Finding solutions to problems
I often hear from agency program managers and CIOs that they get pitches from companies, but that those companies don't really care about the issues that the agencies are facing. In fact, I recently had lunch with one of the government IT consultants -- a well connected consultant, I might add -- who stressed that his biggest task is getting companies to understand what the agency issues are. In fact, this person told me that he will often tell companies that he will not introduce them to agency officials precisely because they are pitching rather then solving problems.
To that end, I got this note from a PR person today:
I sent you a press release concerning [our company's] software. I thought this information would be of use in you publication's October focus "Mobile Communication & wireless solutions"...
I send a note to this PR person, nicely, I hope, that FCW readers don't care about the company's software -- or any company's software. In a way, FCW plays a similar role of the consultant I mentioned above -- our job is to present information that helps government IT officials do their jobs better. And that isn't done by pitching software.
Generally what is helpful is if you have ideas about what would make for a good angle for the story and, especially, if you have government users.
Agencies face problems and they are looking for solutions. I'm just an editor of a magazine, but I think we are most successful when we address those problems -- and help agencies find answers. Sometimes that is illustrating what other agencies have done that worked. Sometimes it is by illustrating what agencies have done that has not worked. And yes, sometimes it is by talking about technologies, but the focus is always on the problems... and solutions.
I think the most successful companies also focus on those problems -- and helping agencies find the solutions.
Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Aug 23, 2007 at 12:16 PM