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How Amazon’s Kindle 3 Won Over this iPad Fan

So after much deliberation, I just pre-ordered the new Kindle 3

A couple of things you should know. One, I’m an avid book reader, with a pile of books that are threatening to topple over and bury me underneath. And two, I confess that making the transition from traditional books to e-books has taken me some time. Shocking I know given my penchant for all things tech-related.

What does this have to do with PR?

It’s the fact that I ordered a Kindle 3, while being the proud owner of an iPad, all because of one simple statement.

Don’t misunderstand me. My iPad is fantastic. It’s multi-functionality is ideal for on-the-ground PR work, especially when you need to stay connected and draft documents on-the-fly. But as an e-reader, it has limitations. Its weight being among them.

Enter the Kindle and the one statement that pushed me to finally place my order.

It happened while reading an interview Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos did with Fortune.

Fortune: Obviously, the Kindle’s price drop was in response to Barnes & Noble’s price cut on the Nook. Did the iPad and its overnight success play a role, too?

Bezos: No. The iPad… I think there are going to be a bunch of tablet-like devices. It’s really a different product category. The Kindle is for readers.

The highlight in the quote is mine. This was the statement that swayed me and won me over. It was simple, plain and true.

It demonstrated that Kindle, unlike iPad, isn’t trying to sell itself as a product that is everything to everyone. It showed that Amazon clearly knows who its core customer is.

What’s the lesson learned?

It’s a reminder to us PR professionals, as we sit to draft communications for our clients about their products and services – forget the complex, sales-oriented rhetoric and drop overused words like unique, innovative and world-class. Consider who your core audience is and go with the simplest, honest and most direct message. It’s the one that will prove to be the most persuasive.


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