Earlier this month, I was pitched an idea to write a blog post to RIM’s co-CEO’s discussing my opinion on how they can improve the Blackberry product. I tried, but I just couldn’t write it. I don’t want to change anything about my Blackberry. I love my Blackberry just the way it is. What I would like to see is RIM turn the negative press around and make Canadians fall in love with their Blackberry phones all over again.

As a student in Waterloo, walking by RIM’s buildings was magical for me. I would daydream about what the offices looked like. I imagined the Blackberry being created in a Willy Wonka-esque smartphone factory full of creative geniuses. While I’ve read all about the great minds of Silicon Valley, I’ve eaten at the table next to Jim Balsillie, and watched the Perimeter Institute be built from the ground up. I don’t want to give up on the magic I associate with my Blackberry. I think RIM has an enchanted product that doesn’t need to be revamped. What RIM does need is a PR makeover.

What is Blackberry’s battle right now?

RIM needs to take a new approach to it’s public relations. Please RIM, don’t keep telling us what you are going to do to rebound from problems. Why focus on the negative? Let us hear about the good things RIM is doing. Every company has a trial and error moment, and every company faces roadblocks and heated competition. What’s important is how a company reacts to rough patches and their ability to recover that ultimately determines their success.

As a die-hard fan of Blackberry, I think what RIM needs to do is rekindle the magic that made Canadian’s fall in love with their product, before all the problems and bad press happened. Below, I’ve outlined a few suggestions.

Nine ways Blackberry can bring the magic back home

  1. Tell us how great the Blackberry is: RIM needs to bring new energy to their PR department. Right now, the focus is on damage control. I don’t want to hear any more about your mistakes. What’s done is done. Tell me something good.
  2. Make us fall in love with RIM all over again: Make me proud of my Blackberry. I want to see commercials with people that are just as excited as me to use their Blackberry.
  3. Make a Blackberry store: You don’t see Apple store employees holding an Android in one hand and an iPhone in the other. Make a place that’s all your own.
  4. Improve the customer experience: I want to talk to representatives in a store who are passionate about RIM and really want me to own a Blackberry.
  5. Get back to your Canadian roots: I want to know about RIM’s Canadian roots. Put a Canadian flag on my phone. Make me proud that this is a Canadian product.
  6. Tell us the Blackberry story: Share fun facts about the employees. Introduce me to some of Waterloo’s heroes. Tell me about the guy who invented BBM, or give me the story of the 3rd RIM employee.
  7. Make a connection: Connect the Blackberry to my life. Tell me how RIM’s success has added value to the Canadian economy.
  8. Make Blackberry fun: Give me butterflies. Make a Blackberry jingle that I can sing to my friends. Make a crazy Blackberry dance. Associate smiles with the Blackberry.

I love RIM and their products. I love the town of Waterloo, and I love being Canadian. I want RIM to succeed, and I want to high five everyone who uses and loves their Blackberry as much as me. For me, the idea of a Canadian smartphone company is incredibly exciting and makes me proud to own a Blackberry. Please RIM, just bring the magic back home!

After weeks of struggling to write a note to RIM’s founders, I’ve kept it short and sweet:

Dear Mr. Balsillie and Mr. Lazaridis,

It’s not your product that is the problem, it’s your PR.


Your biggest fan

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