Guest Column: Nokia’s Embarrassing Stumble

 Guest Column: Nokia’s Embarrassing Stumble

The PR Verdict: “D” (PR Problematic) for Nokia. (Pictured: Nokia CEO Stephen Elop)

Last week, Nokia introduced its new smartphones, the Lumia 820 and 920, at a media launch. The biggest selling point? Lumia’s “PureView Camera Technology,” which separates this phone from the rest of the pack. A fancy launch, complete with a promotional video and advertisements, showed images taken using Lumia’s new “optical-image-stabilization” feature (OIS).  The trade press was meant to swoon.

But – whoops – the press noticed that neither the promotional video nor the still images in the ad were taken with the Lumia 920 camera in the phone. Did anyone get photos of Nokia executives’ red faces? But wait, the cringing wasn’t over yet: Nokia was unable to state a date as to when the product would arrive in the market. After all, they’ve been busy… Apparently finding good photos to use for press materials.

The company issued a pro forma apology for the ad, saying that it “should have posted a disclaimer stating this was a representation of OIS only” [emphasis added]. Nokia said that its aim was to show what the Lumia 920′s OIS technology will be able to do once available and apologized for the confusion it caused. No intention to mislead, and yes, “There was poor judgment in the decision not to use a disclaimer,” a Nokia spokesperson told Bloomberg.

The PR Verdict: “D” (PR Problematic) for Nokia. See what can happen in the rush to market products?

The PR Takeaway: Don’t be bullied by the market, and you’ll avoid later embarrassment. Companies need to control their competitive impulses. The smartphone market is driven by quick sales and product differentiation demands; everybody appreciates that. But what is the point in creating demand when the public will find only empty shelves, and the company may be accused of manipulative sales tactics? In this case, further damage was arrested with a quick apology, but in the future, how about a more thoughtful and cautious analysis of reputation risk? After all,  the rule is simple: be careful what you promise and when. That will avoid vividly red faces from showing up in the press.

What else should Nokia have done to avoid this kind of media embarrassment? Give us your PR Verdict!

 

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Paul Marrone About Paul Marrone

Paul Marrone was most recently Director of Media Relations and Issues Management for Allstate Corporation. Previously, he was Director of Media Relations for UBS and a Senior Vice President for the global public relations agency Burson-Marsteller.

What is Your PR Verdict?

  1. Hi, das Themengebiet weckt mein Interesse, existieren mittlerweile etwas aktuellere
    bzw. genauere “Daten”? Habe auf deinem Blog leider wenig gefunden.
    Noch weitere recently posted..Noch weitereMy Profile

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  1. BizSugar.com says:

    Guest Blog: Nokia’s Embarrassing Stumble…

    The PR Verdict: “D” (PR Problematic) for Nokia and its poor judgment. See what can happen in the rush to market products?…

  2. Guest Blog: Nokia’s Embarrassing Stumble…

    The PR Verdict: “D” (PR Problematic) for Nokia and its poor judgment. See what can happen in the rush to market products?…

  3. [...] Epic fail. To the other extreme, another smartphone maker, Nokia, took a serious misstep recently when announcing the release of its Lumia 820 and 920 phones, with the most exciting feature being the PureView Camera Technology intended to separate both smartphones from all other competition. Unfortunately, it turned out that neither a promotional video or still images used in the advertising materials were actually shot with the new phones! The PR Verdict [...]

  4. [...] Epic fail. To the other extreme, another smartphone maker, Nokia, took a serious misstep recently when announcing the release of its Lumia 820 and 920 phones, with the most exciting feature being the PureView Camera Technology intended to separate both smartphones from all other competition. Unfortunately, it turned out that neither a promotional video or still images used in the advertising materials were actually shot with the new phones! The PR Verdict [...]

  5. [...] Epic fail. To the other extreme, another smartphone maker, Nokia, took a serious misstep recently when announcing the release of its Lumia 820 and 920 phones, with the most exciting feature being the PureView Camera Technology intended to separate both smartphones from all other competition. Unfortunately, it turned out that neither a promotional video or still images used in the advertising materials were actually shot with the new phones! The PR Verdict [...]

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