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#PRFail: Microsoft PR Chief Wants to Throw David Pogue Out of his Windows
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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In case you didn't see what I did there, David Pogue is the adroit, savvy, and flack-friendly technology columnist for the New York Times. And, if you note the picture provided here, he is not a great fan of Microsoft's Windows 8...or 8.1. As we all understand, if you are a flack for any consumer product, dealing with opinions of the cynical and often-looking-for-15-seconds public goes with the territory. However, if you are head of Microsoft PR major domo Frank X. Shaw, you would be under the impression that those laws of "The Customer is Always Right" do not apply you or your omniscience. 

Following a tour through the app-laden funland known as Windows 8.1, Pogue wasn't too terribly impressed with what he lovingly calls "TileWorld" (wish I would have come up with that). In fact, he wrote a less-than-positive review in the aforementioned Times. To wit, Frank X. Shaw donned his force field of pretentiousness and blasted Pogue on Twitter. 

Dear David Pogue, what a classic Pogue piece. Funny, inaccurate, opinionated in the skewed way only you can bring.

Concise. Brief. And way out of bounds. This is the issue with communications chieftains of major products — they all believe their brand will get coverage in the major dailies and trades, regardless of the behavior from the flack of said product. I understand the basis for such chronic and pain-in-the-assery behavior. Think about it: If you were David Pogue, would you ever completely swear off the 800-pound gorilla in your industry? Of course not, which is why Shaw felt so comfortable tweeting his angst. 

Sure, that tweet will not endear Pogue to Microsoft's latest iteration of ADHD on a screen, but I don't think Shaw cares about that too much. In his world, I am sure that "ink is ink." True, but poor practice is also poor practice. Would you do this after a poor review of the product you represent, or would you ask this influential journalist for candid but helpful insight and then provide that to your technology chief? 

To each his own, I suppose, but it makes me wonder how Frank X. Shaw would do in the world of clients with unknown brands in saturated industries and little budget. Yeah, who am I kidding? Tweet 'till your heart's content. 


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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is G.M. and PR Director at Bolt PR in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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