Planning to launch a new product or service? Announcing a top management appointment? Declaring your financial results? Expanding to a new market, or going global? Whatever your next company announcement may be, relying on a press release may not be enough.
Today, the medium that sends the message is just as important as the message itself. Here, I am reminded of Marshall McLuhan’s most famous quote that highlights his belief that the way in which someone receives information is more important than what that information actually is: “The medium is the message.” This is not only a decision that determines whether you’re reaching your target audience effectively, but is also an opportunity to generate a buzz that will place your company on the cutting edge of Public Relations.
Press releases are certainly one medium, but audiences are getting more segmented and scattered. Relying on just one medium isn’t enough. You have to know where your audience is most likely to hear your announcement. You can upload the info exclusively on your Pinterest page or it can be through blogs.
Social media platforms today present newer ways for companies to deliver their news. You have many options – you can post on your Facebook page or tweet on Twitter, or upload short videos Instagram, or in Youtube and so on.
Here are some tips on how you can create a ‘media moment’ out of your next announcement:
Timing is crucial
While brainstorming cool vehicles for an announcement, remember the focus of PR is your product – you need to make sure your brand is ready to be assessed by the media and used by the end user. Make sure you make a first impression with the media and your clients. It’s critical to ensure the announcement is something your audience will genuinely care about, and that it achieves a measurable goal like – driving visibility or attracting investors.
Choose a platform
Once you’ve finalised the message, choose a platform to make the announcement effectively. You can compare what other companies are doing, but don’t necessary imitate their strategies. A B2B company can make an announcement by doing it on LinkedIn vs. Facebook; if you have a tech-savvy young target audience, you may choose Instagram or Tumblr. And if your product requires a demo, you can consider the industry fair or trade show.
For your announcement, remember – rise above the rest, add a spark of creativity. What is recommended is adding a buzzworthy tweek to a marketing plan: integrate trending technology into a virtual announcement or set up an interactive presentation at your tradeshow booth. Even direct mailers can be effective. Ask yourself the following, to judge whether your strategy has potential virality: If you saw it, would you be tempted to share it with others? And, is it directly relatable to your product or service?
Spark off a conversation
Before making the noteworthy announcement, make sure the audience is watching out for your news. Offer exclusives to a select media and share hints on the company’s social media platforms. Once the announcement is made, sponsor posts on Facebook and Twitter for maximum visibility, and create a specific hashtag to track the conversation. It is important to monitor and respond in real-time, and if there is any type of backlash, handle it efficiently.
Build on the momentum
Press releases can be kept for post-announcement, so that exclusive media outlets report on the buzz and then follow up with a statement from the company. Post additional product information on the company website, release an in-depth demonstration on your YouTube channel, or publish a series of behind-the-scenes Instagram videos from the live announcement.
Now that you got the message out there in a cool way, do your follow-ups and track the results.