Do You Believe in Second Chances?

428898_real_logoThinking back to, oh, let’s say 1998 … you probably had experience using RealPlayer, the media player from RealNetworks.  Maybe it came bundled with your PC.  Maybe you were needed to download it in order to watch a BBC clip online.  Unfortunately, though it has many happy users, the RealPlayer of yesteryear gained a reputation for bloat that aggravated most users.

What if I told you that our clients at RealNetworks had all the necessary Social Media and User Interface epiphanies a couple of years ago, and worked diligently to make RealPlayer rock?

What if I told you that the new version (now in beta), launched this week, allows you to do some very cool stuff, like:

  • download most any web video into a personal media library;
  • share the video via social networks like Twitter and Facebook;
  • convert the videos for on-the-go viewing on your iPhone, iPod, BlackBerry, etc.

Oh, and what if the “mainstream media” also lauded the new product?

Would you be willing to try it? Or would you tell me that Real’s reputation from YEARS ago is enough to forswear their products, even when the products are quite good?

Take a deep breath before you answer.  This goes beyond RealNetworks.

This goes to the heart of how one handles PR for a brand.  Brand = reputation.  PR strives to improve reputations.  When we crank at the flywheel of reputation, we need to account for what hath gone before.  Even in a world in which consumers are game for “second chances,” that acceptance comes warily.  There are no big, creative campaigns that cause global amnesia.

PR is about cultivation. Slow, steady, and hugely unsatisfying in the short-term, especially for troubled brands … but, it’s also incalculably important and effective in the long run.  Especially if you believe in second chances.

(Of course, I do wish you’d try the new RealPlayer and let me know if you like it or not. I have been using it for two years quite happily. Surely, as a marketing pro, you believe in second chances?)

Posted on: June 25, 2009 at 9:37 am By Todd Defren
6 Responses to “Do You Believe in Second Chances?”


  • John says:

    Hi there,

    I’m not sure that it was just the fact that Real Player became bloated that was the problem…having to jump through so many hoops to download it was always the thing that really wound me up…if I want to you something I don’t feel I should have to spend half an hour filling out forms before I can do so…

  • The key here is that you are acknowledging the *need* for a second chance. We did some things wrong (not through malice, just misjudgments/mistakes), we listened, we’ve improved.

    I’m going to try the new RealPlayer now and I at least thought about trying (although thought better of that one), so your posts are effective from that perspective. Hope we’re not going to hear about too many of your client, too often on the blog, though…

Leave a Reply

Show some social media love would ya?

RSS logo Subscribe by Email

RSS logo RSS Feed


PostRank Topblogs 2009 - #3 in PR

View Todd 

Defren's profile on LinkedIn