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Pearl Doh?

Yesterday, Engadget obtained a T-Mobile holiday press release for the Blackberry Pearl, otherwise known as the 8100, and published it.  Clearly marked “Embargoed until Sept 18th”, this news is six weeks early.  Ouch!  Scooped by the blogosphere.  Or maybe not.

I smell a rat.  I’ve never seen an embargoed press release circulated six weeks in advance of an announcement.  Most releases need only two weeks (max), and in today’s blog world, perhaps less. Heads might be rolling in the PR department or… This could be a clever feint by RIM to gull their competitors into targeting a launch date third week of September.

Now that the news is out there in the wild, RIM should step up their pre-launch marketing efforts, try to create some buzz, and build some pent-up demand for the product:

  1. Announce the actual availability date.  The release says that the news is embargoed until the 18th of September, but it doesn’t specify the actual availability date.  If you want to get people excited, tell them when they can get the product.
  2. Capitalize on the leak by seeding pre-release versions of the product to bloggers. Andy Abramson has shown the power of engaging 40 or 50 bloggers to write about cool new phones with his Nokia Blogger Relation program.  It builds awareness, creates buzz, and will help to blow out the sales numbers on day 1. RIM should do the same.

My $.02

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