Apple PR, Catch a Tiger by the Head…

    April 28, 2005

Tiger, the title of Apple’s latest OS, officially hits store shelves tomorrow, which means today the gates swing open for all the major media outlets …

… to share their previews of the product. It’s pretty formulaic stuff: Apple PR seeded Tiger evals with reviewers months ago so the folks writing about it this week have had the luxury of time – to kick the tires, come to some conclusions and of course write their stories. It’s classic top-down product PR and the Apple team has this formula nailed.

But I can’t help but think that Apple, with it’s near cultish customer base (which includes me), lost an opportunity to really push the principles of influencer marketing at the head of a news curve by not enabling its most vocal customers, brand advocates, etc., to preview and share their thoughts and opinions on the new OS in advance of tomorrow’s public availability.

Screencasts, for example, come to mind as a great vehicle for Apple users to demonstrate all the bells and whistles of the OS, but more importantly, as a way for each person to share their unique experiences with the product. While the MSM does broad sweeping reviews today boiled down for the consumer masses, Apple could have enabled a group of its most passionate/loyal customers to preview the product and drill down deeper on all sorts of features we’re curious about, like Safari’s new RSS capabilities, video conferencing via iChat, etc.

Instead, this sort of stuff will play out in the long tail of the news curve, which isn’t necessarily bad, but it softens the impact at launch and at very least leaves consumers with open-ended questions and the burden of finding the info they seek.

Mike Manuel is the founder of the award winning Media Guerrilla blog. Media Guerrilla is an insiders take on the practice of technology public relations with a focus on the issues, tactics and trends that are specific to the tech industry.

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