The New York Times has officially declared the Blackberry as “Black Sheep” in an article that mixes anecdotal quotes and market share statistics. Now Blackberry isn’t the quickest or most aggressive PR actor, as this blog has covered before. That’s why it’s hardly surprising RIM didn’t scream bloody murder even though the Times didn’t bother to solicit comment from a company spokesperson in this damning article.
Thus, the PR pros on the sidelines are left to wonder…
1) Why didn’t Blackberry raise all sorts of howls when handed such a golden opportunity to attack the Times? At this point they have nothing to lose given the continuing slide in stock price. While in most cases criticizing the media for negative coverage makes one appear petty, in this matter Blackberry was perfectly positioned to bash the Times since they never got a chance to offer comment.
2) Blackberry clearly has some appreciation for humor and irony judging from this official blog post – so why didn’t they go further? Imagine a corporate blog post with videos of street interviews with people professing their love for Blackberry. Something a bit more authentic than the pointless commercials of global DJs mixing music, which has absolutely no appeal to their core business/corporate customer.
3) And when Blackberry did comment, instead of raising questions of journalistic fairness and proper reporting practice, they resort to a bunch of corporate babble soft-speak.
The company’s bottom-line zig zags every day. The biggest media outlet in the US just ripped its primary product to shreds. Where is the passion? Where is the defense? Where is the PR swat team? (Hopefully not still wiping their tears over Playbook reviews…)