(1) When something breaks in the news, journalists the world over scramble to put out a news flash within minutes. For local stories and industry-specific news, the same process happens but on a much smaller scale.
“(2) Next, journalists have to update the story, fleshing it out with details and context, so they scour the web for anything that might give them a second paragraph. They turn to Google and Twitter to see who might have something interesting to add. Often they are near-desperate and willing to snap at whatever relevant bait you can provide.
“(3) Your job is to instantly spot an angle and get it online — via your blog, Twitter, or media alert — as fast as you can. You need to be clever and quick. You need to operate in real time.”
Scott gives tips for monitoring and promptly responding to coverage. He shares how others have done this with great results.
Fire up your electronic reader and check it out!