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Being First or Getting it Right?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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To be completely honest, BTB actually had a quite a fun little look at a brand’s new TV campaign planned for today. But then something happened and this topic felt a lot more pertinent, and although quite serious, is still producing many smiles. Yesterday was another big day in Boston, one where there was a breakthrough in the tragic Boston Marathon bombing. But the topic isn’t about Boston or about the case and instead focuses on today’s media. The world is so connected today, and everyone expects to be updated at every twist and turn. But does that give media the right to get it wrong sometimes?

This is an age-old topic, and one that concerns every brand, not just the media. Is there a benefit to being first if it’s not the best or is better to wait and be top-notch? Yesterday afternoon there were sources that told major news outlets that a suspect had been arrested for the Boston Marathon bombings. Boston Globe, CNN, AP. The big guys were reporting something that hadn’t actually happened yet, which created a frenzy on social media and of course confusion across the world.

Maybe these news outlets, though, were just trying to bring the people of Boston what they needed to hear. A step toward closure. It’s news brands being connected to their audience and having emotion. Isn’t that what many customers want from a brand? So it’s a brand that made a mistake; that makes the brand more human. Good or bad? Does that answer depend on what type of industry the brand belongs to? Because it seems that news media is pretty important and being first is at the top of the list, but being correct almost trumps that.

Brands need to think long and hard because the answer isn’t simple and it isn’t one size fits all. Sometimes being first has its benefits. More recognition, more customer engagement, and of course being known as the first. But sometimes being right (or better) can be the way to go. If a product or service answers all the issues of the brand that was first, doesn’t that make them the winner? First or right? The best choice is to evaluate all outcomes and choose the one that creates the most success for the brand. Because at the end of the day no brand wants to be the butt of all the jokes on Twitter for a full afternoon (yes, that’s you, CNN).


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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