For boys who like boys who like joysticks!

Archives:

« Resistance: Burning Skies Gets Some Gameplay Footage | Main | This Week's Rock Band DLC Is Fueled By Ramen »

How Not To Conduct Public Relations

homer-epic-fail-demotivational-poster-1260665923.jpg

When preordering an unreleased product, sometimes promises get broken. Ship dates get shuffled around, prices adjust, and customers get upset. What you do is address their concerns in a polite and respectful manner and do whatever you reasonably can to accommodate their complaints.

What you don't do is behave like Paul Christoforo, President of Ocean Marketing and the folks behind the Avenger controller, and demean your customer. You don't insult them and dismiss their complaints. You don't abuse the use of punctuation while doing so. And you most definitely don't start slinging crap at Penny Arcade and PAX. Regardless of whether you like Gabe and Tycho, they are tastemakers in gamer culture, and adding them to your PR shitstorm is a good way to tank your entire product.

Kind of a shame since the product, while hideous, looked kind of interesting. I'd suggest spending your dollars elsewhere; you don't deserve abuse from a company you're trying to support.

13 Comments

Richard said:

Holy wow... this got my blood boiling just reading it!

The crazy thing is that we all know those types of people in real life. Like the total d-bags that think they are just amazing and can't fathom that they are in the wrong... it's just that I never really thought that they'd be in a position to get funding for a for-real business... /sigh

Keith said:

This post told me nothing about what happened. Please lay out the background of the situation before jumping into editorializing.

kevin said:

This post gives an opinion on a situation that isn't explained. Not good.

Nexus said:

Tastemakers in gamer culture? Please.
They're the most over-rated twits in gamer culture.
And frankly, most people have gotten over them. It's mostly just their fanboys and the gaming companies that try to be hip, but haven't caught on that gamers have moved on that still treat them like gaming royalty.

Zen said:

Usually I wouldn't comment on an article like this, but a few points:

a) The controllers were actually invented by a teacher to help disabled children to play games (they let them use the face buttons without moving their fingers from the thumb stick/triggers).

b) The guy who acted like a douche is from their PR/Marketing company (and as a statement of opinion, is a hell of a dick).

c) The company who makes the controller dropped the PR firm and sent bonus controllers to the poor guy who got screwed over in this specific case.

d) You may want to mention some or all of the above in an update :)

AnakinGeada said:

Here is an article that offers a bit more explanation of the situation:

http://kotaku.com/5871479/pr-trolling-ocean-stratagy-out-of-business-avenger-controller-maker-asks-for-forgiveness

I agree with Zen, that it is important to note the behavior came from the PR company for the controller, not from the controller company itself. And seeing the good that the controller can do for some partially disabled players, I hope it doesn't completely fail because of this "controversy".

And for anyone with the gossipy curiosity that wants to see the original e-mail exchange that this is all about:

http://penny-arcade.com/resources/just-wow1.html

Transgirl said:

Ya know what's sad is this isn't the first time he's had this kind of public outburst. If you look back on his company's youtube page about their controller product(if it's still up) he caused a shit storm a year or two ago there as well when people criticized the product.

To me while I like the product immensely, I thought it was an awesome item for people with smaller hands he came off immature and unable to take criticism well and was overall unprofessional.

Carl said:

Keith and Kevin - whilst I agree that some more information here on gaygamer might have been appropriate, having read the full e-mail exchange on the penny arcade site, I can understand the decision not to do so - showing a small portion of the (lengthy) exchange would likely have been even more misleading.

That said, the PR guy comes across as a complete git, incredibly egotistical and full of his own importance. I hope the company feels a bit of a sting from this, just enough to make them look at matters and say "what the HELL were you thinking of, writing emails like that?". As with others, I don't want the new controller to fail, it seems like it would be very useful. However, the maker needs to feel things just enough for them to either punish the PR company or abandon them completely in favour of a company with a better reputation.

12thGay said:

It was a bad PR guy, and his actions do not reflect the company he was representing. Don't punish the makers of the controller.

AnakinGeada said:

Carl, I agree that the maker needs to feel the sting enough to punish the PR guy, and according to the first link in my earlier comment, they did. According to the article at Kotaku:

[Christoforo, we're told, is no longer working with N-Control. Effective today, the company is now doing all of their marketing with a new marketing manager who works directly for the company.

"We apologize for our poor representation from Ocean Marketing," David Kotkin, the owner and inventor of Avenger Controller told Kotaku. "We wanted to give Paul a chance. He was rough around the edges, but he had drive and enthusiasm. However his behavior was unprovoked, unnecessary, and unforgivable. We are no longer represented by Ocean Marketing."]

And, according to Zen's comment, the original customer got extra controllers out of the ordeal. So, as they have taken appropriate action to deal with PR the guy that caused all this trouble in the first place, and have already been stung with (for example) trolls bringing their product rating down to just over 1 star on Amazon, I think they've been punished enough and hope they don't go bankrupt. :)

Of course, it would also be nice if they addressed one of the complaints of the customer from these e-mails and give a discount-refund to the rest of the customers who had to pre-pay the entire product price and were delayed repeatedly without notice, rather than a $10 coupon towards "future products" (which, since it is also for all new customers, and not just the ones who already bought them, isn't a very special thank you at all). Or find something else they could offer, similar to how Nintendo is giving early adopters of the 3DS all those free download games as an apology since they had to pay like $50 higher in price.

Carl said:

Well, it's good to hear that the company has taken some positive action (I agree that customers who pre-ordered deserve something extra than the $10 coupon they're giving to all customers, new and old alike) due to this.

And the people down-rating the product on amazon are no better than the PR manager who started all this, imo.

hellanicus said:

I was going to get one but I won't now because of the reviews. Despite the scandal caused by the company's PR the product has been described as being extremely cheap and not properly working. The ones who can get it to work are claiming it makes no difference whatsoever.

You guys can claim whatever you want but never once have the reviewers on Amazon gotten it wrong in my experience. I seriously doubt the reviewers are claiming this is cheaply made and doesn't make a game play difference are just angry because of the PR exchange.

However N-Control has its employees openly rating the device at 5 stars even ones who have never used it and don't own it just to try and raise its score. There are reviews giving it 5 stars claiming it works great on games that had not been released when the review was posted.

In fact it also seems like the company is trying to smear the legitimate complaints of people who actually have the product by attacking their motivation. So I won't be getting an Avenger or anything from N-control.

Darq said:

So, it looks like Christoforo was a bit of a loose cannon. N-Control has apologized profusely and Ocean Marketing has suddenly found itself without any business partners or customers.

His replacement has explained that they are having trouble meeting the unexpected demand for the product, and are extending the discount to all pre-order customers.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

Twitter Feed

Recent Comments

Darq on How Not To Conduct Public Relations: So, it looks like Christoforo was a bit of a loose cannon. N-Control has apologized profusely and Ocean Marketing has...

hellanicus on How Not To Conduct Public Relations: I was going to get one but I won't now because of the reviews. Despite the scandal caused by the...

Carl on How Not To Conduct Public Relations: Well, it's good to hear that the company has taken some positive action (I agree that customers who pre-ordered deserve...

AnakinGeada on How Not To Conduct Public Relations: Carl, I agree that the maker needs to feel the sting enough to punish the PR guy, and according to...

12thGay on How Not To Conduct Public Relations: It was a bad PR guy, and his actions do not reflect the company he was representing. Don't punish the...

GGP Mailing List

Are you gay and working in the games industry? If you are interested in networking with other folks like you within the industry, try joining the Gay Game-Industry Professionals mailing list. Click here for all the details!

Links

The GayGamer Store

  • Help support GayGamer by purchasing your items through our store!

All rights reserved © 2006-2010 FAD Media, Inc.