The Never-Ending Chase After “Cool”
By: Megan Li, Intern
As a new intern at Fusion PR, there is plenty to learn and experience but there’s been one thing that sticks out to me the most. It’s the reality that some of the top tech companies have done such a good job of branding and relating to media outlets that they almost seem to be able to completely dictate or strongly influence the direction and content of current news. If you take the time to scan the news, you’ll see that the same names make the headlines. Basically, if the tech industry were a high school cafeteria, Google and Apple would be the cool kids lounging at their own designated table while the startups sitting at surrounding tables would gaze longingly in their direction. Whenever any of these tech giants release any kind of product or announcement, it instantly becomes prime time news regardless of the actual significance of said product or statement. Because these companies have become synonymous with headline news, they have attained an element of cool that sets them apart as industry leaders, more than size, money, or output. The most impressive thing is that they make themselves perpetually relevant because they can make anything they work on seem like it is the most interesting, trendiest thing in the industry.
Additionally, I’ve also quickly realized that technology news is actually genuinely interesting. The thing about technology is that it’s all around us and seamlessly incorporated into so many aspects of our daily lives. Of course technology is cool, because if it doesn’t make our lives easier, then it exists solely because someone out there thinks it’s cool. However, what could be cooler than something that fixes a problem? Innovation is often driven by a market demand for easier or better solutions to existing problems. If we as consumers truly understood the problems that technology is designed to address, it would be much easier to understand why the solution is so significant. When you have an obvious problem, what could be cooler than an easy fix?
That being said, there are also plenty of products that don’t necessarily solve any real problem we have today. What problem does a Smart Watch solve? Nothing really. It might make our lives easier, but the only function we really need in a watch is to tell time. And yet, it’s pretty cool to think that we could have an interactive wearable piece of technology that can do little tasks for us like update us on our social media presence, schedule things for us on synced up calendars, or even call people without need for a phone. So at the end of the day, a lot depends on how you, the company, the journalist, the PR representative, or the client understands the product. Technology is all about changing, fixing, or making things better, so if we don’t find something interesting enough, maybe we just don’t understand the right questions to ask.