Nokia, who are struggling to survive in a brutal Smartphone market, has moved to try and control media questions about the performance of the company in Australia by not having their MD at a local media event.At next week’s launch of what is rumoured to be new Windows Phone 7 handsets journalists have been told that local Nokia executives will only take questions about the product and not the business or marketing environment that Nokia is competing in.
Journalists have not been barred from asking questions at the event, instead Nokia Australia’s PR agency Fuel Communications, has told Computer Daily News that they may have to wait for up to a week to get an answer as their local MD Chris Carr has chosen to snub the local event in favour of the same event in Singapore.
The handset involved is rumoured to be Nokia’s first with a Microsoft Windows Phone 7 operating system. Fuel’s invitation to the announcement in Australia made it plain that product manager Kurt Bonnici, who’ll handle the Sydney launch, is not empowered – in the absence of MD Chris Carr.
Carr appears to have deliberately put himself out of reach of Australian questions about the performance of Nokia Australia who have witnessed a massive slump in sales of their handsets in Australia.
Fuel yesterday told Computer Daily News in an e-mail that “Nokia will be very happy to take questions about the product at the launch event on Tuesday.” However, it said, “should any media have any questions specifically about the business or market-related implications of the new device ,we’ll need to set up a follow-up interview for you with Chris once he’s back in the country, week commencing June 27.”
- CDN’s response: That’s nice, but most of us are in the daily news business, not the weekly. How about establishing a phone or video link to Singapore so Chris Carr – and maybe Stephen Elop – can take questions on the spot?
Late last year Nokia PR executives got angry when several journalists, including myself, asked business questions at the local launch of the N8 Smartphone.
After the event I was told bluntly that we should not “interrupt” a Nokia PR product event with business questions that distract from the Nokia product launch.
At the time the Nokia was telling local media that the N8 was set to be a major competitor in the Smartphone market. “It bombed” with Telstra Shops reporting poor sales and very few consumers asking for the product, despite extensive advertising and PR.