Yet Another CEO Apology Video

October 13, 2011

As the world awaits the launch date of iPhone 4s, BlackBerrys around the ceased to work. Asking millions of people to wonder why they are still using a BlackBerry. I’m number one on that list.

In what has become commonplace, Research in Motion CEO Mike Lazaridis, delivered a direct-to-camera apology to BlackBerry users in what has become Public Relations 101. It started with JetBlue CEO David Neeleman YouTube apology for JetBlue delays and cancellations of flights.

Public Relations professionals need to come up with a better way to express sorry and quell consumer discord. This direct-to-camera mia culpa is becoming old fast.

Does anyone really think that Lazaridis is concerned that BlackBerry can’t receive message? Maybe. But what keeps him up at night is the 60 percent drop in stock price because BlackBerrys are becoming obsolete and they can’t figure out what to do. This is just the icing on the cake and some PR flack is making Lazaridis be the public face.

Here are some other apologizes, aside from the Netflix guys hanging out by the pool, the all look pretty similar:

In this video, Toyota went old school and did a fake interview with their President. In this video Jim Lentz looks like he’s conducting an interview with a reporter, he’s not. What he’s doing instead is reading talking points off of a teleprompter and news stations around the world cut that package and put it into their news story as if he’s being interviewed by a reporter. No one is asking Luntz and questions. Many news organizations stopped taking these fake interviews or will use a disclaimer that this is Toyota’s company video:

Notice that Lentz is looking to the side and not directly at the camera. The direct-to-camera apology for YouTube was first used by JetBlue

Domino’s has pulled down their apology video 


Possibly the oddest interview of all time

June 28, 2009

CNN’s Don Lemon was on the red carpet of the BET awards tonight where he caught up with Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson’s father. This is quite possibly the oddest interview I’ve ever seen. To begin Don Lemon asks how Joe Jackson and the family are doing in the days after the death of their son Michael. Joe responds, “I’m doing great.” and “the family is fine.”

Don Lemon is trying to get some emotion out of Joe Jackson, but it seems that he reveals that Joe Jackson seems to care about the bottom line of Michael Jackson’s life. He even uses the interview to get in a plug for a new venture he is starting.

Check out this very odd interview.


Iran and new media rules

June 17, 2009

The story about new media being the only source of news from Iran is unfolding for everyone to see, but what is interesting is these new media outlets and those who use new media to report news in the traditional sense are creating and breaking rules at the same time.

CNN which regularly reports news from its viewers in the form of tweets and their iReport changed two rules. The first is they are blocking out names of the contributors in Iran so they don’t face repercussions from the Iranian government. Second, they are airing “unverified” accounts from the ground. this means they aren’t doing their journalistic due diligence, but they are getting the stories out. In this case verifying sources can be difficult, but does verification matter that someone is suffering a gunshot wound? In other words, we know the protest is violent and people are being shot. As long as the news outlet doesn’t assign blame for who shot the victim, CNN can say their iReporter shots were fired in Tehran.

Twitter was supposed to undergo a regularly scheduled maintenance to accommodate the companies growth. However, pleas from the online community caused twitter to keep operations going so the protesters voices wouldn’t be stopped for the hour long upgrade. Twitter, of course was willing to comply and being the lifeline of information, Twitter acted in the name of openness and kept the communication going.

Here’s the rub, not only was the outcry to keep Twitter up from inside Iran and the reformists around the globe, it was also a request of the US State Department. Now Twitter is defending itself from accusations that its a shill for the US Government. What would happen if the State Department or the Department of Defense asks Twitter to go down in Iraq or if the FBI asks Twitter to go down in a town so they can make a raid? Conspiracy theorists will go nuts but Twitter’s blog is saying they are their own boss.

It’s humbling to think that our two-year old company could be playing such a globally meaningful role that state officials find their way toward highlighting our significance. However, it’s important to note that the State Department does not have access to our decision making process. Nevertheless, we can both agree that the open exchange of information is a positive force in the world.

YouTube is defending and explaining its TOS. Twitter is simple text and paths to links. But video is a different animal. The video camera doesn’t blink and video has changed the world. Obviously images captured on video from the streets of Tehran and posted online are violent. But YouTube bans videos that are violent, right? YouTube has taken to its blog to explain that this violence is ok. Was it? Are their videos of Rodney King on YouTube? Yes. And here is YouTube’s explanation which specifically mention events occurring in Iran:

Unless a video clearly violates our Community Guidelines, we will not take it down. In general, we do not allow graphic or gratuitous violence on YouTube. However, we make exceptions for videos that have educational, documentary, or scientific value. The limitations being placed on mainstream media reporting from within Iran make it even more important that citizens in Iran be able to use YouTube to capture their experiences for the world to see. Given the critical role these videos are playing in reporting this story to the world, we are doing our best to leave as many of them up as we can. YouTube is, at its core, a global forum for free expression.

Modern protests, coups, riots, civil disobedience and social gatherings have been using new technologies as soon as they’ve come out. Protests which toppled a government in the Philippines used text messaging so did flashmobs to encourage scores of people to go to a New York Best Busy wearing blue polo shirts at a specific time.

The difference between past social gatherings and the recent Iranian uprising is the information is coming from more centralized locations. The benefits of centralization are people know where to find the information and take action about it. And there are rules for reporting and responding.

The downside is the information is now becoming centralized and the authorities know where to find the information and they know how to break the rules that are being established.

I can only imagine that China is watching.


U Can’t Touch This

June 5, 2009

Thankfully the internet doesn’t let us miss anything anymore. It’s just right there.

Stop: Hammertime


You might be a Canadian if…

April 17, 2009

Are you Canadian?

Turns out that Canada has changed their laws to allow duel citizenship. Meaning that if you renounced your Canadian citizenship in order to obtain citizenship in another country, say the USA, starting today, April 17, 2009, you are once again considered Canadian.

Here’s the entire story from the Wall Street Journal


Obama reaches out to Iranians

March 20, 2009

Pretty amazing. Obama reaches out to Iran in a way that is unique and totally appropriate. Today is the Persian new year and in a new year message to the Persians around the President wishes them a very happy new year. He uses the message to address the Iranian people directly and ask them, in the spirit of the new year, for a chance for renewal. The US and Iran have had three decades of turmoil and now is time to recognize our commonalities. 

The President ended his message with the Persian new year wish: Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak


A view from your food

March 9, 2009

Some people say that they are viewed as if they are a piece of meat. This video puts that into perspective.