Category Archives: custom publishing

40: A look ahead

This being the final Tech PR War Stories podcast for 2007, David and Paul thought they’d stretch out a little and ruminate on what’s ahead for 2008. Here, in no particular order, are their predictions. It’s going to be another wild year for tech PR, but one in which savvy PR pros can elevate their status with employers and clients:

  • The end of beats at technology publications. Reporters will become more generalized and contract experts will contribute more of the specialized coverage;
  • Fragmentation in coverage of technology; it will come from a variety of sources;
  • Google will buy Second Life and Skype. Paul sees big opportunities for the search giant to leverage those core technologies into franchise businesses;
  • PR pros will have to do a better job at creating meaningful relationships with press. They’ll also have to reach out to unexpected places for coverage;
  • Increasing concerns about privacy in social networks. Facebook’s Beacon was just the tip of the iceberg;
  • The Wall Street Journal will become a free service. Rupert Murdoch has already made it clear that he wants to take the paper in this direction and that will have big implications for tech coverage as the Journal asserts itself as a major online news force;
  • The rise of social search, addressing some of the inherent limitations of search. Mahalo and WikiaSearch are early proofs of concept of an evolution of the search utility;
  • Vendors will increasingly become publishers and will need help from PR people to create useful and interesting content.

What do you think? Post your comments below and please continue to offer suggestions and sources for future Tech PR War Stories podcasts.

Download the podcast here (19:00).

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14: Do CMP layoffs presage IT print media’s demise?

This week, Paul and David reflect on upheaval at CMP, which laid off 20% of its workforce last week and shuttered some print publications. Paul Believes this is the beginning of the end of print publishing in the IT media market and notes that the economics of online publishing in that area are now weighted toward using freelance and blogger contributors instead of full-time staff.

David notes that technology companies are becoming more aggressive about launching their own online and even print publications, and that some of the senior editors who have lost their jobs in IT media will be moving over to work for vendors. Paul and David agree that these custom publishing operations are legitimate targets for PR people to place their clients. Now that everyone can publish easily to the Web, the definition of a “media company” is becoming fuzzier.

In Cheers & Jeers, Paul praises Oovoo, a new videoconferencing service that sent customized video messages to journalists and bloggers as part of its launch campaign. But he directs a raspberry at Dell Computer, which sent a cease-and-desist notice to Consumerist.com, an action that ultimately backfired on Dell. But he commends Dell’s openness in blogging about the mistake and even linking to underground photos of unannounced Dell products. My, how times have changed!

Listen to the podcast here (right click to download): 15:05