Product Launches Aren’t News? ...


The internet has commoditized news announcements, particularly product news from B2B tech companies.

This isn’t to say that journalists will never write about a new SaaS offering, a denser storage product, etc., but the why-should-I-care bar sits in the stratosphere.

Stratosphere definition

I was reminded of this when our European MD Mark Pinsent scooted the OOO message from Alex Scroxton at Computer Weekly my way.

Check out this passage:

On the rare chance you are pitching news during this time you may follow up with my colleague Seb who is providing limited cover this week.

Examples of news include cyber security alerts and advisories, breach disclosures, new research and statistically significant reports. Examples of news do not include product launches or service/feature updates, invitations to speak to your client’s marketing dude for no other reason than ‘he’s over from the States’, anything to do with funding rounds, which I literally could not care less about, or any crypto/NFT nonsense because ugh. And you can forget about pitching anything to do with Magic Quadrants, Waves, or whatever IDC calls their thing.

Here you have a seasoned journalist at one of the top computer trades who tracks one of the most high-profile spaces in the industry, cybersecurity, and he’s calling out product launches as an example that does NOT qualify as news.

I should add that Alex isn’t one of those “get off my lawn” types. His process for qualifying news deserving of his time is horse-shoe close to 90% of other journalists.

Yet, B2B tech companies continue to churn out news releases with the game theory of playing the lottery. For those who missed the memo, flinging 25 dreadful news releases to the outside world does have a greater probability of scoring coverage than doing the same with five dreadful news releases.

If you’re interested in a deeper look at this disconnect, check out the post, “Applying Supply and Demand Economics Theory to Media Relations.”

And BTW, it turns out that Mr. Scroxton has a sense of humor as reflected in the closing of his OOO message:

“In the meantime, to help minimise the nightmare I will face on returning, please restrain yourselves from following up on any pitches you get asked to send. I know it’s tough and you can’t resist, but tell your account managers that I know they know that I’ve told them this before, and your clients that I said it was okay.”

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