Professional behavior results in an effective embargo

Posted on January 10, 2009 10:30 pm by | Media | PR | Skype

Media embargoes—the ones arranged between professionals—are designed as a win-win. The organization gets concurrent coverage from multiple outlets while reporters get the chance to dig deeper into the subject and craft a compelling story.

imageIn his report on episode 412 of “For Immediate Release”, correspondent Dan York talks of a serendipitous alignment of the stars that drove traffic to a screencast he produced. Only in the most offhand way does Dan note that an embargo played a significant part in the screencast’s success.

The screencast presents the features of the latest iteration of Skype for the Mac. Dan was among those offered a preview of the app, contingent on agreement to honor the embargo which would expire when the software was introduced at Macworld.

That window gave Dan time to put Skype for Mac 2.8 betea through its paces and decide that a screencast was the best angle for him to take with the story; it also gave him time to assemble a thoughtful and illuminating video.

The Macworld announcement created the interest that led to searches for more information, leading people to Dan’s post. The quality of the video and the information it presented compelled some of those who viewed it to link to it from their own blogs and other social media properties, bring Dan even more traffic.

Had Dan violated the embargo and launched his video before the announcement, interest most likely would not have been as great. The success of the video—over 8,000 views as of the time Dan recorded his segment on Thursday morning—is precisely what an embargo is designed to do when it is offered and accepted by people who behave professionally. Skype benefits from coverage exploring the software from a variety of perspectives (including Dan’s) while Dan and others who agreed to the embargo draw new readers to their sites.

There would be little room for complaint if everyone behaved as professionally as the parties did in this case.

 

Comments

  • 1.I heard Dan's report and the one thing that I think that I'd like to challenge is the idea that 8,000 views on YouTube can be considered a "success" in terms of getting a message out. I'd be curious to know what social media consultants advise their clients in terms of defining success of media that gets posted online. How many views of a post, or retweets or video views does a media item need to get in order to be considered a success.

    Rob Safuto | January 2009 | Albany, NY

  • 2.More to the point, and likely overcoming an apparent lack of numbers if, is who those 8,000 were. Large numbers don't mean much if your target audience isn't among them, small numbers don't mean much if a significant percentage of your target audience makes up the lion share of them. Taken one step further, it's what the viewing target audience do with that information and whether they were affected as intended.

    michael clendenin | January 2009

  • 3.Rob and Michael,

    I actually agree with both of you and answered you indirectly in my FIR report last week. The fact that so many people viewed my YouTube video was entertaining to me, given that it was far beyond my expectations, but the numbers I have really been tracking is how many of those folks stayed around and became subscribers in some fashion. Either to the YouTube account, to the Twitter feed or to the RSS feed. All of those numbers are up, although certainly not anywhere near the number of views.

    It's fun to get the high number of YouTube viewers, but you're definitely right that it is not the quantity of the viewers as much as it is the quality.

    Thanks,
    Dan

    Dan York | January 2009

  • 4.I think that I?d like to challenge is the idea that 8,000 views on YouTube can be considered a ?success? in terms of getting a message out. I?d be curious to know what social media consultants advise their clients in terms of defining success of media that gets posted online.

    Videolar | July 2009

  • 5.@Videolar, I'd suggest that 100 views on YouTube can be considered a success, if you're targeting U.S. politicians and your 100 viewers were the members of the U.S. Senate. You'd have to ask Dan why he felt this number was success (it was a business-to-business communication, which probably explains part of it), but getting information into the right hands trumps blanketing hundreds of thousands of "eyeballs" who aren't the right people any day.

    Shel Holtz | July 2009

  • 6.I heard Dan?s report and the one thing that I think that I?d like to challenge is the idea that 8,000 views on YouTube can be considered a ?success? in terms of getting a message out.Taken one step further, it?s what the viewing target audience do with that information and whether they were affected as intended.

    videolar | August 2009 | NY

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