The grand-daddy of all trade-shows, the Consumer Electronics Show, officially gets underway in Las Vegas tomorrow, although there is already much buzz coming out of the pre-show events. PRNewser spoke with several PR executives on the ground to get their take on this year’s trends.
Brian Solis, PR blogger and principal of tech agency FutureWorks, says this is “the first year where it’s at a smaller scale.” However, he said this year CES is “not just gadgets everyone is looking for” and that online content is a much bigger part of the show. Of course bad PR pitches continue, and they are “wreaking havoc” on his inbox. He says PR professionals should “make sure that they’re not just participating in events where journalists are, but also where new media bloggers are.”
“I think it’s more important to start making connections in the real world that were trying to forge online,” he said. Solis is at the event in part for his role as an adviser to Intel. He also urged marketers to “pay attention to what other marketers are doing. It’s a great place for innovation in terms of how people try to stand out.”
Despite all of the talk about social media. Solis said the “great majority” of companies seem to be conducting their PR efforts “around traditional [media relations]. Very few did stand out that they are producing new media content,” he said.
Ethan Rasiel [pictured], executive vice president at Edelman’s New York office, says the agency has about 25 clients at the show, including Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, HP, eBay, and Canon. He said “all of the consumer electronics companies are really hyping up 3D.”
Rasiel’s advice to PR professionals at the event is to “focus on consumer benefits” when pitching products. “Emphasize how it will make a difference in people’s lives” as opposed to “product features” which are “boring for journalists.”
Hill & Knowlton Global Technology Practice Director Josh Reynolds is at CES representing a variety of clients, including Yahoo, Qualcomm and LinkedIn. He sees this year’s CES trends in three buckets. First is “how we interface with technology,” for example, improvements in displays (3D) and voice recognition. Second is “how tech connects us” and the “continued proliferation of mobile connectivity in other devices,” such as e-readers. Third is “how tech consumes power.”
Reynolds agrees with Solis that the show is “a little bit scaled back in some areas.” He emphasizes that the public’s tolerance for hype is at an “all time low.”
The counsel H&K has given to clients, he said, is “go big or wait.”