The simple art of putting out news has never been so (it must be said) ugly. Two decades ago, it was all a well-oiled machine that hummed along. We briefed monthly pubs and reviewers on a product 6 months in advance, the weeklies 7 days out, the dailies 2-3 days prior and we put out a news release via the wire around 8 am, usually on a Monday (paper copies went in the mail the Friday before). We worked hard to give different parts of the story to each publication so that they each had unique sources, examples, angles, etc. If you wanted to negotiate an exclusive or a cover story that happened way in advance and promises were generally kept since everyone literally applied ink to a legal contract.
Today, it has almost all the same elements and outcomes but the process is significantly compressed and the pressure to deliver on both sides gets higher each day. It’s a lot like making sausage.
For clients in many industries, every piece of news they put out is given to someone as an exclusive or it’s given to several pubs as an advance. Managing that process is mind-boggling. Reporters used to appreciate getting a story several days in advance so they had a chance to digest it, work on it and get other sources before the news hit. Not necessarily so anymore.
Recently I was asked by a prominent news site if they could break my client’s major business story as a “rumor