September 7, 2008
Marshall had this interesting post looking at Embargoes and how they affect tech bloggers.
Some recent event made me wonder about this. I’ve had a few contacts lately about press release type work. There have been two distinct styles of contact;
The "we so don’t trust you" approach
Recently I had contact from a media staffer who invited me to attend a product launch/announcement. I replied saying that, as I’d be travelling at that time, I’d be keen to receive some information under embargo so that I could draft a post. Obviously I explained that I’d undertake to not post until the embargo was lifted.
The reply came back, nicely worded, but nonetheless apologetic that no forward information could be given due to the intense scrutiny the particular business comes under. This sort of reply, while understandable leaves me feeling;
- A lack of trust from the company in question
- Ambivalent about posting at all
- Wondering why the contact was made in the first place
The "we’re in this together" approach
Another recent contact from another, admittedly smaller and thus under less media scrutiny, business was a completely different approach. Basically they gave me an intro into the product/offering, told me they’d be formally launching on a date in the future and stated that they’d be really appreciative of me writing about it at all, and stoked if I’d wait until the release date.
Obviously this approach made me feel;
- To some extent a partner of the business
No prizes for guessing what I did – you guessed it, wrote a great review and didn’t post it until the release date.
But we’ve got to earn the trust
Recently I was advised about a product release by a SaaS company – they took the latter approach and in consideration of this I wrote a review and kept it on tap until the release date. Unfortunately a less scrupulous tech blogger decided to break the news early. Unfortunately this ruins it for all of us; the vendors are less trustful of bloggers per se, and bloggers, seeing that embargoes are being broken are tempted to follow suit.
Business need to trust us more, and the blogger community needs to self police and admonish those who betray this trust