Funny thing about the Internet. Place the right story, in the right place. Apply some solid messaging that the reporter can key in on and voila, you have more than 7,000 hits in a matter of days.
When this story first appeared on Wednesday, late in the day, about Truphone and their iPod Touch application, my team and I knew this was going to be big for our client. We just knew.
From Google search: Results 1 - 10 of about 7,840 English pages for "How an iPod can be a poor man's iPhone". (0.20 seconds)
Granted, some are repeats and sub sections of sites rerunning the story, but the number alone is impressive, especially for a private company.
Our Burrelle's Online Tracking Service yielded over 600 different public media sites carrying the story first day.
Our CyberAlert service tracked over 150 hits.
Each service yielded many of the same, but in combing through the data, we did find that each "clipping service" found a few new hits.
What was impressive to me was that a story on the Associated Press (AP) wire yielded so much in these ways:
1. National Wire (News coverage in more than a majority of the USA states)
2. International Wire (news seen on sites in NZ, Australia and India)
3. State wires reran the story
4. Pick up by all four major online portals news engines (AOL, Google, Yahoo, MSN)
5. Pick up by CNBC, MSNBC, Gannett, Fox and CBS news engines
6. Pick up by major newspapers online sites and what's more many statewide news networks.
7. Pick up by the Time Warner, Charter, Cablevision news engines that feed their subscribers news pages
8. Best of all, pick up by Verizon and Embarq's news portals. Nothing like letting your customer's know about their own services' replacement.
All take the AP feed, but each has their own criteria. This story rapidly sailed through the news network sites and appeared, as the words were hitting on all the right criteria. Talk about search engine optimization, marketing and even some gaming of the algorithms. NOT. This was none of that.
This was simply good old fashion media relations being executed to a T. Pick the right targets, have something in the public's interest and watch it move through what we have labeled internally and with our clients as "The Boulevard of Communications."
There are four houses on that boulevard.
This story in just over three months has now hit all four. It didn't matter whether this was the result of a story pitch, a release or being on site at MacWorld or Showstoppers or even Mobile World Congress. It wasn't a Twitter Tweet that did it, or one blog post, but of all the many of those taken together to lead to the AP story and what will follow on to that.
This story is simply the true result of the confluence of it all.
This also occurs because this is all about two things. Relevance and Repetition.
It happens because of enough solid stories, posts and tweets all appearing before this one that mattered.
The reporter, Andrew Vanacore, for the Associated Press then did a masterful job of capturing all the right points and telling the story as well as Truphone could have told it themselves. It was a very well researched piece, extremely well written and loaded with enough keywords that made it something for everyone. Vanacore was able to capture the same essence that had TechCrunch's Mike Butcher so enthused back in December when he broke the news and which Blogalyst (and former Sr. VP @ Qualcomm - and my good friend) Jeff Belk did when he described iPod as the $6.00 cell phone in Unstrung back in February. So I give credit to Butcher and Belk. In their respective categories they were first to see the merit in the story, but was the AP Business Writer, Andrew Vanacore was the one who broke it big.
We often underestimate the value of the wire services. Given how many media outlets still exist, but lack the staff any more to write, those of us in the industry are thankful to the AP and its sister agencies around the world, and to the likes of Andrew Vanacore who still toil at their craft of sifting out good stories from all that are out there.
From France, a big "beaucoup merci" to all like them.
P.S. It also helps to have a great product. Thanks to Geraldine, James, Ed, Karl, Tom and the team at Truphone that made this so and especially to Matt and Jo for being Tru Believers.