Techcrunch Stops Embargo’s – Sod It Here Is My Press Release

Reading an interesting post by Mike Arrington on Techcrunch today, basically, he is sick to death of other press, blogs and people breaking embargo’s.  I can understand this, it takes time to construct a well thought out and well researched  intellectual post, when given an embargo, the journalist or blogger is given a time to actually release the story.  Of course, this story is not so hot if someone breaks the embargo to grab the “exclusive”.

I had an experience with PR Newswire a few weeks back, who advised me to distribute a press release on a Saturday – why I have no idea, it got a shocking response, maybe linked to by 50 splogs.  Fact is, I am never using an online PR company to distribute my Press Releases again, have zero ROI on them and frankly, in the main the releases are presented on scraping sites and barely touch the journalists that would find the story newsworthy.

From now, I will post the releases on here, link them to Twitter, Friend Feed and Fuel all my friends this link on fuelmyblog and simply see what happens, I have enough Journalists and bloggers on those sites following me.  As Robert Scoble commented on that Techcrunch post “If I were in PR I’d just Twitter the news, link to a blog explaining it..”.

So here is Fuelmyblog’s latest press release with a great reference from The King of Shaves boss, Will King.

FUELMYBLOG HELPS BRANDS ENGAGE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNITY

Fuelmyblog.com, the global social network for bloggers, has launched a service aimed at bringing well-known brands closer to its customers and the blogging community.

Fuelmyblog allows bloggers to promote their own blogs for free by networking and recommending others on the site by rating them. It also hosts a community written blog, competitions, interviews and other benefits.

Now Fuelmyblog has launched a product review service linking well known brands with bloggers and a major social media platform.

Fuelmyblog Director Kevin Dixie said: “More and more people are turning to the Internet for product reviews with virtual trust taking over that of family and friends.”

Fuelmyblog believes that in the current economic climate, online is the most cost effective route to marketing a brand or product and practically eliminates the need for expensive campaigns.

Reaching out to bloggers is an ideal way to embrace social media, create online buzz and grow a brand online. By using Fuelmyblog, direct contact to the bloggers is available and provides a trusted source with a strong relationship.

Kevin Dixie said: “Companies working with Fuelmyblog simply select blogs to work with on a campaign, the bloggers have opted-in to receive and review products or test services.

“The products are then sent directly to the blogger with some company background to test and then write an honest review based upon their findings. The blogger is not paid for the review and simply keeps the goods. This ensures there are high levels of trust with the bloggers readers and web surfers as the reviews are based on true experience , we do not tell them to be positive.”

The King of Shaves* are running a blogger relations campaign asking Fuelmyblog’s top bloggers to test its new Azor razor.

King of Shaves CEO and founder Will King said: “As a company we are always looking at innovation in our products and how we engage with our customers. I have my own blog and immediately saw the potential of the Fuelmyblog campaign. The feedback we have had on the blogs involved has been terrific.”

*King of Shaves won the 2008 ‘Best Company’ award at the Real Business & CBI ‘Growing Business’ awards.

– Ends –

Feel free to pass this on, blog it, write about it.  We think it is great news for any brand trying to launch a new product or even reignite old products.  We are also offering restaurant and hotel reviews on blogs.  Remember, as we already have the relationships with the bloggers, you won’t pay huge PR fees or have random people leaving messages on blog posts begging to promote your products..

Apple gets it so right..

As many of you reading my tweets or coming here from Fuelmyblog will know that we are currently on vacation on a small island called Aegina near Athens (Greece).  The view from our room is incredible and simply breathtaking:-

Apart from spending a few hours on the beach there, we have visited a few ancient Greek Temples like the one below:-

The island is surrounded with beauty and is of course very hot, everyone with any brain will retire to their rooms between 1pm and 5pm as the temperature can be as high as 50C which is 122F..This gives me the perfect opportunity to work using the Hotel’s wifi.

Anyhow, back to Apple..

The day before I left for Aegina, I picked up one of the new iPhone 3G’s, I suspect I was the only one to do so to save money, I am currently paying over €250 per month with roaming data charges and sms’s etc and felt that the iPhone with unlimited data, 500 SMS and phone calls free would save me a fortune.  What I didn’t take into account was just how cool this “phone” is.  The camera is great, takes fantastic shots (no zoom but who cares) and the app’s, ipod etc is fantastic.  What I didn’t realise was how many people were interested in the iPhone 3G that are not on Twitter or read Techcrunch…

I was sat in a bar in a tiny town last night, taking photos of the kids eating an ice-cream.  Nothing unusual at all, then a guy tapped me on the shoulder and in his best English (he was Greek) asked if it was the new iPhone 3G?  I nodded, turned around and there were 6 men sat behind me all smiling and pointing “have you tried the maps yet?” They asked to take a look and using the wifi from the port, tried the maps out and were all smiling like kids as it showed their little island..

Apple managed to somehow reach this tiny island..they are truly the masters of marketing..

Why Techcrunch is not always right for your site

When I first started Fuel I thought the best thing that could happen would be to get Mike Arrington of Techcrunch to review it. I was wrong on many parts. Not because of fear that Techcrunch would write a bad review, nothing like that but I think a review would have killed the site back then (and would today for a day or two!).

You see, when a reader of a blog or news site get to hear about a new service or website, they generally, based upon the quality of the review, will go visit and see for themselves. So this presents two immediate problems, firstly, the site needs to have the server and capacity to take the hits and secondly, is the traffic going to be sticky or "drive-by's"?

The friend widget (fuelroll) on fuelmyblog is currently getting over 40,000 clicks per day, this has resulted in the site slowing down and now we are experiencing some running issues, so we can only imagine the numbers if the site was stable and up all day every day! These issues will all be resolved with a shiny new server next week, we are self-hosting finally and I guess this is the first stage of "scaling up". So with a review from a large site like TC, we'd be screwed for at least a day or two, this is why sites need to be able to scale up, even with our small site, that point has already happened.

So on to the traffic, as we all know, as bloggers or site owners, traffic is what we crave and desire. We all want traffic, for some it is key to survival, for others it brings pleasure in the form of comments. We also want that traffic to stay and come back (sticky). So, if TC reviewed fuel, I suspect, the traffic it would generate would be high, when Mashable wrote about fuel we gained 1000 users in the first 24 hours, with readership of around a 7th(?) of Techcrunch, I suspect we could safely expect a similar pattern. But what kind of users would they be?

Organic users are sticky, they are generally referred to read your blog or site by a friend and stay because, well, they are already a friend of that blog or person and will have similar interests. Are people arriving following a Tech review going to stay? I say Tech review in particular because people that read Tech blogs or sites tend to be early adopters, always willing to try new stuff, staying in general with a handful of sites they prefer. Generally, I suspect they will take a look around, maybe hate it, maybe love it. I am guessing they also pop back to the source of the review, leave a comment and move on to the next review. This is why the majority of that traffic may not be sticky. Of course, if the site is good, they'll come back and that is key to actually getting a review, something we don't deserve yet 🙂

So, this is why I think a Techcrunch review would have killed the site before but in a couple of weeks time, won't (or shouldn't). We'll have the new features by then and be ready to start actually talking to the world about Fuelmyblog, it will have to be ready too, as I have that huge announcement coming soon.

One I have promised to tell Mike Butcher about before I go to the press. And this announcement, linked to Fuelmyblog in a way, will attract as much offline ("deadwood" news interest) as the online news/blogs. And I know I am still being vague, I have to be. I am meeting with two public companies in a few weeks time to discuss it. These companies have 40,000+ employees, are based mostly offline and their CEO's want their companies to be involved. So believe me, dear readers, I have something cooking that will benefit the bloggers and users of fuelmyblog like no other social network has ever offered before (or possibly ever after). And I will not let you down. I promise.

(Oh and Paul and I are going to Sobcon08, an interview with Liz Strauss will be on here next week, if you are going, I'll be able to talk about it with you in person!)

'Til the next post folks, see you soon!