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.