Tag Archives: PR

iPad – What’s in a name?

Today’s launch of the iPad created some serious hype, the likes of which I haven’t seen since the initial launch of the iPhone. While there have been some mixed reviews about the device, the product’s name itself has drawn quite a few snickers and been the butt of a few jokes.  Even the Wall Street Journal reported on it.

This got me thinking about how (or if) I would respond to the silliness surrounding the product name if I were on Apple’s PR team. On one hand, having the WSJ write about the issue does raise some concerns; but on the other hand, the product name is not going to change and people will ultimately pay more attention to the news itself and product reviews. Without overthinking it, I would let the whole thing blow over.

I asked my Twitter followers what they would do, and it seems my thinking is spot on. Of course, I’m curious to see what approach Apple takes. 

One thing is for sure, while some folks take pot-shots at the iPad’s name, those of us in PR and marketing can use this as a reminder about the steps we can take to try and avoid similar situations. These are the two most basic approaches that come to mind:

  • Use focus groups or surveys during the planning stage to get feedback about a product’s potential features, naming conventions, etc.
  • Embrace social media monitoring tools like Radian6 or Sysomos leading up to a launch. Whether it’s a movie, a product or a service that you’re bringing to market, gaining insight into consumer sentiment before you launch can help guide your marketing plans; provide some direction on product features/functions to add/remove; help you tweak your messaging, etc.

What would you do? Would you also let the storm blow over?



APR or ABC Accreditation – Is there value in it?

There’s been a fair amount of discussion on Twitter recently about whether or not public relations folks (PR consultants, PR agency employees, corporate PR specialists, etc.) should take the time to get accredited as PR professionals / business communicators.

There are a couple of different routes that we can take in the quest for accreditation. The first is APR via the Public Relations Society of America or the Canadian Public Relations Society; the second is ABC via the International Association of Business Communicators.

Many articles extol the benefits of APR accreditation, such as this recent one; while others debate whether or not it makes sense, such as this one by Dave MullenShel Holtz weighs in on the discussion here (although in the context of PR as a legitimate profession). This article looks at the merits of ABC accreditation.

From my own perspective, I’ve always had an interest in furthering my education and entrenching myself even further in the role of PR, but I’ve questioned which route is the best to follow. Should I sign up for a MBA (and if I did, would I have the time to spend with my family, run my business and study)? Would I be better off taking several niche seminars or short courses focused on specific areas of interest such as not-for-profit public relations? Or would my career best be served by getting myself accredited in PR?

The accreditation idea is probably the most realistic for me right now, but I have a lot of questions that need to be answered. Here are just a few that come to mind:

How do APR and ABC differ? What will I learn in the process? How will my clients benefit? What is the real value of being accredited? How will accreditation impact my career going forward? What advantage does it deliver to my business? Is there a downside? Do potential clients care about accreditation (I’ve never been asked)? Is anyone ever denied accreditation (there are a few bad eggs who undermine the reputation of the PR profession and I want to know how the good are distinguished from the bad)?

To find the answers to these and many more questions around this topic, I’ve initiated a TweetChat focused on accreditation. It’s scheduled to take place this Friday, June 5th at 1pm ET. The #hashtag for the discussion is #accred.

If you’re in PR and considering accreditation as an option, you may want to join in on the discussion. If you’ve already gone down the path of accreditation, we’d love to have your perspectives – both positive and negative.

If you’re planning to join the discussion and have some questions you would like to add to the mix, please send them my way on Twitter or leave a comment below.

~ Jodi Echakowitz (Twitter: JodiEchakowitz)