It’s tempting for companies to smack the little guys around. After all, it’s easier to bump off some new startup by spreading FUD than it is to challenge the top dog in your industry! But easy pickings should be avoided, especially when it comes to online communication and social media: It’s far easier for a company to lose mindshare by calling attention to the little guys than it is to gain anything from even the most justifiable argument. That’s why I advise my clients always to punch above their weight.
Conventional PR mechanisms face many challenges in this new Internet-enabled world, but one of the thorniest for product vendors is the question of controlling information prior to announcements. Although there are many benefits to briefing writers and thought leaders ahead of time, there is a difference of opinion on how to handle this. And not all writers are the same, with reporters being focused on scoops and independent bloggers often more interested in considering their take on the news. Then there is the issue of embargo-breaking, and how to handle leaks. What should one do?