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Dealing with Breaking News.

 3:50 pm on Aug 1, 2000 (gmt 0)

Former president Ronald Regan used to be a master of the press. One thing his administration always did was put a 'keeper story in the bag'. It would be one story they could launch on a moments notice to deflect attention from some other negative story for the day. They did it time after time for eight years. The theory is to just 'add to the fray' and give people something good to think about you. It keeps the supporters from thinking bad thoughts about you, and hammers at the opposition.

The same tactic can be very effective when used online. Enter Google.

Google is taking this tactic to its online extreme. During the last month, whenever ANY major or even minor story about another search engine popped up, Google was there.

Take today for instance: there is a short story [researchbuzz.com] floating about the new altavista look from Research Buzz. Guess what? Within hours, Google floats a story [researchbuzz.com] on some esoteric new search features.

This same tactic has happened four times in the last three weeks. It is an outstanding ploy. If you have the resources to mount a pro-active defense, it is certainly one of the finer tricks of the press trade.



 2:39 pm on Aug 2, 2000 (gmt 0)

It is an interestng tactic. I have to agree that it is working to keep Google in the press when they need it. I can tell you that it is bring them traffic, because we keep getting a ton of traffic from them.


 2:59 pm on Aug 2, 2000 (gmt 0)

With altavista and looksmart dominating much of the news early this week, google puts this [biz.yahoo.com]out. I think we are just seeing the beginning of the great google PR machine, what happens when the approach their IPO? Look out.

Edited by: Q


 4:00 am on Aug 3, 2000 (gmt 0)


Anyone see Wag the Dog?


 9:21 am on Aug 3, 2000 (gmt 0)

eljefe3, wag the dog is exactly what this is, but I still find most people don't understand how the theory is applied and used on the net. Two weeks ago we had a sizable customer who was just going to launch a moderately fluffy story to get in some online magazine. These are folks that outsource pr work.

We told them to hold the story until something else happened in their industry that hit the news. Sure enough - late last week a competitor announced a new cobranding agreement with another site. Our guys were there and released their story within hours. It clearly meant a nice traffic boost and deflected some attention. It also got us, our first pure pr job ever ;)

Q, I don't think we will ever see a Google IPO. I think Yahoo will buy them outright real soon.


 1:42 pm on Aug 3, 2000 (gmt 0)

You're a Spin Doctor!! When will we see you standing next to Bush at the White House?


 2:40 pm on Aug 3, 2000 (gmt 0)

>>When will we see you standing next to Bush at the White House?<<

What, and forsake the Inventor of the Internet?? ;)


 2:49 pm on Aug 3, 2000 (gmt 0)

Cool Beans Brett on the pr job. Robert Deniro would be proud. So should we be looking to pick up some yahoo! stock on the runup to the gooogle purchase?


 2:38 pm on Aug 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

I would say the Google "announcements" are more coincidental, rather than intentional grabs to hit anytime another search engine has news. The example from ResearchBuzz came out of Tara noticing something at Google, not because they put out a release. Similarly, the piece I did recently on different changes at Google came primarily from noticing them rather than Google trying to get coverage.

The wireless stuff release seems more just part of the ongoing efforts at Google. They have lots of news because they are doing lots of things, rather than they are writing releases just to crash in on other search engines, I would say.

There have been examples of this in the past, with other search engines trying to crash in on another's annoucement (excite clubs and yahoo clubs going live at the same time, for example), but I really haven't seen that happening with Google.

A better example is Inktomi coming in with its annoucement right after the LookSmart paid listings annoucements. The timing seems to suggest they thought it would be good to get this in alongside LookSmart, rather than standalone in what some would consider a semi-controversial move.


 5:54 pm on Aug 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

Hey DS, thanks for dropping by. If you want to moderate this forum, just ask ;)

Best thing to do, watch Google for the next few months. I'd almost bet this trend continues. M. Moritz is a master of PR.

You think Yahoo will buy Google?

>eljefe >yahoo stock

It will probably go down. I don't know just how much Google would be worth at this point (2-3 billion?), but whatever it is, Yahoo will have to pay through the teeth for it. A better investment would be Sequoia Capital who owns 10% of Yahoo, an undisclosed percentage of Google, $15 billion worth of Cisco, also some Apple.

All those deals were masterminded by Michael Moritz - a former Time Magazine beat reporter. The rest of his by line [sequoiacap.com] is a who's who of the internet. While you are there, read the seed capital faq [sequoiacap.com].

A nice article on Moritz from Internet.com [internetworld.com] in 98.



 4:02 am on Aug 5, 2000 (gmt 0)


Thanks for the tip. Lokks like they have their fingers in a lot of pies. They stand to benefit from a google to yahoo sale if they are holding a reasonable percentage of google.


 4:33 pm on Aug 7, 2000 (gmt 0)

I hope this isn't off topic. How does one hold a story to be released? I don't get that.


 2:16 pm on Aug 9, 2000 (gmt 0)

Surfin, well if you have news that isn't time sensitive, you can hang onto the story. A research project, personel changes, product announcment, or other general press release can be held onto. That what you were looking for?

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