GCI study stakes wireless tech future on PR rethink

NEW YORK: A new PR strategy is needed if the telecoms industry's multi-billion dollar investment in wireless technologies is going to pay off, according to a study by GCI Group.

NEW YORK: A new PR strategy is needed if the telecoms industry's multi-billion dollar investment in wireless technologies is going to pay off, according to a study by GCI Group.

The report aims to unravel some of the key PR and business issues facing the telecoms sector. It illustrates the point by examining the launch of the wireless application protocol (WAP) and short messaging services (SMS) in Europe. It evaluates how the different PR approaches to these innovations led to very different market results.

"The troubles of the telecom industry have been widely reported,

said Bob Feldman, CEO of GCI Group. "But the truth is the investment in the sector has been extraordinary."

"Our analysis shows that unless there is substantial benefit communications in support of infrastructure investment, that investment will be DOA."

The survey states that a consumer education program must be implemented to help create an understanding of the real benefits of wireless technology.

But PR is not the only area that needs a revamp, according to the summary.

Product development also must be simplified.

"The first thing that firms can do with their clients is reshape the dialogue,

Feldman said, "and help them understand strategy that speaks to more practical benefits and real-life applications of the technology as opposed to the future."

By 2010, wireless applications will have a significant impact on people's lives, but the specific benefits need to be taught to consumers, the study said.

The study also sets out criteria for a successful PR strategy for introducing wireless applications and services. These include "making it a 'must have'

- generating demand by explaining the benefits.

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