September 23, 2009

so embargoes are still dead according to TC

I think everyone has gotten the memo by now: TechCrunch stopped honoring embargoes from PR people a long while back. And today, TC has still stopped honoring embargoes. Elvis also remains out of the building.

It's understandable Mike doesn't want to deal with embargoes because he spends time writing stories that are supposed to be news while another outlet breaks the embargo and Mike doesn't run the story because the news isn't new anymore.

As Mike's argument indicates: no one wants old news. And news is only news for a second. If you're lucky.

Mike has some advice on how to release news the new-fashioned way -- he says to release the news on your own corporate blog and then email everyone asking them to take a look. So he's basically advising you to break your own embargo (and spam your friends). heh.

Over on facebook (WTF) Robert Scoble has some suggested ways around TC's no-embargo policy for companies who still care about giving their left nut to appear on TechCrunch. Example:

Donate $1,000 to a charity if Arrington keeps his mouth shut (will cost you maybe $5,000 to keep a few big bloggers in line). Make it public. That way he’ll look like a loser if one of his writers breaks wind first.
Only thing is, Robert hasn't been copied on the memo stating that companies - yes, even tech companies - don't care as much about appearing on TC as they once did.

You see, THEY got the memo letting them know that they should care to be where their customers and users are. Those people are not hanging around TechCrunch.

The old technobility has lost its crown. Long live the mommy blogger.

(taking tongue out of cheek)

The larger issue of the end of the embargo is a pain in the ass for PR people and a pain in the ass for the reporters who have always been professional enough to stick to embargoes.

It's also a pain in the ass for the Press Release itself, which finds its role further weakened, because the entire "pre-seeding" process before a press release hits the wire has to change when the media won't agree to hold off on publishing until a specified date and time.

So what do outlets like the Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch who now shun embargoes really want? They want the exclusive. They want to be the only outlet to get the news, or they don't want to play.

So how do you make news?

FIRST, you help people do something so special that they are compelled to tell their friends. You help them do that thing better and with less energy and expenditure than your competitor. You incent and reward them for telling their friends - you make them your business partner. You work with a communications pro (I'm thinking of dropping the PR term altogether) who connects what you're doing -- and what PEOPLE are doing WITH what you're doing -- to everyone who should know about it.

And you don't stop.

Embargo that.