In our Watchman series in the magazine we’ve tried to tackle some myths in corporate communications and correct misconceptions about business-to-business publishing.
Our very own Fred Crawley has punctured misleading usage of the word leading in how a multitude of companies describe themselves. He has courteously explained the pitfalls of crass PR and now, on the eve of launching next year’s Credit Awards, issued a handy guide to writing awards entries.
Part of the purpose behind such articles is the need to explain our modus operandi and the reasons why we publish certain articles and not others. The rationale involved in this decision-making process isn’t obvious to the outside world.
We make these decisions based on a number of factors. Take, for example, a supplier’s new product launch.
We have to ask ourselves: Who is actually bothered about this? Is it new or a thinly veiled add-on? Is it genuinely different to what’s out there?
We also try to assess whether a new product or service will make a tangible, measureable impact. We ask: Who’s going to use it? Are those users important in the readership? Are there enough of them in the readership?
What we are not in the business of doing, is offering favours to companies by writing up product launches.
The thought of being asked “to do a nice write up for us”, by a company asking nicely for a generous gesture, drives a cold shudder up the spine of any journalist with a sense of independence.
Every article is published – no matter where it comes from and whether it comes from an advertiser or not – based on an assessment of its worth, its merits and the likelihood of enough readers being interested.
And this brings me to another misconception to correct: When we publish any article about an individual business, this does not constitute an act of support for that company. By our nature as a business-to-business publisher, we write articles about individual firms every day. When we do so, we are not acting in support of, or acting against, any particular firm. We’re just deciding the most important content to bring to you.
What we try to do is provide content in various forms and channels that matters in some way to you.
One of those channels, as you may have seen, is our just new website. Built from scratch during the past eight months, its launch marks the beginning of a more responsive, interactive platform for readers to be involved in.
A vital element in making this website a valuable community is your involvement. So please share your views by posting comments on news articles, opinions and analysis.
You are all a collective judging panel that decides whether what I have described above, has been executed successfully.