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Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Damage Control in China: Bow Down Before Your Leaders!

PR in China: it’s a brave new world! Yet, despite all the talk of a dirty “black PR” industry and the impressive propaganda powers of a one-party government, damage control campaigns in the People’s Republic seem to be very simple. Based on the recent PR fails and recoveries of Western brands like Apple, KFC and Volkswagen, a big “yes sir” apology seems to be the way to go.

This issue is very relevant because, as the economy grows more global by the hour, every company that doesn’t sell artisanal pickles in Williamsburg, Brooklyn wants to build a strong reputation in China.

Here’s the backstory:

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Beam Me Up?: Apple’s iWatch to Debut in 2013

The most compelling aspect of working in the public relations industry is that we sometimes make decisions based on intuition. We’re not always right, of course, but it is part of the job.

Like meteorologists, we look at developing trends and prevailing conditions, combine that information with our knowledge of past behaviors and established algorithms, and make an educated guess as to how the weather—in our case the public—is going to act. PR is part art, part science.

So when a legendary and coveted brand like Apple makes any sort of decision, most of us assume it’s the right one. You can’t argue with success, and Apple has had more success than just about any brand on the planet. It is difficult not to become excited when Apple makes a major announcement, as it recently did in revealing that its long-awaited iWatch will debut in 2013.

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Need a Thin Mints Fix? Download the Girl Scout Cookie App!

Cookie Monsters, rejoice! If your life is plagued by sudden, ravenous, unrelenting cravings for Samoa or Thin Mints cookies, take heart–there’s now officially an app for that!

The new Girl Scout cookie app, unveiled last week, is available for both Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones. Not only does it introduce users to all 16 types of cookies, but this sweet little app helps tagalong junkies find the nearest cookie booth at which they can slake their chocolate/peanut butter lust. Savvy Scouts already used social media to break all sales records in 2012; we have a feeling this app will boost their numbers to even greater heights.

It’s not all about the cookies, though; lest your sugar coma cause you to forget that Girl Scouts aren’t just peddlers of crave-able baked goods in colorful boxes, the organization also hopes to use this app to spread awareness of the youth group’s larger mission.

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10 Great Apps for PR Professionals

Today we bring you a guest post from Kelsey Libert reviewing ten top smartphone apps that can help PR pros.

Kelsey is a speaker, entrepreneur, and Internet enthusiast. She’s a chief development officer for a diverse website portfolio, where she runs the content development strategy and execution for several websites.

Thinking on your feet is essential for any PR pro. For example, consider the NFL Super Bowl XLVII ads. When Oreo leveraged a current event the second it happened, it resulted in a free to low cost campaign that earned nearly 15,000 re-tweets and more than 20,000 Facebook likes.

The catch is, in order to be on top of these current events, sometimes you need to be plugged in. This quick line of communication and organization depends largely on people moving quickly with technology. Below you’ll find ten mobile apps that will help you become a PR champion on the go.

1. LogMeIn (iPhone) LogMeIn Ignition (Android)
Mainstream media stories don’t usually coincide with your 9-5 job–some big events will end up happening while you’re off the clock. This is why it’s important to be able to plug into your office computer even when you’re not behind your desk.

The LogMeIn app offers free remote access to your desktop so you can open files, check your email, run programs and stay productive from your mobile device or any computer over the Internet. The LogMeIn app has the same encryption used by online banks, so you don’t even have to worry about security issues.

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OpenTable Acquires Foodspotting, Encourages Users to Keep Playing With Their Dinner

Last week we told you that some fancy-pants New York City restaurants have begun pushing back against the “Instagramming your meal” trend by discouraging amateur photographers from breaking out their iPhones during dinner. Yet some within the food business have other ideas: Leading restaurant reservations app/site OpenTable just bet $10 million on user-generated content by acquiring Foodspotting, a startup designed to help users “find and [share] great dishes at restaurants.”

In case you haven’t seen Foodspotting, it’s a fairly inventive little app that allows users to search for, say, New York City’s best cheesecake (which isn’t at Junior’s, no matter how many people tell you otherwise) and displays other users’ shared photos of said cake. It’s a purely visual food community that’s about to get even bigger–and this means that the “playing with our food” debate won’t be over anytime soon, no matter what David Chang thinks.

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Which Brands’ ‘Green’ Claims Are Legitimate?

Running a green/sustainable/environmentally friendly brand is obviously a big deal now. Following retail giant H&M‘s promises to use its water responsibly (under the watchful eye of the World Wildlife Federation), we figured we’d revisit the issue.

The public is understandably skeptical of such “sustainability” pledges, especially when made by notorious polluters like BP. It’s sort of like Apple promising to stop using child labor to build your iPhone or McDonald’s swearing by “certified sustainable fish” for its seafood McBites: how much of this is for real and how much of it is just another “greenwashing” corporate reputation stunt?

It’s one thing for a brand to release ads highlighting its environmental efforts but, as the Greenpeace Stop Greenwashing project tells us, most of these companies aren’t really all that interested in making their practices more sustainable–especially if they operate in the energy, automotive or forestry industries.

BP is a great example of a brand that just doesn’t have much credibility in the environmental sphere, no matter how many enthusiastic press releases its team writes. Puma, on the other hand, has begun publishing regular accounts of its supply chain’s influence on the environment, making clear that many of its practices have a serious impact and setting related goals that can be measured statistically.

So tell us: which brands do you trust on the sustainability front? While we’re at it, we have a couple more questions:

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PR Win: Gibson Replaces Guitar Destroyed on Delta Flight

Gibson GuitarsAs proud amateur musicians, we understand the importance of a treasured instrument–especially a premium electric guitar worth thousands of dollars.

Today we came across the story of a musician who nearly lost his six-string in transit and experienced two completely opposite reactions from the brands involved: Delta Airlines and Gibson Guitars. Can you guess who comes out looking better in this case?

Dave Schneider, who fronts a couple of bands we don’t think we’ve ever heard, always carried his 1965 Gibson (estimated value $10,000) onboard when flying because he didn’t trust others to handle it–and he was right to be worried. When Delta employees forced him to check it on a flight from Buffalo, New York to Detroit, he got paranoid and started filming with his iPhone as soon as the plane landed.

As you’ll see from this video, the guitar got stuck in an elevator at the airport, destroying the case and seriously damaging the instrument inside. Bad news.

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Mom’s iPhone Contract with Son Goes Viral

iPhone, duh. Whenever anything goes viral on the Internet, PR professionals should raise an eyebrow and shift into work mode.

Our industry specializes in public sentiment, so when a video, or in this case a document, resonates widely with the population, we know there is a learning opportunity at hand. This particular story concerns “mommy blogger” Janell Burley Hofmann, her 13-year-old son Gregory and an iPhone.

Like many mothers with teenagers, Ms. Hoffman had to decide whether or not to give her son an iPhone this Christmas. She ultimately did, but the gift came with a contract she wrote herself and posted on her blog, defining the terms of use and delineating rules of conduct regarding said phone.

The list of 18 rules cover everything from where and when Gregory may use the phone to his responsibilities in case he should lose it due to bad behavior or stupidity. Hoffman was especially adamant that Gregory not let the phone come between himself and the real world around him–in other words, he is absolutely forbidden from using it to watch porn.

Ms. Hoffman’s post has received more than 21,000 Facebook likes and 1,247 tweets, not to mention intense coverage in the media, both print and online. What’s going on here?

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Scientists Study Likelihood of Robot Uprising: Bad PR for Siri?

Thanks to movies like I Robot, The Terminator, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, robots get a pretty bad rap for plotting to take over the world and enslave the human race that created them. Fortunately for the reputations of friendly neighborhood robots everywhere, however, such conspiracy theories of a technological takeover are generally considered science fiction (emphasis on the “fiction” part). That is, until now.

Is your Roomba vacuum about to sync with Siri and take you hostage? British scientists plan to find out.

Cambridge University researchers at the The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) plan to determine whether technology could end up destroying human civilization by studying the existential threats posed by biotechnology, artificial life, nanotechnology and climate change. Think it’s all a joke? The scientists involved certainly seem pretty serious about it, saying that dismissing concerns of a potential robot uprising would be “dangerous.”

While the researchers admit that “the seriousness of these risks is difficult to assess”, they feel that uncertainty in and of itself is cause for concern, given what’s at stake. Creeped out yet? Here are a few more chilling quotes from a professor involved in the study:

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Is Apple’s Design Sense Dated?

For a company often praised for its sleek, hyper-modern design aesthetic, Apple seems conflicted about the future of its user interfaces. In the wake of a staffing shake-up that went under-reported thanks to Hurricane Sandy, the company seems to be in the midst of a subtle but certain visual re-branding.

A New York Times report that will get a lot of design nerds excited notes the importance of the Monday departure of mobile software development leader and Steve Jobs loyalist Scott Forstall, who was dedicated to the company’s current “retro”, real-world visual style. A few widely maligned examples of that old-school aesthetic include this faux-leather “find my friends” app:

Don’t think any Apple fans will miss that one. A podcast app modeled after an old-timey tape machine won’t be a big loss either:

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