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Is Nokia the only mobile manufacturer with a blog relations strategy?

“What do you think of Samsung’s latest handsets?” a colleague of mine, another mobile blogger, asked me as we walked by the Samsung stand this afternoon.

“Er…” I said, “Well, I liked the look of that new Instinct they’ve got on Sprint, I saw it last night at that MobileFocus event, thanks to a smart chap from their PR.”

“Don’t they keep you updated with what they’re doing?” he asked.

“Er no,” I replied.

Why would they? No doubt they have an efficient communications medium when it comes to the supersites such as Engadget, however it’s rare to come across a mobile handset manufacturer that understands blogs or, perhaps more importantly, has a working blog relations strategy.

Nokia is the run-away leader in mobile blog relations. They’ve two main setups that I’m aware of. There’s a Nokia USA blogger program and a WOMWorld offering. As far as I’m aware anyone, whether you’re writing about mobile or otherwise, can talk to the leaders of these two operations and, provided you meet certain criteria, get admitted and in the door, to receive test devices and so on.

Smart. Although I’m supremely unconvinced on the nature of geographic dispersal. Why a US program and WOMWorld? Who knows. Whether it makes sense or not, at least it’s there. At least there’s a bit of interaction.

The only other handset manufacturer that I can think of who has a blog relations operation of sorts is Sonim Technologies, makers of the JCB ToughPhone. Although far less formal than Nokia’s, you can give Robin Dhara a call (if you want his details, let me know) and, again, he’ll talk to you about what they’re up to.

LG had a brilliant blog relations program run for them by the top PR chaps, Hill and Knowlton. H&K did an excellent job managing it until LG said (I’m paraphrasing) ‘er, that’s it, thanks, that’s the end of the launch’ and, (against some rather vehement advice from H&K, I suspect) shut down the sodding blog. Idiots. No idea whatsoever.

Trying out an HTC device (the HTC Touch) was like getting blood out of a stone.

I’d like to get hold of more devices to put them in the hands of qualified SMS Text News readers to do reviews. I’m not interested in how many megapixels or what the battery wattage is, I’m far more interested in the evolution, the consumer ‘end-reality’ and the potential of the devices to change or influence the market. For that you need to sit and play with the device, evaluate it and show it to loads of folk. Then sit back and do a lot of thinking about it. Difficult to do in 7 days.

I think, however, it’s going to continue to be a total arse because mobile manufacturers simply don’t understand how to talk to blogs. In fact a lot of them do their level best to persecute them, including, for example, preventing people from taking pictures of their devices on stands at shows, sending ‘orrible legal letters to keen fans and so on.

Are you aware of any companies who have a formal blog relations strategy in operation?

Motorola? Probably not or someone would have hoped in to defend the poor RAZR every time I comment, on it, eh?

Sony Ericsson? I don’t quite know if Sony Ericsson have hit the year 2000 yet, let alone got to grips with bloggers.

Fly Mobile? Sagem?

Is it really just Nokia that are ruling the roost?

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