Tuesday, April 1, 2008

'Round the Sphere: Mothballs and a High Source

What's the difference between an award-winning journalist blogger and a plain old blogger? The journalist blogger can call the CEO of Sepracor and get a quote, the plain old blogger has to rely on his wits and talk to the non-C suite employees to get his information.

Yesterday, Ed Silverman and I were speakers at an industry conference where we learned something about the Lunesta ad campaign from an inside source.

Ed left the meeting promptly after his panel and I thought he would surely beat me to the punch and blog about what we learned at the conference.

But no! I beat him to the punch and published my story first last night (see "Sepracor Not So Keen to Spend Big on DTC for Its Next Product!") whereas Ed didn't get his story out until this afternoon (see "The Lunesta Moth Won’t Be Mothballed... Yet")! I believe that's called a "scoop" in journalism as in I "scooped Ed!"

How did that happen?

Here's my take on it: Ed wanted that quote from Adrian Adams, Sepracor’s ceo. This is what journalists call "checking your sources," or something like that. But mostly, it's a courtesy call. You never know when access to that ceo can come in handy later for another story!

But Ed had to wait for Adrian's quote. First, Adrian had to get the back story and check with David Lapinski, Associate Director, Commercial Analytics at Sepracor who spilled the beans about the moth at the conference and who was the source of information for the moth story, which I anticipated long before I heard it from him (see "Lunesta Moth Being Mothballed as a Result of Negative Marketing ROI").

Then Adrian had to meet with Sepracor's corporate communications person who would actually compose the words to be quoted.

Finally, Adrian called Ed and gave him the quote.

Meanwhile, here's what I did. I talked to some Sanofi-Aventis marketing people at lunch during the conference and got a few other tidbits ofinformation. Of course, these sources could not be quoted.

When you want to really know what's going on in a company, who should you talk to? The CEO? Or should you bypass him and seek out more reliable sources?

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