SanDisk staggers news of its latest mp3 device

MILPITAS and SUNNYVALE, CA: Hardware manufacturer SanDisk delayed announcing Yahoo's involvement with its new mp3 device in order to maximize press coverage.

MILPITAS and SUNNYVALE, CA: Hardware manufacturer SanDisk delayed announcing Yahoo's involvement with its new mp3 device in order to maximize press coverage.

The company worked with Yahoo Music and software provider Zing to promote the Sansa Connect on an announcement last week, which provided full details on the device.

Sansa first announced the Connect in January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but merely noted it would work with "premium Internet services."

By layering the announcements - the debut first, the Yahoo news later - the PR team got double coverage, said Carmella Lyman, cofounder of Lyman PR, who serves as SanDisk's PR manager.

"We created news twice. Inside SanDisk, it's called rolling thunder," she said.

The device's CES debut generated 400-plus news stories.

The PR team secured placements in tech titles and long-lead consumer publications that review electronic devices, such as Travel & Leisure, which wrote about the partnership in its April issue. They also reached out to bloggers and sent out 200 review units to major and online media, based on priority and request. Zing aided both companies by sharing its top media contacts.

Any portable media device will be compared to the iPod, which sold its 100 millionth unit last week. This was no different.

"We [introduced] a product that would bring comparisons [to the iPod, so] we called on our differentiators," Lyman said.

Connect's wireless connectivity, Internet radio, and sharing capabilities were among the chief differentiators the PR team promoted. Owners with a Yahoo ID can listen to Launchcast Internet radio, access Flickr sets and photos, connect to their Yahoo Messenger system, and tap into other Sansa Connect owners' music.

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