Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Microsoft, Dell and HP lag while Apple again tops the chart in tech PR

In my recent poll asking who does the worst PR Microsoft got the most votes, closely followed by Dell and HP. Google and IBM fared well but as with my poll on who does the best PR, Apple came out top by receiving no votes. I think this reflects the feeling by many practitioners that Microsoft is something of a PR machine and that it is struggling to throw off its image as a lagging tech brand when compared with the likes of Apple and Google. Equally the HP brand has lost much of its charm now that Mark Hurd (its CEO) has shown that his mantra is all about driving the finances of the business and less about making HP a leader. Dell meanwhile continues to struggle to find a meaningful niche beyond being a place people buy cheap PCs and servers. In short I think the poll reflects the fact that people admire large successful brands BUT they want a certain visible level of positive leadership. This is where Apple and Google clearly score well. Put another way, the measure of who does the worst PR is really no different to who does the best.

21 comments:

Emma said...

Oh Tim! You really know how to get me going...

Since I work in Corp Comms at HP, I can't help but take offense. Having spent almost 5 yrs at Text 100 and having worked for the brilliant Margit and Caryn at OutCast, you know me and know I'm loyal, so I have to defend HP.

Also since I've done PR for Apple (Edelman) and IBM (Text 100) and Dell (OutCast) I think I am somewhat qualified to comment.

First of all, to say that HP's mantra is less about being a leader is laughable. HP is a leader in most of the product categories in which it operates. Fast Company named our VP of Design one of their three Masters of Design for 2008 - that's leadership. We've been called a innovative leader by BusinessWeek. Hurd is not just a technology leader, he's being recognized as a business leader. I could go on...

Also, in terms of "best at PR," as anyone in the Valley will tell you and if you think about PR as a service to journalists (amongst other things) then Apple is consistently the worst. I laugh when recruiters call for Apple. I pride myself in doing a good job, therefore, I would never work for Apple PR.

IBM, a respectable company, but one that subscribes to the product PR churn mentality. It's all about volume of product releases and smile-and-dial.

Dell, well I could share so much.

So I'll end there and get back to my PR job for HP ;-)

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen said...

I admire your loyalty to the HP cause but I worry that you've been reading too much of HP's own material. HP used to be innovative it really did. It may of course still be but that's nt the impression you get from the outside. The weight of corporate material devoted to the efficiency of the business versus innovation and leadership drives this opinion. this isn't a question of process but rather a question of emphasis and the resulting visibility.

Алексей said...

311

Shael Sharma said...

Looking at a comment here, worked at Text and at IBM too, not sure what it has to do with what you are saying :)

At the end of the day, you are bang on the money, Apple rules, they time it right, have products that don't need to sweat the positioning, they are probably the most innovative but don't worry too much about the semantics of it like IBM ot trade patent statistics.

Today its about being on the pulse and it will always be a challenge for the geriatric brands to play catch up to the next big thing. Apple could be here sooner than the others, since they have durability...what goes up comes down...round and round...good thought though.

adolfo said...

Terry Betts, managing director of CCS Media, said: “CCS Media wants to expand its sales and profits by 10 per cent every month from now on and anticipates a minimum of a 10 per cent increase in overall business for the whole year.
__________
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