You’ve put a ton of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears into a news announcement. You’ve developed sound messaging, created killer creative content, drafted a fantastic press release and wrote thoughtful, tailored pitches to reporters you’re convinced will jump all over the news. It’s game day and you’re ready to go. It’s your time to shine, and you know it.
Then, your news lands with a thud. Nothing happens and no one cares. Black hole city – population, your announcement. Your client is livid and all you want to do is crawl under your desk and cry.
What in the world just happened? Well, the announcement may have just been garbage and you were fooling yourself the whole time (hopefully not the case). If it was actually any good, I’d bet that it all could be tied back to timing.
Strategic, heads up timing can make all the difference. To give yourself the best shot at success, I’d recommend avoiding the following when setting a release date for any major news announcements:
Too close to a long weekend
Reporters need breaks, too, and tend to take vacation days around long weekends and other holidays just like the rest of us. The only way they’ll pay attention to a news announcement is if they’re in the office, and even before they head out they’re probably just trying to wrap up content they’ve been working on.
Significant activity from dominant brands
Avoid the week of any planned or rumored announcement from the major, dominant brand in your space (for example, Apple’s famous iPhone unveilings or a Facebook earnings announcement). The reporters you’re trying to reach will have no time to focus on anything else, no matter how cool your news hook is.
Unless you represent the kind of dominant brand I mentioned above, try and avoid releasing any significant news at a major industry conference. Yes, it gives your spokespeople something new to talk about, but there is so much competition for attention at these shows that it can become incredibly difficult to break through. Plus, all the reporters in your space are already pre-occupied at the event, hopping around from session to session and dealing with an insane amount of emails and pitches. You could’ve gotten so much more play if you had just waited a couple of weeks after the RSA Conference (client) or Dreamforce to release those survey results.
Mondays and Fridays
This one’s pretty simple, but it’s always good to try and avoid major news announcements on these days whenever possible. You’re putting yourself at a big disadvantage when you’re trying to reach reporters when they’re heading out the door for the weekend or catching up on emails on a Monday morning before they’ve had their coffee.
What did I miss? Are there any timing nightmares and key learnings you’d like to share?