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Congratulations Canon New Zealand. Your company has set a new low for appalling public relations. It appears you have tried to do everything possible to stop me from writing about one of your products.

A press release arrived about Canon Maxify printers. They look like they would be interesting for readers of my monthly NZ Business column.

If your print volumes don’t justify an ‘industrial strength’ printer but you need something more durable than a home printer, Canon’s new Maxify family may fit the bill.

Sounds promising.

Here’s an email I sent to Canon’s Australian media contact:

I would like to write about this printer for NZ Business. But…

  1. The press release is a PDF (i.e. unprofessional to start with)
  2. There is no price information.
  3. No useable pictures
  4. No name, no contact number
  5. Just an email address which no-one seems to answer
  6. So I found the Media Contacts page on the Canon NZ web site.
  7. I ring the number.
  8. There are 7 voice mail options. None are for media
  9. The ‘stay on the line’ option rings out after 90 seconds. I tried this three times.

I hope no-one in Canon wonders why the company gets zero press in New Zealand. I wonder if you expect to sell anything.

Immediately I got this response:

Delivery has failed to these recipients or distribution lists:

shane.mcclelland@canon.com.au

The recipient’s e-mail address was not found in the recipient’s e-mail system. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please check the e-mail address and try resending this message, or provide the following diagnostic text to your system administrator.

If you were wondering, I didn’t mistype the address, I clicked on the web link.

5 thoughts on “Canon NZ: Aiming for world’s worst practice media relations

  1. I agree – Canon’s effort was pathetic. But I can’t resist a little sarcasm re your first point: “The press release is a PDF (i.e. unprofessional to start with).”

    Surely, as an ethical journalist you wouldn’t entertain the notion of parroting press releases? You wouldn’t? So why do you need ‘live’ text?

    • I don’t need live text at all. As you say I don’t parrot press releases. Smart PR operators know to send press releases as body text in an email – that way journalists can:

      a) read it on any device without installing extra software
      b) download it anywhere, including by mobile, without it costing a fortune. (PDFs are often large and that gets expensive if you have to read it on a phone when travelling say, in China.)
      c) find it quickly when searching back through email for leads

      • Sorry – I get a bit cynical. I remember when press releases were sent on paper, through post and fax. I wouldn’t send a press release in PDF form, but it’s not the end of the world if someone does, and it’s the least of the communication crimes Canon visited upon you. If you want to copy a few words giving technical detail (which is probably reasonable to parrot) – that’s easy to do from a PDF. Unless the PDF has big graphics in it, the size shouldn’t be too bad, and you certainly shouldn’t need to install extra software to read it. Who hasn’t got a PDF reader on their device?

        PDFs are certainly not as bad Word files stuffed with graphics!

  2. It’s also why I sold my Canon networked lazer. Didn’t network and kept having the software fail. Never had a software update until I jumped really high, then a tech turned up with software that networked and printed, saying it was not available on the web – maybe because it worked. Until the machine stopped again 🙁

    Swore to never buy Canon again

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