10 Jul 2014
Not the nine o'clock news
Like most media entities SuperyachtNews.com circulates a weekly newsletter to the industry. This is intended to be a succinct summary of what The Superyacht Group is doing across its portfolio of editorial, intelligence and events divisions, coupled with a small serving of opinion on the topical matters of the day.
This may be of interest to some, and a source of frustration for others. But we try to adhere to a policy of ‘quality over quantity’, offering our readers a balance between original content and an easily accessible compilation of the biggest stories of the week.
We receive countless company newsletters on a daily basis. Unfortunately, a significant portion of these amount to little more than a month’s worth of press releases, repackaged, and this can trigger the clicking of the ‘delete’ button. It is not useful or constructive to receive the same information regurgitated and this propensity to do so means that a valuable piece of information may be lost in the mire.
However, there are a number of companies that are taking a unique approach to the way they package their newsletters, and this is forging new ties between business and media, something that is all too often sorely missing within the superyacht industry.
Nautor’s Swan has carved a niche out of industry communications with its ‘Arrow’ newsletter, which strikes the perfect balance between detailed updates on the progress of its latest projects, with insightful owner interviews. Press officer, Alessandra Ghezzi said that the newsletter serves as a powerful tool for engaging with owners because of its focus on the human element of yacht ownership. “We came up with ‘The Arrow’ idea to try and deliver some creative content that went beyond the ‘sterile’ press releases”, she explains. “It gives us the opportunity to explore many different topics, whether it's interviews with owners, a great collection of photos, or insight into the building process.
“It offers a wider range of subjects to us as a media tool, and to the journalists who receive it. The content is copyright free - hence we do the work and we offer it to the media for free to use as they see fit within their editorial guidelines. We just came up with the ‘PhotoEdition’ idea because we believe strongly in the power and fascination of images, and we had noticed a big interest in our social media posts that featured beautiful photos.”
Likewise, Cameron Bray, MD of Bray Management, has invested plenty of time and effort into his communications and it has paid dividends, in terms of its residual impact. “Our company ethos is very much about the experience for our charter guests and owners”, Bray explains. “We try to establish why people want to own and charter superyachts, why they spend so much money, and it comes down to the experience.
“Our newsletters aim to make a connection with the reader [based] on the experience and ‘what’s in it for them?’ Secondly, we want to build trust with the reader - we want them to feel comfortable doing business with us.
“We try to achieve this by clean, well laid out newsletters, with great imagery and a small amount of knowledgeable, relevant content. People love photos, not lengthy newsletters. Our newsletters are our direct line to potential clients, so we put a lot of time and careful planning into developing them; we want our business to be telling a story.”
Likewise, Cheryl Zimmerman of FarSounder says that the importance of intra-industry communications should not be underestimated. "We take the release of each of our newsletters, and official press releases, very seriously", she says. "We do not like receiving voluminous newsletters and emails any more than our customers and associates do. The first thing we focus on is respecting our reader's time constraints. This is as important as the content. We are not in the business to cause stress for anyone who may be interested in our products and technology, and wants to stay in touch, yet does not want to hear from us constantly."
Zimmerman adds that the company takes a pragmatic approach to the communications process. "When designing and planning our newsletters, our mantra is that less is more. Unless we have some new software or hardware to announce, opportunities for a demonstration for customers, or places around the world to meet with our company staff, we refrain from sending out a newsletter just for the sake of publishing one. This is how we have been able to retain such a large percentage of our readership over the years."
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