3 Lessons From Nokia’s Misguided Self-Review

When your advertising efforts catch the attention of a Gawker Media publication, you know that you’re probably in trouble. Nokia experienced that first-hand last month when they published a glowingly positive review of the Nokia Lumia 620 by a Nokia staffer, Adam Fraser, on the Nokia Conversations blog.

Mario Aguilar of Gizmodo found the review and wasted little time mocking it.

Amidst the backlash, Nokia amended the post to remove the word “Review” and changed the title to “Compact, vibrant and lots of fun: our Nokia Lumia 620 review hands-on.”

They also added a note to the bottom of the post:

Here are some quick lessons content marketers can learn from Nokia’s content marketing faux paus:

1. Whatever you do, don’t review your own products.

You know who trusts a brand’s review of its own product? No one. At best, readers will assume that the writer came from outside the company  a theory that many Nokia fans offered in the comment section  and then be dismayed when they learn the truth.

If you’re going to go the route of a hands-on account, don’t have an employee write it. Readers simply won’t trust the piece. Instead, have an influencer try your product out and offer her unfettered opinion.

Even if that opinion contains criticisms, it’s not a bad thing, as readers will be more likely to believe that you’re giving an honest account and come back for more.

2. If you make a mistake, don’t compound it by being condescending.

Nokia was caught making a foolish mistake. Instead of owning up to it, they added a note that can be easily read as condescending. It wasn’t obvious to anyone that the article was a hands-on account and not a review. The word “review” was in the headline, and many gadget reviews nowadays are told from a first person, hands-on perspective.

Instead of communicating, “we made a mistake,” Nokia’s note communicates, “Ugh, fine, we’ll change the headline.”

3. Create a protocol for how brand writers interact with other bloggers.

When preparing to write his piece on Nokia’s misguided review, Aguilar immediately got in touch with Fraser to ask him about it:

The first sentence of Fraser’s reply was fine. The second sentence was a little hostile and counter-accusatory. You don’t want your brand representatives responding imprudently to influential bloggers. It doesn’t end well. Be proactive and give your writers a protocol for how they should respond.