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Timing is Part of the PR Strategy

Timing is Part of the PR Strategy

You come in one day and your boss or client wants to issue a press release immediately. Or your CEO wants to announce a new product NOW, but the problem is, there is no product. Or your client has some bad business news he wants to get off his chest and he feels like sharing everything to the detriment of his business. You have a new Blog idea and you want to tell the world.

So you rush to your laptop and start writing the breaking news.

But, STOP!

A big part of any PR strategy is knowing when to release an announcement or breaking story.

You and your client may have your own schedule, but don't forget that editors, journalists and producers have their own schedules also. The timing of your announcement will certainly be the difference between your announcement landing your CEO an interview on the local news or explaining to your client that their story wasn't important enough.

To get the maximum in exposure for your announcement, make the timing of your news a part of your strategy:

  • Forecast down the calendar, down two, three or six months - obviously don't announce around a major event such as the Super Bowl or a major holiday, like say Christmas. Your announcement will simply get lost.
  • Announce early in the week, a Monday or Tuesday - journalists and editors are looking for story angles during these days.
  • Release your news earlier in the month - depending on the media outlet, same scenario.
  • Have you noticed that public companies, which must announce their financials, will announce a poor performance late on a Friday afternoon so as to "bury" the bad news - investors will have the entire weekend to forget about the bad numbers, and they usually do.
  • If you are looking for "big bang" out of your news - first consider whether your news deserves a big splash - release your announcement during a slow news cycle like the spring or summer months.
  • Want to get in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal or CNN? Give them an exclusive or jump on your story. To make this happen, you should have developed a relationship with them already.
  • This may be PR 101, however, never, ever announce news that really doesn't exist. For example, you announce a product that is still in development and doesn't truly exist. You look bad, you make the journalist look bad and you have just lost a valuable contact. Wait until the product or service truly exists.
  • Take advantage of new and emerging technologies to help you get your news out into the public arena faster and in real time.

A twist to an old adage, "Timing is everything!", is not exactly true. However, you can score some excellent coverage and exposure of your news item by timing it just right.

Image: Dave Stokes, "Clock", Via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution

Posted by Eli Hernandez on 03/22 at 02:44 PM in Public Relations

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