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Franks Advice for Press Conferences

Published on May 9, 2012

This Special Report from drupa covers Franks recommendations for improving press conferences.

Hi.  This is Frank Romano for WhatTheyThink.com.  I’m here at Drupa and this is day two, and I’ve already been to 77 different press conferences.  So I’ve got some lessons to the people who put on press conferences, so hear me well.  First of all, they all have a press kit of some sort, a beautiful folder in most cases.  Inside are printed copies of the press releases and sometimes there’s a brochure or other colored material about the product.  Now what I have discovered that’s new and different, is that at this particular show there are more CD-ROMs than anything else.  Now I have a basic problem with that because I have a MacBook Air and there is no place to put the CD-ROM into the MacBook Air.  It doesn’t work any way; by the way, it doesn’t work by osmosis either.  

So what some companies do to make life easier is they give us this stuff—I’m sorry, I’m reaching down here for my prop—on various types of sticks.  Now this is only one gigabyte so it’s not worth anything.  This one is from Kodak and it’s four gigabytes; this is in the realm.  This one came this morning from Zycon and it took me a while to figure out how to work it.  They’re so small nowadays; by the way, you could confuse it with one of your pills and ingest it.  So these work out and they work out for my computer.  They don’t work out for my latest iPad, but I understand the new iPads will allow me to take USB sticks.  

Well, I think that the manufacturers should either have a website where I can download everything or a stick, but this is useless.  And by the way, I see more iPads here than any other device.  That’s what most of the journalists are carrying at this stage of the game.  So I know you save money when you do this.  I know that these things cost more money, but this I think is a more intelligent way to do it.  

Now there’s another thing I want to complain about—PowerPoint presentations—please, let’s limit it to 12 slides.  And by the way, you don’t have to put 77 lines with 40 words per line on the slides.  It is not necessary to do that.  I can’t read from a distance anyway.  And by the way, why don’t you find bigger rooms.  They’re all so crowded.  Now I thought the number of printing media people in the world had gone down; I think it’s gone up.  Either that or you’re recruiting homeless people to come in and sit in the seats because you can’t fit in the rooms.  

And by the way, I’m tired of German food.  I know I’m in Germany but can’t they give us something a little bit more palatable, because in the press conference center it’s all the same food for every different press conference.  The only thing that’s neutral is water.  By the way, they don’t even know what diet Coke is here; they call it Coke Light.  So if you’re going to put on press conferences, think about the people coming, think about the technology they’re using, and then we’re going to do a better job covering your products.  Got it?



By Werner Rebsamen on May 09, 2012


loved your comments, especially using CD's on your Mac Air!
Good points made.
See you on Saturday at the show.


By Chris Bondy on May 09, 2012

Always great insight with the Romano flair!
I especially agree with the material -- stick with the stick!


By Mark Bonacorso on May 10, 2012

My take-away from Frank's post: "Walk tall and carry a big stick."


By Paul White on May 10, 2012

Frank, as always, these are wonderful comments and "on the money". Thanks for making them so enjoyable! Perhaps the PR agencies can also gain insight from your observations.


By Gordon Pritchard on May 11, 2012

Frank, your USB stick won't work with your iPad. The camera connector kit which enables the iPad to import files via USB only works with images taken by a digital camera. It won't transfer files, or images, that were not taken by the digital camera. :-(

I don't know if the Mac Book Air has the same restriction.


By Andrew Tribute on May 11, 2012

I'm with Frank and have also commented on the CD problem at drupa. I recently switched away from the iPad and invested in a MacBook Air for the future. No problem with USB sticks, but again as Frank said lets have a minimum size of 2 GB if they are to be reused. Why did I switch away from the iPad. I was one of the first journalist/analysts to use my iPad with an integrated (in the case) Bluetooth keyboard as I tried to make it a laptop replacement for my heavy MacBook. I found that an iPad is not a laptop replacement as long as it does not accept Flash and also has no proper filing system. You cannot write content with images which is a key requirement for a writer. For those who have not used it the MacBook Air is great as it weighs about the same as an iPad with keyboard but operates as a real computer. What it now needs is a IOS interpreter so I can read the iPad publishing content like my newspaper!


By John Hebert on May 11, 2012



By Titi Amzar on May 12, 2012

Hi Frank,
I think you have used a very diplomatic language to describe the problems encountered in this edition Drupa. Remains a great pardox why an industry that deals with communication to communicate worse than other economic sectors... Its sad.


By Steven Schnoll on May 18, 2012

Why is everyone switching to MacBooks. I didn't see Apple at Drupa. This company owes a lot to the graphics industry but they can't afford to spend some of their millions to show some respect for the industry that helped them become who they are today


By James Kohler on May 22, 2012

Ah Frank! Once again right on the money!! I only brought my iPad (3) to Drupa as I left the MacBook Pro home in the State. No need for me. As far as Apple showing up? Why they have stores that cover everything. I didn't see Adobe there are well. Great Call Frank as alwaysl


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