How to Make the Front Page of Mashable

I’m going to take a wild uneducated guess, than somewhere between 50-500 start-up tech companies sent press releases, emails, tweets and carrier pigeons to Mashable in the last 2 days, trying to get someone to cover them. Some of them were full of fluff I’m sure, but some of them likely had real news, about doing real things, and expanding into real markets with real customers.  You know, real stuff.

Somewhere between 50-500 of those companies were ignored.

But fear not, because in the same 24 hour period, Mashable showed us how to make the front page – have a famous relative and do something outlandish on Twitter.

Item 1: The Zuckerberg Family Vacation Scandal

I’m sure Randi Zuckerberg is a great and smart person.  I’ve never met her, but I have no reason to believe that if she wasn’t a Zuckerberg, she still would have been a successful marketing person at some other social media company.  She’s probably witty, funny, smart, a great business person and a joy to be around.

But so are several thousand other women in the Bay Area.  It wasn’t “Randi” that was covered here.

Instead, it was Mark’s sister who got press in Mashable for a Twitter dust-up over a holiday photo (and a boring photo at that).  Let’s not pretend that the Executive producer of the Real Housewives of San Francisco would be covered for a Twitter spat.  But when you are related to Mark, anything you say gets picked up, and probably more sadly, it gets shared.

Item 2: The Avery Johnson Jr. Tantrum

It’s not enough that professional athletes and coaches need to monitor their own social presences, now they have to worry about their kids’ social media accounts.  Who knew Avery Johnson had a son? None of us, until he got mad about his dad getting fired.  Amusing perhaps, but that’s it. Not much else incriminating on his feed, so that’s that. Except… Mashable’s journalists rush to the rescue, discovering he is a high school junior. Thankfully, we have a full account now on Mashable.com about this breaking social media and technology news – ‘Kid upset that Dad gets fired.”

The Moral of the story:

We read tech pubs and like to think we’re reading things that are more substantive than Perez Hilton.  But when it comes down to it, the folks we’re reading aren’t much different than Perez’s correspondents.  They have their fingers on the pulse of the families of the newsmakers.  And we’re choosing these non-news articles. So lesson to be learned – get someone’s relative on your team.  Doesn;t matter if they are a cousin or sister or son or mother.  Get them a consultant position.  Have them erupt on Twitter.  You’ll get instant awareness for them and your company.  Hmm, maybe there’s a business model here.  Representing the relatives of famous people to get them social media gigs…..

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