PR: What Not to Do: Where Do I Get Your Online Comic?

Archie Comics wants you to know that they’re hip to technology in this press release:

ARCHIE COMICS LAUNCHES MOBILE COMICS PROGRAM WITH iVerse!

Archie Comics’ line of comic books is one of the most successful, longest running lines in the history of the comic industry. The number one producer of English language, all-ages comics, makes the leap into the digital world of mobile content today with the launch of a new app for the iPhone.

I’m going to go ahead and spoil the surprise: Nowhere in this press release is there information on how to find this app or a link of any kind. So if you were interested in finding out more, as I was, you’re out of luck.

A Google revealed iVerse’s website; clicking the iPhone graphic shows that no titles from Archie are available yet on the iTunes store. Perhaps they should have coordinated this release with their partner?

Also not available is pricing information — current iVerse comic titles are 99 cents an issue. That seems high to me, but then again, so does the cost of an iPhone. I’d like to know how many Archie titles are involved and how extensive this program will be. Instead of that information, I get three self-congratulatory quotes, as follow:

Co-President Victor Gorelick explained “Archie Comics has always worked with legendary creators to create funny stories. Over the years, we have been successful in bringing those stories to each new generations. The new iPhone application allows us to better reach the next generation of Archie fans. We have always provided our readers with the best reading experience possible, and this new endeavor is no exception. People have come to expect high quality, humorous entrainment, and we always do our very best to deliver that to our fans with every comic.”

Co-President Fred Mausser commented, “We are excited about the possibilities of the new iPhone application. This will be another format for our fans to enjoy digital Archie Comics. The iPhone is an evolution for the comics industry and we look forward to bringing our tradition of humor and mirth into this new medium.”

Managing Editor, Mike Pellerito, “iPhone apps an area where Archie Comics foresees significant growth. We are focusing on iTunes with our partner iVerse. Selling our comics directly to fans electronically will expand our ability to get our comics in the hands of our fans in a whole new way. We have been included in the iPhone app with Comicology since their launch earlier this year and comics as a whole are doing very well on iTunes.”

So, nice thought, but the execution is lacking. Some idea of both when this new product will be available and how to get it is necessary to achieve the goal of driving your customer to buy it.

Update: It seems that this PR was just to announce the deal, not specifics of the online comics, which is why that information is missing. I think I was misled by the phrase “launch of a new app”.


9 Responses to “PR: What Not to Do: Where Do I Get Your Online Comic?”

  1. Roger Benningfield Says:

    Johanna: In fairness, “new app for the iPhone” tells you where to find it… the App Store. But you’re right… a quick search of the App Store turns up stuff like Atomic Robo, Proof, and Dynamo 5, but no Archie stuff yet. Apparently, Archie is unfamiliar with the lag time involved in getting a new app approved.

    RE: price

    I suspect 99 cents is as low as they dare go. After all, 30% of all App Store sale prices go to Apple, and they need to pull down *something* for the effort. (And off the top of my head, I don’t recall ever seeing an app selling for a price between “FREE” and “$0.99″.)

    Personally, I’m not all that fond of iVerse’s stuff, simply because every issue of a series is a stand-alone app that has to be managed. When iPhone OS 3.0 is released this summer, that issue should go away… they’ll be able to give away a single iVerse reader app and then sell individual issues as downloadable content.

  2. Johanna Says:

    I should have been a little more specific with my criticism there, Roger. I did a similar search of the iTunes store and turned up nothing. My point is that you should announce things when customers can go get them immediately and directly, with a minimum of fuss. Otherwise, the potential customer thinks “interesting”, looks for it, doesn’t find it, and forgets about it.

    The point about not being able to aggregate individual issues is one I’ve heard other people make, too, and makes sense as something with room for improvement.

  3. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » May 13, 2009: Generating debate and offering sage advice Says:

    [...] Archie Comics — where can I find your goddamned digital [...]

  4. Alan Coil Says:

    Stupid Publisher PR?

  5. Johanna Says:

    That title got so much drama that it became distracting, so I finally decided to change it to something more direct.

  6. Roger Benningfield Says:

    Johanna: For the record, my comment wasn’t meant to come across with any passion… that’s my idea of random chit-chat. :)

  7. Johanna Says:

    Oh, I didn’t see it as particularly emotional; I thought it had good points.

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    [...] that announcement last month in which Archie Comics said they’d be putting their stories on the iPhone? Well, [...]

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    [...] forefront of new media. We are delighted to find our fans are already there and waiting for us. We announced the Archie Digital Comic for iTunes in May, and in less than four months our first offering, Archie [...]




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