Big things from little black boxes.


    Our current PR Climate

    I am constantly amazed with the dark side of PR and what it can do. I think it happens on a micro level constantly. Like when a sales person says “Oh our competitors’ products actually have much higher return rates” without really knowing. Recently this has been revealed on the large scale with Facebook’s secret campaign to demonize Google and it’s intentions. I think of the more direct publicity campaigns that have been successful and how they would work out today such as Pepsi’s initial attempt to compete directly with Coca Cola. Pepsi introduced its Pepsi Challenge in ‘75 to directly discredit Coke as America’s preferred cola with a message that “in a blind taste test more people preferred Pepsi”. I believe the size of the market has a lot to do with why campaigns like this would not have nearly as much of an effect as it did for Pepsi. For instance, if Facebook were to issue some sort of statement that they were preferred to Google in a blind user interface test, the market for social media would show little to no change beyond the usual tick due to non-relevant causes. In a much smaller or niche market the effect could have a much greater effect on public opinion and sway a much more substantial market share to switch.  The Facebook/Google debacle seems prankish and so ill advised on that market level when so many other options would have yielded a much higher conversion rate to Facebook’s email concept.  I believe that this same campaign would have a much more effective result applied to a niche market such as AV connectivity.  I wonder how many MARCOM managers, and PR agencies that serve the vast plethora of closed market systems were paying attention this week as the news broke about FB clandestine campaign. How many seeds were planted? Is this going to be the first we see of a more cut throat competitive business climate?

     ~Christopher Bundy