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Re: [SmallShopNetwork] XP - new product PR disaster

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  • Rob Frankel
    ... I gotta tell ya, I don t see ANY negative PR issues here, as all the media I ve seen on this issue has focused entirely on the man, his background, Islam
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 11, 2009
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      At 5:10 AM +0000 11/12/09, ned@... wrote thusly:
      >There is a fairly new police and self-defense pistol on the market,
      >a Belgian design, the Five-seveN. It has been featured as a
      >good-guy gun in books by Clancy and Flynn, and has been getting good
      >reviews in popular gun and self-defense magazines.
      >
      >Police departments and security companies have begun to adopt it for
      >its accuracy, light weight, high capacity and its military origins
      >(which means quality and stopping power).
      >
      >In short, this was a growing success story. Until ...
      >
      >Though it hasn't been widely reported (but its out there), the Ft.
      >Hood terrorist used this gun in executing 13 soldiers and wounding
      >30 more.
      >
      >Clearly, this is a PR nightmare for the US branch of the Belgian manufacturer.
      >
      >If you were FN's crisis PR manager, what would you advise your client.
      >
      >No politics, please. Just PR.
      >
      >Ned
      >Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
      >

      I gotta tell ya, I don't see ANY negative PR issues here, as all the
      media I've seen on this issue has focused entirely on the man, his
      background, Islam and the Army.

      As far back as I can recall, I don't ever remember a specific gun
      company singled out for an occurrence like the Fort Hood incident.
      Guns in general, yes. A call for more laws, regulation, sure.

      I could be wrong, but I don't know that John Q. Public can even name
      more than two gun companies, nor the weapons used by Lee Harvey
      Oswald, Jack Ruby, Mark David Chapman or John Hinckley.

      --
      Rob Frankel, Branding Expert
      Twitter: @brandingexpert http://www.RobFrankel.com
      http://www.PeerMailing.com http://www.i-legions.com
      http://www.FrankelAnderson.com
      Yes, there's an RSS feed blog, if you can handle it:
      http://www.robfrankelblog.com
    • Ned Barnett
      L H Oswald used a Carcano rifle, sometimes referred to as a Manlicher-Carcano M19/38 (meaning it was designed in 1891 and updated in 1938) - a 6.5 mm caliber
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 12, 2009
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        L H Oswald used a Carcano rifle, sometimes referred to as a
        Manlicher-Carcano M19/38 (meaning it was designed in 1891 and updated in
        1938) - a 6.5 mm caliber (a bit smaller than .30 caliber) bolt-action
        Italian Army rifle - he used a Smith & Wessen "Victory" Model .38 special
        (the caliber is called ".38 special") revolver to shoot Officer Tippit -
        Ruby also used a revolver - a Colt Cobra .38 caliber revolver - to murder
        Oswald on live TV. The others I don't know about, but I did know about the
        JFK shooting.



        Back to my question:



        However, considering the market for this Five-seveN pistol (police,
        security, self-defense) and the fact that there has been some publicity
        (I've seen it in an article I found on Drudge from one of the major
        newspapers or TV networks - not Fox) suggests that those in the market might
        be impacted. This came to me because I'd been planning to buy one, now I'm
        not so sure.


        John Q Public was never the market for this specialist
        military/police/self-defense pistol - but those who are the market care
        about such things, or might. Brushing this off as a non-event would, IMO,
        be a mistake, but perhaps I feel that way because I understand something
        about the market, Rob. My brother-in-law just retired as a detective in
        Atlanta; my son plans to be a police officer, ultimately a SWAT Team Hostage
        Rescue Team sniper, when he graduates from college in June. One of my best
        friends is a gunsmith. I collect historical firearms and have a CCW (so I'm
        licensed to carry a weapon like the Five-seveN), and I've written for gun
        magazines and discussed firearms on some of my history channel appearances.




        So I'm in tune with this market - at least a bit - and because of that, I
        think this has the potential to be an "insider" PR disaster - not a
        mainstream media one (as you pointed out, they don't know one gun from
        another, but merely want to regulate them all, potentially out of existence
        - depends on the media - but they could care about brands .).


        Given that, you're the brand master of these kinds of things (nice pun, eh?)
        - given that it is a PR disaster, how would you advise FN to handle it?



        Ned



        Ned Barnett, APR

        Marketing/PR Fellow, American Hospital Association



        Barnett Marketing Communications

        420 N. Nellis Blvd. A3-276

        Las Vegas NV 89110



        702-696-1200 - ned@...

        http://www.barnettmarcom.com



        From: SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Rob Frankel
        Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 9:43 PM
        To: SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com; PRMindshare@yahoogroups.com;
        prbytes@yahoogroups.com; prquorum@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [SmallShopNetwork] XP - new product PR disaster





        At 5:10 AM +0000 11/12/09, ned@...
        <mailto:ned%40barnettmarcom.com> wrote thusly:
        >There is a fairly new police and self-defense pistol on the market,
        >a Belgian design, the Five-seveN. It has been featured as a
        >good-guy gun in books by Clancy and Flynn, and has been getting good
        >reviews in popular gun and self-defense magazines.
        >
        >Police departments and security companies have begun to adopt it for
        >its accuracy, light weight, high capacity and its military origins
        >(which means quality and stopping power).
        >
        >In short, this was a growing success story. Until ...
        >
        >Though it hasn't been widely reported (but its out there), the Ft.
        >Hood terrorist used this gun in executing 13 soldiers and wounding
        >30 more.
        >
        >Clearly, this is a PR nightmare for the US branch of the Belgian
        manufacturer.
        >
        >If you were FN's crisis PR manager, what would you advise your client.
        >
        >No politics, please. Just PR.
        >
        >Ned
        >Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
        >

        I gotta tell ya, I don't see ANY negative PR issues here, as all the
        media I've seen on this issue has focused entirely on the man, his
        background, Islam and the Army.

        As far back as I can recall, I don't ever remember a specific gun
        company singled out for an occurrence like the Fort Hood incident.
        Guns in general, yes. A call for more laws, regulation, sure.

        I could be wrong, but I don't know that John Q. Public can even name
        more than two gun companies, nor the weapons used by Lee Harvey
        Oswald, Jack Ruby, Mark David Chapman or John Hinckley.

        --
        Rob Frankel, Branding Expert
        Twitter: @brandingexpert http://www.RobFrankel.com
        http://www.PeerMailing.com http://www.i-legions.com
        http://www.FrankelAnderson.com
        Yes, there's an RSS feed blog, if you can handle it:
        http://www.robfrankelblog.com





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Rob Frankel
        At 12:15 AM -0800 11/12/09, Ned Barnett wrote thusly: SNIP ... Okay, let s say the market is NOT John Q. Public, but is the smaller, more knowledgeable group.
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 12, 2009
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          At 12:15 AM -0800 11/12/09, Ned Barnett wrote thusly:

          SNIP

          >
          >So I'm in tune with this market - at least a bit - and because of that, I
          >think this has the potential to be an "insider" PR disaster - not a
          >mainstream media one (as you pointed out, they don't know one gun from
          >another, but merely want to regulate them all, potentially out of existence
          >- depends on the media - but they could care about brands .).
          >
          >
          >Given that, you're the brand master of these kinds of things (nice pun, eh?)
          >- given that it is a PR disaster, how would you advise FN to handle it?
          >

          Okay, let's say the market is NOT John Q. Public, but is the smaller,
          more knowledgeable group. Especially in that case, given that
          they're more sophisticated about real issues (as opposed to
          media-worn sensationalism), I'd still hold back until the issue were
          directed specifically at the brand.

          After all, this is clearly a case of consumer misuse, not product
          defect. Unfortunately, in fact, the product worked exactly as
          advertised. The brand would suffer if it veered from its usual
          course, which I assume is something along the lines of "this is one
          of the finest made, be responsible with its use."

          You don't see a car company pro-actively involved when a driver goes
          nuts and plows through a Farmers Market. They respond accordingly --
          but they respond, they don't initiate.

          --
          Rob Frankel, Branding Expert
          Twitter: @brandingexpert http://www.RobFrankel.com
          http://www.PeerMailing.com http://www.i-legions.com
          http://www.FrankelAnderson.com
          Yes, there's an RSS feed blog, if you can handle it:
          http://www.robfrankelblog.com
        • Stephen Rafe
          GUNS DON T KILL PEOPLE: PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE If it were a stabbing with a steak knife, the manufacturer wouldn t be concerned about bad
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 12, 2009
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            <QUOTE>
            "GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE: PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE"
            <END QUOTE>
            If it were a stabbing with a steak knife, the manufacturer wouldn't be concerned about "bad PR."

            Stephen
            STEPHEN RAFE
            RAPPORT COMMUNICATIONS
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Rob Frankel
            To: SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com ; PRMindshare@yahoogroups.com ; prbytes@yahoogroups.com ; prquorum@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 12:42 AM
            Subject: [prbytes] Re: [SmallShopNetwork] XP - new product PR disaster



            At 5:10 AM +0000 11/12/09, ned@... wrote thusly:
            >There is a fairly new police and self-defense pistol on the market,
            >a Belgian design, the Five-seveN. It has been featured as a
            >good-guy gun in books by Clancy and Flynn, and has been getting good
            >reviews in popular gun and self-defense magazines.
            >
            >Police departments and security companies have begun to adopt it for
            >its accuracy, light weight, high capacity and its military origins
            >(which means quality and stopping power).
            >
            >In short, this was a growing success story. Until ...
            >
            >Though it hasn't been widely reported (but its out there), the Ft.
            >Hood terrorist used this gun in executing 13 soldiers and wounding
            >30 more.
            >
            >Clearly, this is a PR nightmare for the US branch of the Belgian manufacturer.
            >
            >If you were FN's crisis PR manager, what would you advise your client.
            >
            >No politics, please. Just PR.
            >
            >Ned
            >Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
            >

            I gotta tell ya, I don't see ANY negative PR issues here, as all the
            media I've seen on this issue has focused entirely on the man, his
            background, Islam and the Army.

            As far back as I can recall, I don't ever remember a specific gun
            company singled out for an occurrence like the Fort Hood incident.
            Guns in general, yes. A call for more laws, regulation, sure.

            I could be wrong, but I don't know that John Q. Public can even name
            more than two gun companies, nor the weapons used by Lee Harvey
            Oswald, Jack Ruby, Mark David Chapman or John Hinckley.

            --
            Rob Frankel, Branding Expert
            Twitter: @brandingexpert http://www.RobFrankel.com
            http://www.PeerMailing.com http://www.i-legions.com
            http://www.FrankelAnderson.com
            Yes, there's an RSS feed blog, if you can handle it:
            http://www.robfrankelblog.com




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Ned Barnett
            Rob I can see I can t budge you from your position, and I see several others on your bandwagon. Perhaps I m wrong. However, an awful lot of the personal
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 12, 2009
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              Rob


              I can see I can't budge you from your position, and I see several others on
              your bandwagon. Perhaps I'm wrong.


              However, an awful lot of the personal self-defense (including police,
              security firm) market is driven by emotion - which is why so many successful
              guns "look" bad but are plain-jane vanilla under the skin (and one is
              successful because it looks plain-jane but is actually a semi-auto version
              of today's Army combat rifle - which just goes to show you .).


              Like all new guns in new calibers, the Five-seveN was and has been and
              probably still is at the center of controversy between and among gun
              aficionados since it's debut. Tying this controversial weapon with its
              controversial new bullet/cartridge design (controversial in an
              "inside-baseball" fashion, not controversial as if there's something wrong
              with the design as a functional piece of machinery). Designed for the
              military, it was created to breach personal body armor but NOT to mushroom
              (the way hollow-points do . there are international conventions against
              military use of hollow-points - apparently, there is a "good way" to shoot
              someone to death and a "bad way" - at least in a military context). It does
              something else to kill people (as does the .556 round used by the venerable
              M16 - upon entry, it "tumbles," which to me is a lot worse than mushrooming,
              but that's a side issue. Clearly, the terrorist at Fort Hood proved that
              the round could be fatal nearly 30% of the time and incapacitating at least
              another 30% of the time. So in a sick, sad way, this shooting validated the
              gun's and the bullet's effectiveness.


              HOWEVER, for those who care about such things, having such a weapon could
              become an emotional black-eye - which WILL impact sales, and negatively
              (just as having it featured in novels by Clancy and Flynn added panache, the
              way that "James Bond's" use of the Walther PPK made that a glamorous weapon
              (it's also a damned fine pistol, but that's almost beside the point, as
              there are a lot of damned fine pistols). "Dirty Harry" did wonders for the
              sale of .44 Magnum revolvers, again for the same reason. With so many
              excellent self-defense pistols on the market, "image" is often a deciding
              factor, and shooters tend to be very brand-loyal (for years, almost all I
              shot were pistols and rifles by Sturm-Ruger, because of their exceptional
              quality and reasonable cost, and I still own and target shoot with several
              of those - and would trust that brand name any time).



              All that to say this - because of my understanding of this distinct market
              share (one not known to outsiders but remarkably large in $$$ terms and with
              distinct mind-set and brand-loyalty psychographics), I think this is a real
              PR disaster. However, I'm guessing that the market is too far off the
              "standard" for those not into that market in some way or other don't "get
              it."



              I actually raised this question because I'll be talking next week with an
              investment group tied to this industry (as a potential client) and I wanted
              to pick your brains on strategies. Since "do nothing" is not an option to
              those who understand the market, I'll have to use my own brains to figure it
              out. Damn.



              What do I pay you people for, anyway?


              Ned



              Ned Barnett, APR

              Marketing/PR Fellow, American Hospital Association



              Barnett Marketing Communications

              420 N. Nellis Blvd. A3-276

              Las Vegas NV 89110



              702-696-1200 - ned@...

              http://www.barnettmarcom.com



              From: SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Rob Frankel
              Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 6:41 AM
              To: SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com; PRMindshare@yahoogroups.com;
              prbytes@yahoogroups.com; prquorum@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [SmallShopNetwork] XP - new product PR disaster





              At 12:15 AM -0800 11/12/09, Ned Barnett wrote thusly:

              SNIP

              >
              >So I'm in tune with this market - at least a bit - and because of that, I
              >think this has the potential to be an "insider" PR disaster - not a
              >mainstream media one (as you pointed out, they don't know one gun from
              >another, but merely want to regulate them all, potentially out of existence
              >- depends on the media - but they could care about brands .).
              >
              >
              >Given that, you're the brand master of these kinds of things (nice pun,
              eh?)
              >- given that it is a PR disaster, how would you advise FN to handle it?
              >

              Okay, let's say the market is NOT John Q. Public, but is the smaller,
              more knowledgeable group. Especially in that case, given that
              they're more sophisticated about real issues (as opposed to
              media-worn sensationalism), I'd still hold back until the issue were
              directed specifically at the brand.

              After all, this is clearly a case of consumer misuse, not product
              defect. Unfortunately, in fact, the product worked exactly as
              advertised. The brand would suffer if it veered from its usual
              course, which I assume is something along the lines of "this is one
              of the finest made, be responsible with its use."

              You don't see a car company pro-actively involved when a driver goes
              nuts and plows through a Farmers Market. They respond accordingly --
              but they respond, they don't initiate.

              --
              Rob Frankel, Branding Expert
              Twitter: @brandingexpert http://www.RobFrankel.com
              http://www.PeerMailing.com http://www.i-legions.com
              http://www.FrankelAnderson.com
              Yes, there's an RSS feed blog, if you can handle it:
              http://www.robfrankelblog.com





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Rob Frankel
              ... I think it depends on to whom you re talking. Clearly, as a gun outsider the issue affects me way differently than a gun aficionado. I can totally see
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 12, 2009
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                At 10:16 AM -0800 11/12/09, Ned Barnett wrote thusly:
                >Rob
                >
                >I can see I can't budge you from your position, and I see several others on
                >your bandwagon. Perhaps I'm wrong.
                >

                I think it depends on to whom you're talking. Clearly, as a "gun
                outsider" the issue affects me way differently than a gun aficionado.
                I can totally see that. I'm just telling it from my own perspective
                -- which may be inappropriate for your audience.

                --
                Rob Frankel, Branding Expert
                Twitter: @brandingexpert http://www.RobFrankel.com
                http://www.PeerMailing.com http://www.i-legions.com
                http://www.FrankelAnderson.com
                Yes, there's an RSS feed blog, if you can handle it:
                http://www.robfrankelblog.com
              • Ned Barnett
                It might if the market was made up of brand-conscious buyers who were driven to select products by emotion, image and ego as much as by practical terms. Ned
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 12, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  It might if the market was made up of brand-conscious buyers who were driven
                  to select products by emotion, image and ego as much as by practical terms.



                  Ned Barnett, APR

                  Marketing/PR Fellow, American Hospital Association



                  Barnett Marketing Communications

                  420 N. Nellis Blvd. A3-276

                  Las Vegas NV 89110



                  702-696-1200 - ned@...

                  http://www.barnettmarcom.com



                  From: prbytes@yahoogroups.com [mailto:prbytes@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                  Stephen Rafe
                  Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 7:21 AM
                  To: prbytes@yahoogroups.com; SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com;
                  PRMindshare@yahoogroups.com; prquorum@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [prbytes] Re: [SmallShopNetwork] XP - new product PR disaster





                  <QUOTE>
                  "GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE: PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE"
                  <END QUOTE>
                  If it were a stabbing with a steak knife, the manufacturer wouldn't be
                  concerned about "bad PR."

                  Stephen
                  STEPHEN RAFE
                  RAPPORT COMMUNICATIONS
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Rob Frankel
                  To: SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com
                  <mailto:SmallShopNetwork%40yahoogroups.com> ; PRMindshare@yahoogroups.com
                  <mailto:PRMindshare%40yahoogroups.com> ; prbytes@yahoogroups.com
                  <mailto:prbytes%40yahoogroups.com> ; prquorum@yahoogroups.com
                  <mailto:prquorum%40yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 12:42 AM
                  Subject: [prbytes] Re: [SmallShopNetwork] XP - new product PR disaster

                  At 5:10 AM +0000 11/12/09, ned@...
                  <mailto:ned%40barnettmarcom.com> wrote thusly:
                  >There is a fairly new police and self-defense pistol on the market,
                  >a Belgian design, the Five-seveN. It has been featured as a
                  >good-guy gun in books by Clancy and Flynn, and has been getting good
                  >reviews in popular gun and self-defense magazines.
                  >
                  >Police departments and security companies have begun to adopt it for
                  >its accuracy, light weight, high capacity and its military origins
                  >(which means quality and stopping power).
                  >
                  >In short, this was a growing success story. Until ...
                  >
                  >Though it hasn't been widely reported (but its out there), the Ft.
                  >Hood terrorist used this gun in executing 13 soldiers and wounding
                  >30 more.
                  >
                  >Clearly, this is a PR nightmare for the US branch of the Belgian
                  manufacturer.
                  >
                  >If you were FN's crisis PR manager, what would you advise your client.
                  >
                  >No politics, please. Just PR.
                  >
                  >Ned
                  >Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
                  >

                  I gotta tell ya, I don't see ANY negative PR issues here, as all the
                  media I've seen on this issue has focused entirely on the man, his
                  background, Islam and the Army.

                  As far back as I can recall, I don't ever remember a specific gun
                  company singled out for an occurrence like the Fort Hood incident.
                  Guns in general, yes. A call for more laws, regulation, sure.

                  I could be wrong, but I don't know that John Q. Public can even name
                  more than two gun companies, nor the weapons used by Lee Harvey
                  Oswald, Jack Ruby, Mark David Chapman or John Hinckley.

                  --
                  Rob Frankel, Branding Expert
                  Twitter: @brandingexpert http://www.RobFrankel.com
                  http://www.PeerMailing.com http://www.i-legions.com
                  http://www.FrankelAnderson.com
                  Yes, there's an RSS feed blog, if you can handle it:
                  http://www.robfrankelblog.com

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Ned Barnett
                  Thanks, Rob - your insights are always helpful; I ll play it by ear when I meet with this investing group prospect next week - I m sure I can spin it, I just
                  Message 8 of 8 , Nov 12, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Thanks, Rob - your insights are always helpful; I'll play it by ear when I
                    meet with this investing group prospect next week - I'm sure I can spin it,
                    I just would feel better with input. Your consensus-leading views might be
                    exactly the right answer here . (perhaps I'm too close to it).



                    Ned



                    Ned Barnett, APR

                    Marketing/PR Fellow, American Hospital Association



                    Barnett Marketing Communications

                    420 N. Nellis Blvd. A3-276

                    Las Vegas NV 89110



                    702-696-1200 - ned@...

                    http://www.barnettmarcom.com



                    From: SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com
                    [mailto:SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Rob Frankel
                    Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 11:20 AM
                    To: SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com; PRMindshare@yahoogroups.com;
                    prbytes@yahoogroups.com; prquorum@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [SmallShopNetwork] XP - new product PR disaster





                    At 10:16 AM -0800 11/12/09, Ned Barnett wrote thusly:
                    >Rob
                    >
                    >I can see I can't budge you from your position, and I see several others on
                    >your bandwagon. Perhaps I'm wrong.
                    >

                    I think it depends on to whom you're talking. Clearly, as a "gun
                    outsider" the issue affects me way differently than a gun aficionado.
                    I can totally see that. I'm just telling it from my own perspective
                    -- which may be inappropriate for your audience.

                    --
                    Rob Frankel, Branding Expert
                    Twitter: @brandingexpert http://www.RobFrankel.com
                    http://www.PeerMailing.com http://www.i-legions.com
                    http://www.FrankelAnderson.com
                    Yes, there's an RSS feed blog, if you can handle it:
                    http://www.robfrankelblog.com





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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