Lunchtime Links: Lessons from Apple’s Map Fiasco

In the shoes of the Apple CEO, would you have apologized? Also: Some tips from an event pro.

Recently, Vanity Fair referred to Apple’s new iOS 6 Maps app as “a nod to Surrealist legends like René Magritte and Salvador Dalí.”

David Pogue, a noted Apple fanboy, said using the app was “as though you just got a $1,500 professional coffee maker and then poured moldy beans into it.”

If you were dealing with that sort of negative press, how would you have dealt with it? How Tim Cook did it, and more, below:

Navigating a crisis: This morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook did something rare for the company: a public apology for a highly criticized product. “At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers,” he said. “With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.” Surprisingly, he recommended that users use third-party products in the meantime, including Bing or MapQuest.

How one meetings professional does it: Grand Valley State University MBA student Wade Slaghuis recently chatted with Event Garde founder Aaron Wolowiec on his methods for success. Some great stuff in the piece, including how he manages to keep his social channels active. “I can’t imagine how someone is able to do all this every couple hours,” Slaghuis writes, “but Aaron let me in on a little secret. His strategy is to find a handful of articles or pieces of interest and put them into his Hootsuite [queue].”

Another view on certification programs: Velvet Chainsaw’s Jeff Hurt says while certification programs can prove useful to their members, associations shouldn’t go in for the wrong reasons — especially if the main one is to boost revenue. “Any successful program needs to address a market need,” he explains. “There needs to be a demand and value for it. The same holds true for a certification program. There should be a demand and value for it.”

Membership models’ varying success: According to Tony Rossell, senior vice president of Marketing General, a couple of experimental membership models he’s been following are showing signs of success, but a lower-priced online membership model is struggling to show results. “Initial signups for this type of membership are good because of the lower dues amount,” he wrote. “However, renewal rates for this membership category have been disappointing for many organizations. I have seen renewal rates as low as 15 percent.”

What sort of membership models have you tried? And what’s been most effective for your organization?

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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