The Mix Tape, Vol. 89
Hi, I’m Matt Tillotson and this is The Mix Tape newsletter. In this week’s Mix:
A PR masterclass in how *not* to respond
Prosperity Gospel on Apple’s earnings call
Three things reviewers need to tell us about the new iPad Pro
After the Shock and Awe: how Apple reiterates key messages after an event
Bang-a-Gong (on LinkedIn)
This week’s Florida photo
A PR masterclass in how not to respond to negative reporting
Mara Hvistendahl, an investigative reporter at The Intercept, has been looking into Oracle’s dealings in China, and it’s safe to say Oracle does not agree with her point of view.
I have no idea if the story is accurate or a trip to slander city. But I was stunned by Oracle’s written response, a blog post written by an exec VP in the company:
This story is yet another word-sandwich of innuendo. She uses pull quotes to quote herself. She misrepresents her prior reporting and has her timelines entirely backwards. She makes broad assertions that have nothing to do with Oracle. And much of the proof she offers is in the form of links to Wayback Machine web archives in Mandarin.
Holy moly. Here are three mistakes to avoid:
Don’t get personal. Over and over, the response refers to the reporter, not the reporting, and makes insinuations about her motives and methods. First rule of disagreements: if the other side resorts to ad hominem attacks, you’re winning.
Don’t ramble. The piece does refute statements from the report, but not in an organized, easy to review way. Instead, the refutations are interspersed with personal attacks, references to competitors, and references to other reports. It’s a mess, and the tone is sets is defensiveness and nervousness. A rebuttal should convey confidence and clarity.
This seems obvious, but don’t intimidate. The Oracle piece solicits anonymous information about the reporter and her work. This isn’t really designed to gather intel, but to intimidate. I don’t think it worked:
Do you need to respond at all. Sometimes, things will wash out in a never-ending stream of content and outrage; people will simply move onto the next controversy.
Skip the dunk contest. Modern social media—and eroding political discourse—has elevated “dunking culture” to an alleged high art. Skip it. Stick to the facts and share your side of the story. Follow me here: Snarkiness reeks of defensiveness, which reeks of fear, which reeks of dishonesty.
Prosperity Gospel: How Apple set investor expectations after an insane quarter of growth
It seems Apple investor relations could have taken Apple’s Wednesday earnings call off. I mean, Apple is killing it.
Versus the same quarter last year, Apple’s revenue was up 54%. Gross margins sit at 42.5%. Unbelievable.
But it wasn’t all easy street from a communications standpoint. Apple had to walk a fine line between resetting growth expectations for the new quarter and maintaining longer-term excitement about its growth potential.
When the iPad Pro review embargo lifts, here’s what I want to know
Three new features on the iPad Pro will determine whether this year’s device is truly a huge leap forward, or just the same device with better specs.
What are the three factors? You can read about it here.
After the Shock and Awe: How Apple reiterates key messages following an event
Apple blasted the media landscape with a firehose of announcements at its Spring Loaded event.
After stoking conversation and excitement with the event, how does Apple resurface and reiterate key product messages?
With public relations. Apple executives speak with remarkable consistency and clarity as they grind out post-event media interviews.
Let's break it down.
Bang-a-Gong (on LinkedIn)
Ross Simmonds on how SAAS company Gong uses LinkedIn as the center of the content strategy:
Follow us on LinkedIn is not the typical call to action to find on a blog. Most common brands are telling people to subscribe to their newsletter, sign up for a demo or some other variation. Gong takes a different approach where they push their thousands of visitors to their LinkedIn so they can build an even deeper relationship with them over there.
It’s paid off…
Gong has 73,154 followers on LinkedIn compared to it’s product rival Chorus which has 20,491 followers.
Once Gong has the ‘follow’ on LinkedIn, they don’t waste it. On average, it looks like Gong shares about 10-15 posts on their company page per week. That’s as many posts most B2B / SaaS companies share on their company page every single year. That volume and consistency helps them win.
LinkedIn is the object of much scorn, and often for good reason:
LinkedIn can be a trip.
Anyway, Gong’s content strategy shows that nearly any platform can be effective if:
A) Your customers are there, and
B) You execute a smart content strategy over and over again.
You can view Gong’s LinkedIn page here.
This week’s Florida photo
We started Sunday with a hike. A shady one, fortunately. The weather is heating up.
Let’s close with this:
Welcome to one new subscriber
As always, thank you for reading and sharing.
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