The iPhone lesson: Saying nothing at all

I learned an important lesson yesterday: Sometimes, it’s about what you DON’T say.

The big consumer-tech news this week is that Rogers has finally reached an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone in Canada. The technologist in me thinks this is neat, and I’ve been chatting with journalists – including Canadian Press, CTV NewsNet and AM640 – about what this means.

Although we can chat for days about the iPhone’s impending arrival, what sticks out is what Rogers didn’t say:

  • When it would be available
  • How much it would cost to buy
  • How much subscriptions would cost
  • Which device it would be (old, slow iPhone or snazzy new 3G iPhone)

So, essentially, Rogers had nothing to say yesterday. But they released their "news" anyway. And got tons of free media coverage in the process.

The lesson? Sometimes, you don’t need to wait until all your ducks are in a row before you go public. Sometimes, saying nothing is enough to get people to start talking about your product or service. Of course, it helps if your product or service is buzzworthy to begin with – and you need to eventually deliver on what you’ve promised, otherwise all that great buzz will go sour pretty quickly. But there’s a nugget of truth in the Rogers experience that’s applicable in a lot of business marketing scenarios.

Nice job, Ted.

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