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Consumer Reviews

The challenge

Business Week has two points of entry for consumer product reviews. The first is Stephen Wildstrom's column, "Technology and You," which typically reviews consumer technology just as the product has been launched. Business Week has another section, edited by Larry Armstrong, that test runs technology and non-technology products.

Many clients want to get in front of Wildstrom, who was ranked by Technology Marketing Magazine as 2002's most influential technology reporter. But Armstrong provides an equally good opportunity to showcase real-world technology – especially after its been on the market a while.

Clients had asked us to pitch ideas to Armstrong that clearly were not a fit to the column. We decided to offer Armstrong ideas along the way to build up our credibility with the reporter and to demonstrate that we knew what stories really work with him.

The activity

  • Brainstormed ideas of topics and technologies that would appeal to Armstrong.
  • Pitched him twice over a six month period:
    • How to manage all the different remote controls that accompany home theaters.
    • How to transfer old home videos to DVDs.

The Results

Hit two home runs.

  • "Toss Out All Those Remotes: A Single Smart Clicker Can Run All Your Devices," June 10, 2002; and got a note alerting us to the story, and said "So thanks for suggesting it. (Call if you want a real recomendation.)"
  • "Save Those Home Videos--on DVD You'll need to spend at least a couple hundred bucks – and a lot of time at the PC. But the results can be worth the trouble," Dec. 2, 2002.

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