Trade shows and public relations agencies

Within the industry I work in, there is a gargantuan trade show next week. It is quite possibly the biggest trade show of the year, and anyone who is anyone will be there.

Also, being the biggest trade show of the year, every company is convinced that they have to launch a slew of new products and send out dozens of press releases about their new services and products. I have spent the past few weeks bombarded with invites to companies I simply must meet at the conference.

The irony is that I am faced with a choice – either go to the conference but be too busy meeting people to write about it, or not attend the conference and manage to put out quite a lot of news coverage.

The net result is that on Monday morning I will awake to a tidal wave of PR flowing into my email boxes, and it will continue like that for at least three days and then slowly die down. At this point, a second smaller flood will arrive from aggrieved PR hacks begging to know why I didn’t cover their “never heard of you” company during the week.

Well, think about it.

All the mega-firms will make their announcements, and they simply have to get priority. No sensible trade publication can ignore the big players in the industry as those are the ones which most interest the readership. Also, the readership equally don’t want to get a newsletter which is suddenly five times longer than usual, so they only want the big stories.

However, also remember that the readers of the news are themselves at the conference and far too busy doing conferency things to be able to read the news either. Most of them will skim read it all the following week when back at the office.

So, if you are a PR firm, please understand that having all of you, all simultaneously sending out your releases at the same time is actually a damn stupid idea.

Being sensible, we buffer some of the interesting smaller stories for the following weeks, but just think about the logic of having everyone in the industry announcing things at the same time and work out what your chances are of being heard above the noise is likely to be. Pretty slim chances. So, in future – please try to curb your enthusiasm for following the herd and maybe wait for a few weeks – or even better, launch the product several months earlier (I mean actually launch it, not say you will launch it).

Thanky :)

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