Today’s PR blunder comes from Amazon, a company we usually endorse (and admire). Amazon has announced in a press release that November was the best sales month ever for Kindle. However, the company failed to provide the financial data to support these statements. The media didn’t fail to notice the inconsistency:
“In making such claims, Amazon is trying to build momentum as the Kindle faces tougher competition during the holiday shopping season. A newcomer to the market, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, could prove a particularly strong rival.” – noted InformationWeek columnist Antone Gonsalves.
Indeed, Kindle is a popular item, that has received raving reviews in the mainstream media. It has been called “a cultural revolution” by some of the strongest voices in the industry; and some other voices even proclaim that Kindle will replace the traditional books, with their leafy volumes…
Like it or not, Kindle is popular, and Amazon’s claims could be true if we judge only by the number of Kindle banners populating the web – they spread like a plague, they stand “in your face” – with their subliminal messages. A Kindle will make you smarter, because you can “take ALL your books to the beach with you”; a Kindle will make other people smarter, and you will become a dēmiourgos who gives “the gift of reading.”
But publishing a press release without the facts to support the claims is still bad PR in my book.
“Kindle continues to be the most wished for, the most gifted, and the #1 bestselling product across all product categories on Amazon.” – Amazon touts in its press release. How difficult would it be to prove these claims? A banner doesn’t suffice.