Power and Presence- the good, the bad, and the ugly in public presence

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Hurd Ain't Off the Hook

According to the Merc, Hurd could be a bit more "in the know" than he's letting on. If these assertions are correct, he's just ruined his credibility with the press forever and ever, Amen. Even if the public forgives and forgets, reporters do not.

Although I gotta say, I've heard stories from PR people who are friends who've worked with some of the most high profile consumer tech brands in the world, and more than a few have talked about questionable practices when it comes to reactions to new product leaks. This is taking it much further than I've ever heard, but I do know of instances where reporters have been punished for leaking things by being blacklisted from the "short list" of folks to brief on new product announcements. This might be the industry's dirty little secret.

I have to say, this thing is such a nightmare, I don't know what I would suggest were I their PR person. This pretty much sums it up:

``The cure, in this case, appears to have been far worse than the disease, and now poses a far greater threat to Hewlett-Packard,'' Dingell said.


Monday, September 25, 2006

HP in deep sh*t, but impressive PR moves by Mark Hurd

When things go south, PR people do one of two things: A) panic, and do as their told, which usually means crafting a "CYA" response or B) take a strong position, take responsibility for mistakes made, and do what you can to make sure that people know you're leveling with them. The role of PR people isn't to lie to the press or to the public. It's to be the voice of the reporter and/or public internally at an organization, so that when a figure head speaks, the message makes sense and has universal appeal.

HP's Chief chose plan B, and the press seem to be buying it. Probably the most powerful piece of this press conference was his own admission of guilt... taken from Langberg's article below:

"Second, Hurd didn't let himself off the hook.

He cited a March 2006 report that described the tainted investigative methods.

The report was ``addressed to me and others, but I did not read it,'' Hurd said. ``I could have, and I should have.''

That's a significant confession, especially given that California's attorney general is threatening to file criminal charges."

Photo is from the Mercury article (link below)
Langberg: CEO takes charge, stops the bleeding
By Mike Langberg
Mercury News


Monday, September 18, 2006

The Nerds Are Alright

This is a GREAT concept for promoting the next version of Firefox to early adopter/fanboys. It's super nerdy, but then again, so are those of us who love Firefox.

"The Mozilla Foundation is offering to "immortalize" people's names in the code of Firefox, if they manage to persuade a friend to download its Web browser before Sept. 15."


Who Needs Lexis/Nexis When You Have Google Archives?

I've always resented that moment every year when I write my check to Lexis/Nexis. Like MediaMap online, it's expensive, clunky to use, and usually isn't nearly as effective as just looking something up on your own.

Google has quietly launched (or so it seems to me) their News Archive search offering. This allows you to search all the way back through 2005... ok, not perfect, but its a start, and every year will only get better of course.

Just go to www.news.google.com and you'll see "google archive" listed below the search bar. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sometimes the cheesy stuff gets picked up

Ever been in one of those brainstorms trying to come up with a "media event" that will draw broadcast attention? You know the "let's donate X to children with Y disease and invite the press"... those sessions. Not to sound cynical, because these causes often really do benefit and they truly are a bright spot amongst the dull churning of every day news.... but I had to laugh when I saw this not becuase it's bad, but because it sounds like it's straight out of one of those sessions... every consumer PR person has thrown out a "support the troops" related PR stunt in the past 12 months, I guarantee it. Congrats, Xerox, looks like Fox News really dug your story. And it's viral as can be... it was forwarded to me from a few folks.