Bloomberg's New Tech Blogs: Takeaways for Tech Companies and PR
Watch out Forbes and NYT ... Bloomberg finally has brought an attractive date to the tech-reporting party that can sing, dance and charm! Bloomberg, with its shiny new Tech Blog and Tech Deal along with the ability to leverage original video content, is definitely a little late, but appears to be making quite a Lady Gaga-style entrance. It’s still early, of course, but it's good to see the long-standing media giant expanding its technology coverage to include a more robust view of the industry.
Let's be frank; there is a gargantuan amount of tech companies -- some very large, scratching for every inch of media real estate -- but they are often overshadowed behind the Facebooks, Apples and Verizons of the world. In addition, start-ups are popping up in every corner of the tech landscape including gadgets, gaming, apps, networking, green, etc., and many are poised to be the next big thing. Bloomberg's move further exposes them all to new readers and companies, ultimately contributing to their bottom line. Conversely, PR professionals and their clients alike who normally appreciate a simple acknowledgement from Bloomberg have another way of connecting their message to a greater audience.
As I attempt to navigate through an almost endless Internet abyss of technology blogs and publications, I understand why Fast Company would call the field a bit crowded. However, finding the right placement for clients is like piecing together a giant puzzle where you must match the unique edges of a company to the individual grooves of the many "Tech [insert random word here]" blogs available. As any PR pro or tech journalist who is barely treading water in a flooded email inbox will testify, there isn't any shortage of innovation--both in the technologies themselves and the PR pitches crafted around them. Also, while some have speculated that we are experiencing a new tech bubble, the bottom line is that as the industry grows, so should the coverage which presents a tremendous opportunity to all parties.
Take today for instance; the tech world will be on fire with coverage of the Apple product event in San Francisco--covering it from every possible angle down to who sneezed, when and how it will affect margins of companies globally (OK, a little exaggeration, but you get the point). Bloomberg's new coverage avenues allow the ordinary consumer, not just the tech savant, to get a complete, understandable picture from one source, which has been a problem for the general public. Too much coverage, you ask? I think not. Check out this skit from Saturday Night Live this past weekend where they poked fun at Verizon ads for talking too much technical jargon. While some us speak LTE/4G networks, data caps and the migration from 3G -- this is all an alphabet soup to most. Clearly there is a knowledge gap between the technology we touch and the information needed to make informed decisions.
PR Pros, Proceed With Caution!
From a PR perspective, there still should be a flashing warning sign hanging right above our computer monitors reading, "Proceed with caution!" While Bloomberg has primarily tapped its large San Francisco presence and regular contributors for content, don't be fooled by the bland blog names and blindly start pitching like it's batting practice. Take some time to learn the blog, identify who is covering what and intuitively piece together any trends. You may consider sending short, one-off beat questions to potential contacts pointing to their past coverage and asking if something has changed. It shows respect, and I've received very beneficial feedback from this practice throughout my career. Not respecting their time ultimately results in wasting your time, a client's money and an agency's respect.