Thursday, 30 August 2012

The end of the summer

As August draws to an end and the balmy summer days draw to a close (and the kids go back to school), many businesses will look towards getting back into full swing of things, the whole team back and rested, chomping at the bit to push forward with the last quarter of the year. Previously, I have mentioned ‘The Silly Season’, the part of the summer when the media are often scratching around for good news stories, which can be a great opportunity to grab a few column inches. Whilst that may be drawing to a close, it also means that the audience for media coverage is also rising and the benefits of placing a good story increase with it. Traditionally, the last quarter is another popular part of the year for trade shows and product or service launches (Apple is rumoured to be launching the new iPhone 5 this autumn), so expectation is high from the press for exciting news stories. It’s an ideal time to launch or re-launch a key PR push and at MCC we encourage our clients to consider this as part of the wider PR campaign.

The sparring of smartphone heavyweights Samsung and Apple came to head this week with a landmark US court decision on intellectual property infringement, as reported by the BBC News website. Samsung now faces having to make a $1billion (£665m) damages payment to Apple and technology commentators are buzzing about the implications for consumers of such legal rulings. Both companies have locked horns in courts around the world, both claiming that the other has copied its technology. It’s perhaps an inevitable repercussion of the level of rivalry between them, especially when you consider their combined sales account for more than half of the worldwide smartphone and tablet sales. The mobile sector has gone from a marginal one to perhaps the key consumer IT market in only a few years and these kind of judgements will inevitably help to shape the way we communicate in the future.

Whilst the technology giants squabble over market share, Australian scientists have been promoting technology for far more altruistic reasons – creating a bionic eye that is helping blind people to regain a degree of their sight. As reported on the Telegraph website, patient Dianne Ashworth is trialling the technology which promises to restore at least some level of vision and could be a first step toward the dream of restoring lost sight and giving blind people a greater degree of independence.