- February 10, 2012, Stephanie Millman
World Record! Now that’s NEWS!
I came across this article on how industry supplier Montalvo helped one of their customers increase the speed on their line so much that it broke a record. “Wow,” I thought, “How did they do that?” I’m sure many people scanning the headline had the same curiosity. This example brings up an emotional topic to many marketers and editors and I would like to address the topic, “What is Newsworthy?"
Have you given much thought to what is News and what is NOT News?
• New product… one that has not been announced to the media before
• Significant jumps in features (that impact the customer’s experience)
• Alliance or agreement that changes your market position
The first of these suggestions is one that I see misused the most. Have you seen products that you know have been launched at past trade shows or have been around for more than six months the announcement boasts that it is new to the press?
• Products that already have been launched to the media (six-month window)
• Feature changes to existing products that do not significantly enhance the user experience (e.g. painting your machine or upgrading internal circuitry to save on supply costs)
• Alliances that do not significantly change your offering to the customer (positive or negative)
• A feature story on your company or employees that does not demonstrate a completely unique strategy or experience that many others could learn
I see some magazines (particularly in Europe and Asia) host articles that seem to have no customer value and appear quite boastful on the side of the customer. It is obvious that they are receiving this press exposure in exchange for advertising fees. Many would agree that it completely devalues the credibility of the publication.
If you do not have an announcement on a customer-focused alliance or acquisition, new product, or a significant new feature to launch to send to editors, then don’t bother sending them anything. Otherwise, even if you get your announcement published, the message to the reader is quite transparent that you crossed the ‘newsworthy’ line and moved right into using the media as a sales avenue.
One final suggestion... Give the editors a high-resolution, well-lighted (professional) photo if at all possible. “A picture is worth a thousand words” and in the publication world, it brings a great deal more value to their story while giving you a BIG opportunity to get your news published.