Attention software vendor executives going to HIMSS13: Can’t wait for your big news to break at the show when you announce it Monday morning? And hoping you won’t be disappointed by the coverage like you were last year, the year before, the year before…?
Stop listening to your marketing folks. Listen to a reporter and your outside PR pro who is begging you to release the news early, and release it the week before the conference.
It is understandable that you want to crow at the show about the major strategic change now underway, the totally new product introduced or a new acquisition. But if your news isn’t major--and major doesn’t mean releasing the 8th version of an existing product or an integration alliance with another vendor--then release it early. Further, strongly consider releasing even major news early.
You can release early and still drop off the news in the HIMSS press room, at publication booths during the show and during scheduled meetings with reporters. But accept that there are several realities that are part of getting coverage during HIMSS week. There are way more than 1,000 vendors at the show and a few dozen reporters. The math doesn’t add up and you can and will get easily lost in the crowd.
Monday morning, reporters have many hundreds of new emails in their inbox, and it just piles up the rest of the week. Ninety percent WILL NEVER BE OPENED. We click on emails that obviously contain major news, and messages from colleagues and family. During the weekend when we’re back at home, we turn on the TV and clean our inbox by hitting DELETE hundreds and hundreds of times.
Another reality: At night during HIMSS we are in our hotel rooms trying to finish our work, it’s 10 pm, the only thing left to write is routine vendor news, or we can go hang with colleagues for a while. I assure you, the debate of what to do is short and you lose.
Finally, the week before HIMSS is slow on news and reporters still have daily newsletters to get out. Routine vendor announcements that might usually be ignored get picked up. So, do you want it both ways? Release early and at the show.
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