Before CES, one of our tips was to create a traffic jam. Our client Parrot, has excelled in this area and 2014 was no different. With the launch of the Parrot MiniDrone and Jumping Sumo, the Parrot team had interactions with more than 500 media during the week. One particular interaction left an impression both with the journalist and with our team because of the value we all took from it.

One of the major trends out of CES was privacy, as addressed by our previous post around the complexities of this topic. We saw this issue emerge in an interaction with Andrew Couts of Digital Trends, as he details on the CEA blog.

To quickly summarize, Andrew had reviewed a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 and loved the product, but had an issue with some video automatically posting to YouTube.

As soon as our team read Andrew’s original article, we immediately began working on how we could learn from the situation and address his concerns. Given that CES was only a few weeks away and we already were planning to meet with Andrew at our booth, we agreed with Parrot that the best course of action was to discuss it in-person as opposed to trying to communicate over e-mail, phone call or video chat. We prepared the Parrot team with background and they in turn worked internally to understand the situation and how it could be resolved for any future users.

The result from Andrew’s perspective? “Not only did they read my article and speak to me about it in person, but they took the criticism to heart and are working on ways to improve their product. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the right way to deal with a disgruntled consumer tech journalist.”

Often brands are far too quick to go on the defensive and criticize a journalist’s feedback. In those cases, they miss the opportunity to learn from the feedback. We don’t conduct media relations just to grow brand awareness and sales, though that’s a key measure of success. Media relations also is a way to understand feedback from the end audience and address it to improve the customer experience. It’s also a key feedback element in the overall marketing communications discipline when it’s seen as more than just publicity.


 T. Wieland

Tim Wieland is a Vice President and a CES veteran for Airfoil, an integrated marketing communications firm, with offices in Silicon Valley, Detroit, London and Hong Kong.  Follow Tim on Twitter: @timwieland