Chasing that [long]Tail

October 9, 2014

Where  five years ago, “breaking” news was THE mission for reporters, we’re now starting to see a slight shift in how media treats hard news coming out of today’s emerging tech companies. While getting there first still earns you bonus points, when it comes to reporting on launches or corporate announcements it’s more about crafting a meaty, well researched article than being first to click publish.

Nowadays, audiences can get the same experience of reading a newspaper or magazine by scrolling through Twitter. In fact, for the majority of its users Twitter is their primary source of news. Knowing that they still need to drive clicks and shares of their articles, reporters now are left to compete and differentiate their stories based more heavily on the quality of content they produce. Flipping through some of today’s news outlets – big or small – you have no trouble finding articles with ample use cases, industry research and third party references that not only report on the facts of the announcement, but also provide ‘bigger picture’ analysis.

Our team witnessed this “long tail” trend when taking our client Acorns through their recent launch. Leading up to the release date, we conducted 12 pre-briefings with a mix of outlets. We anticipated most of the articles hitting on the actual release date, but only saw three articles publish once the embargo lifted. Having received verbal confirmation that each reporter had plans to write, we held off panicking and waited patiently for the rest of the articles to hit. In the following days after the announcement, we saw nearly 35 feature articles publish. For the most part, each story included stats, quotes from other industry experts and the reporter’s own take on the news.

Using this experience as an example, we’re adjusting coverage expectations around launches. More than ever, PR agencies need to partner with their clients to provide exclusive/customized content and ample resources reporters can also tap for commentary – this is what will ultimately drive coverage of your client.

The caliber of coverage we achieved for our client went above and beyond even our highest expectations. This proved to be a launch for the coverage hall of fame [that should exist, don’t you think?!].

acorns

Here are a few of our favorite stories:

http://www.wired.com/2014/08/acorn-app/

http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/26/acorns-is-a-micro-investment-app-that-does-all-the-thinking-for-you/

http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/26/6068017/acorns-app-saving-investment

So don’t be surprised if you don’t get 35 high quality pieces of coverage the morning the embargo lifts. If you want to get the good stories – the ones that go beyond the details in the press release and make you pump your fists in the air as you read them; you have to provide the right information, be patient, and expect to chase the long tail.

Bailey and Morgan

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