Analysis of iPhone Price Drop PR

Brian Solis has again posted an insightful examination of crisis communication. This time he has taken a look at the iPhone price drop, the customer outrage, and Steve Jobs’ brilliant open letter response. This is particularly timely because Apple today announced the details of the $100 store credit for early purchasers of the iPhone.

Brian’s article doesn’t cover the one question that I’ve wondered about since Steve’s open letter—would Apple have been better off having the store credit ready when announcing the iPhone price drop or not?

Most of the coverage has pointed out that Apple dropped the ball when the iPhone price cut was announced by not having a plan in place for early adopters. Yet after the uproar and subsequent Apple response, Apple is seen as a company that listens and responds to its consumers. And as Brian points out, the letter “turned a negative into a business and vision discussion about how the iPhone is going to capture significant market share.”

So my question to you (and particularly to Brian) is would Apple have been better off addressing this ahead of time or has their brand and corporate image improved more by responding successfully to the upset customers? If you were at Apple and you could turn back the clock and do it over, would you?

Link Love on My Birthday from PR 2.0

Brian Solis of the incredibly insightful PR 2.0 blog sent some link love to this blog on Wednesday. This recognition was gratifying for a couple of reasons.

First, Wednesday was my birthday which explains why I’ve been too busy to see Brian’s post until now. So Brian, thank you for the birthday present.

Second, Brian has written two blog posts recently that really stand out:

  • Social Media is About Sociology Not Technology
    There are many good points in this, but my favorite quote is:

    The conversations that drive and define Social Media require a genuine and participatory approach. Just because you have the latest tools to reach people, or have played around with them, doesn’t mean you can throw the same old marketing at them.

  • Crisis Communications 2.0 – The Skype is Falling
    This is a great examination of the differences between the way Skype and Zoomer responded to recent outages.

The second article is particularly fascinating to me. While I’ve spent most of my professional career in web site development, my degree was in Journalism with an emphasis on Pubic Relations.

I selected Public Relations because I believed in Public Relations theory in its purest form which is the belief that PR both tells the public the view point of an organization and also helps an organization understand the viewpoint of the public.

A few years ago, I noticed that the geeks and nerds were intuitively grokking, practicing and evangelizing the pure form of public relations. However, most public relations professionals were still trying to control the message and avoided engaging in true conversations.

This is why I follow the work of people like Brian Solis and Steve Rubel. These voices are the ones that can help public relations professionals understand not only the technology that is impacting their lives, but as Brian puts it, the sociological changes that PR practitioners must embrace for PR to continue to be relevant and effective.

If you are interested, here are some more articles on the challenges that public relations faces:

Thank you again Brian for your link love and the kind words. It’s nice to be recognized by a blogger whose ideas I’ve enjoyed reading.