Your Product Just Got Slammed by the New York Times… Who’s Got the Champagne?

September 20th, 2010

Yes, it’s a slightly counter-intuitive headline, but there’s a PR upside to getting grilled by the New York TimesDavid Pogue, NYT’s resident tech guru, reviewed Monsoon Multimedia’s new Vulkano TV set-top box.  (Can’t say we’re crazy about the name, but it could be worse.)

Pogue didn’t have much positive to say about the new gadget.  He claims the Vulkano is “riddled with bugs, problems, limitations and absurd design flaws.”  If you’re in the market for any tech product, you want it to be reliable, flexible, and intuitive.  Based on Pogue’s review, Vulkano is the polar opposite of all those traits.

Now, you may think it’s time for Monsoon Multimedia to start drowning its collective sorrows… we’d argue that it’s actually time to pop the bubbly.  Here’s why:

You made the New York Times!  As the top tech reporter for the top media outlet in the U.S., Pogue no doubt gets inundated with freebies and other loaners for reviews.  There’s no way he’s got time to write up all of them.  The fact that he made Vulkano the needle in the haystack speaks well for Monsoon Mulimedia’s marketing efforts.

Lack of arrogance.  When Pogue asked the company if it was aware of Vulkano’s problems, no one did a duck-and-cover or feigned ignorance.  The product manager went on the record acknowledging that the flaws were real, and that the company is working on fixes.  People like to see businesses correct their errors instead of arrogantly proclaiming “all’s well” like some delusional minster of propaganda.

Small steps to earning goodwillPogue hints that if Vulkano gets its act together, he’d be game for a future review.  Presumably Monsoon Multimedia will follow-up at that time, and if the problems are resolved, a positive review (and additional media kudos) should follow.

Of course, sending your funky (as in nasty, not cool) flagship product for review isn’t an advisable PR strategy.  But in this case Monsoon Multimedia can turn glitches into ginger ale, and possibly get a solid PR outcome.

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