Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2010 and a Clean Slate

2009 is done and dusted, all mistakes water under the bridge, our futures bright and sparkling with possibilities, promise and potential. It is with this spirit that I’m issuing my Ten 2010 Resolutions:

10. I will treat all people with respect, courtesy and kindness with the understanding that each person in the PR/Media/Analyst/Blogger ecosystem is at a different stage of development and maturity;

9. I will not re-tweet other people’s news just because I think it’s something I should do;

8. I will not rise to the bait when reporters decide to use the power of their pen (or keyboard) to get on a soap box and preach to PR people about what they should or shouldn’t do;

7. I will help our clients understand what is original news and what is “me too” news and how each should be treated differently;

6. I will work with our clients to help them put every announcement into context so that people understand why it matters and to whom;

5. I will ensure that my team understands the market and business objectives and our clients and how that determines how we create and shape programs;

4. I will become more vocal/less vocal about things that matter/don’t matter to our industry, my company and our clients;

3. I will become a better resource to reporters that need help understanding how technology works, how it fits into the network and how it can impact markets;

2. I will think more regularly beyond what my clients tell me they want to what they really need and what the market is ready to hear; and

1. I will create programs that enable our customers to reach target customers with relevant news, presented in a way that is meaningful and easy to consume by the media/analyst filter, which is supportive of the clients’ short and long-term business and market objectives.

Now you know what I’m going to focus on in 2010. If I don’t stay true to these resolutions, please let me know. As we all are, I’m still a work in progress.

What are your goals, resolutions, etc? Please comment and share your ideas for the New Year or tell me what you think of my Ten for 2010.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Evolving Your Media Relations for 2010

As I've just read my twelfth article summarizing the highlights of 2009 (because you just can't seem to avoid them this time of year, and I admit, I'm kind of a sucker for them), I've realized that 2009 has been quite a remarkable year for the technology press industry. There have been so many changes that have occurred with the press this year - moves, layoffs, budget cuts and publications redefining themselves. While some of this happens every year, I think 2009 will go down as a particularly harsh one for this industry.

Throughout the year, we have been asked by our clients how these changes will impact them and their ability to get their news across. Our simple answer has been to realize there are fewer reporters with more work to do, and as a result, you need to tailor the information you provide them so it is relevant and timely, and really, just make it easy for them to do their jobs. One client took this to hear, and took it to the next level.

Earlier this month, we helped one of our clients host a Press and Analyst Day at their headquarters for a two-day event that included announcements, executive and customer presentations, a tour of the site and some good old fashioned wining and dining. With employees, executives and customers available throughout almost the entire event for Q&A and casual conversation, the 28 press and analysts who attended were really able to get a good sense of the company, their products and the benefit they bring to the market. This client provided everything the press and analysts needed to know in one setting and made their jobs very easy to do. In addition, the client got to establish some relationships that will benefit both them and the press in the long run.

While it's certainly not possible to pull off a Press and Analyst Day on a regular basis, it can be an excellent tool to add to your communications arsenal. Building personal relationships are so important to this business and some of the traditional opportunities to do this, like tradeshows, are attracting less press than they have in the past. As you build out your 2010 budgets, you may want to consider doing standalone activities liek this for maximum impact for both you and the press.