How a Planned Leak Can Hurt Your Corporate Blogging Plans

Don't get too far into the giving spirit when sharing information with your favorite journalists. It could wind up costing you great market intel.

Okay, the headline is a bit extreme. To be honest, it doesn’t hurt so much as cost you a bit of opportunity. Sending out embargoed content that will appear on your corporate blog can be quite helpful to the press – and to your company, which likely will benefit from better coverage (and thus more traffic). Sometimes, the media folks get a little greedy, though: they want to run a story about your company’s announcement before you actually put it out on your corporate blog. When you compare the goodwill associated with a gift like this, make sure you get a sense of all the costs involved, too. You’ll lose specific traffic, and with it, important sales and marketing intelligence.

Here’s the problem: the readers won’t have anywhere to go.

What do I mean by this? Imagine that you are a committed reader of some online publication. You go there every day and devour every article you can find. You’re an editor’s – and a marketer’s – dream. Well, you go to that outlet and see a story from my company’s announcement. You click to my company’s blog, most likely the home page, because there’s no better place to send you. And … you don’t find the news you just read about.

By giving your favorite outlet a head start, I’ve gained your attention but have nothing more to give you. It’s an empty opportunity for me, since there isn’t much I can do to bring you into the sales cycle organically.

And that sucks. It really does.

A better situation is one in which:

1. You visit that media outlet.

2. You read a story that was written in advance from embargoed content.

3. You click through to my company’s blog.

4. I see where you click and learn something about you.

5. I send that to my sales force to engage you.

6. My sales force generates revenue for my company.

7. My kid gets food on his table because of my marketing prowess.

You get the point … because you have source material to visit on my blog after reading the press account, I gain marketing intelligence that I can use. While getting a solid message out is certainly beneficial to my company, the scenario I just outlined gives me that plus information I can use to turn a messaging play into revenue.

That’s the game, right?

Embargoes are great: you’re helping the people who ultimately will help you. Giving it all up, on the other hand, doesn’t come with nearly as much upside. PR pros are often too eager to help the reporters covering them, because they have their sights set on near-term gratification. This comes with a long-term expense, though. Fight the urge to give away the store. The loss of a rockin’ pickup will come with the gain of hot leads that translate to revenue.

Granted, this situation doesn’t happen much, but the temptation does arise from time to time. Have you had an experience like this one? I’d love to hear about it, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Drop a comment below to fill us in.

Publish date: April 6, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT