Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Lou Covey and NewTech Media

Posted on | August 31, 2007 | No Comments

Lou Covey runs VitalCom pr down in Redwood City, not far from where the CIA / Howard Hughes spy vessel Glomar Explorer once sat rotting away. Covey has long been one of the few really vocal pr guys in the semiconductor/EDA business who sounded an alarm about the distintegrating media world that affects his and his clients’ messaging.
Lou’s gotten in the groove of cranking out very thoughtful and timely podcasts (OK, so I was featured in one this spring but that doesn’t make me biased! ; ) ). His latest is just out. In it, he talks about the fact that mass communications in the internet age is a dead concept. Doesn’t work. That’s not what people want. Or at least what marketers want. What marketers want is direct access to the customers who will buy now rather than kick the tires. Brian Derrick, who runs marketing for Mentor Graphics, pistol whips his media vendors (EE Times in particular) over this. Derrick could give a rat’s ass (that’s how he talks) whether Times delivers 150,000 weekly readers or 300,000 unique visitors a month online. He wants the 500, 1000 or 1,500 or whatever engineers who are changing their minds about their toolset and are open to a frank discussion about the glories of Mentor’s EDA tools. You deliver that, and Mr. Derrick will come hat in hand to you with suitcases full of cash for each of those potential customers.
Now it’s said that there’s software to deliver this, but no one’s seen it yet. In any part of internet land. But that’s the Holy Grail.
What Lou’s up to down near the salt flats is paid media, a twist on custom publishing. There are scores of small, emerging technology companies that can’t afford the ad rates that the big guys are charging. And the big guys can’t re-arrange their cost structures fast enough to accommodate them. So Lou’s proposition is this: you, emerging company, pony up X thousand bucks and you’ll get a story written by a freelance editor with experience in the business. It’ll get put in front of a very influential audience.
It may work in this environment. It’s better than a press release, but companies will have to tighten their sphincters and realize they won’t be able to vet the content as they would in a traditional custom-publishing model. As always, we shall see.

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No Responses to “Lou Covey and NewTech Media”

  1. John
    September 4th, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

    I’m saddened to see the decline of EE Times but enjoy your blog and am glad to see you continuing to write thoughtful pieces (albeit to a smaller audience).

    I wonder if you’ve seen this article,
    Goodbye to Newspapers?
    Thought you might like it.

    Keep up the good work,


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