These days, every company wants blogs to cover their product announcements. After all, most customers rely on a Google search as their primary source of product research and increasingly trust blogs more than traditional media outlets. Guy Chapman’s excellent “how-to” for corporate content on Wikipedia (trust me, it’s a must-read!) brought to mind one key area where many corporate marketers still fall short: Product launch collateral. Even as they increasingly turn to bloggers for coverage, marketers still rely on the same stale “press kit” components from yesteryear. This new media world needs a new kind of collateral!
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?