Even when Apple simply announces a press event it becomes news. Recently, several tech blogs and online news magazines led with a story announcing that, in September, Apple will make an announcement. Stop for a moment and think about that. One of the top news agencies in the country has just announced that, a month from now, you will make an announcement. How is that news?
First, all media is in the business of attracting readers and viewers. They need the numbers so they can sell advertising. This is a key foundational fact many rookie PR people, and even some savvy business owners fail to realize. You get laser focused on what your business is doing, which is understandably exciting to you. But will it be exciting to the readers of that publication receiving your press release? You better know the answer to that question before you click “SEND.”
No media is interested in your content unless it serves their mission or vision. This is not a negative; it’s basic math. If they can’t sell ads, and in some cases, subscriptions, they can’t pay their bills. So, no matter what media outlet it is, they want content people WANT TO READ.
So, why is an announcement from Apple that they will make an announcement sometime soon rate as a top story? Because of the inference in that announcement. The new iPhone is coming. Even marginal Macophiles understand that Mac tends to unveil a new mobile device each fall. They know that early adopters will line up for the new toy, and they’ll be able to get all the bugs out before the holiday shopping season.
So, when Apple says “announcement” most people assume it means “new iPhone.” But no one really knows. This leads to the second reason this announcement about an announcement is news. Apple understands that the mystery, albeit thinly veiled, creates conversation, debate, and endless discussion. Media outlets know this, too. A story that will attract a built-in debate is always news because there is ALWAYS conversation. Repeat visits and visitors who spend significant amounts of time on your site is a beautiful combination for online media outlets.
So if you want to make a splash like Apple has with their news about news, as yourself, how can your messaging encourage discussion, repeat visits, and time spent on your site? How are you set up to give your target media outlet the return they need to assure you will see your content “in print?”