Articles: Blogs

Building ‘campaigns’ for major news announcements

80:20 Communications - 4th March 2015

Journalists are swamped with competing news stories. For important announcements, it is worth trailing your story weeks ahead to ensure journalists are alert and prepared.

Journalists and companies are equally frustrated when a big story isn’t given adequate media attention. Often, this is simply because the media has been caught out at a busy period time and has insufficient staff or space to report the news. The solution is to ensure editors know in advance when a significant story is coming.

The tactic of issuing news early to the media under embargo is well known. For example, this approach is essential to gain the maximum traction for stories at trade fairs, such as this year’s Paris or Dubai air shows. However, the heightened competition in today’s PR marketplace means some stories need even greater planning in their distribution.

In some scenarios, it is now advisable to adopt a four-stage strategy when releasing news: an initial call or email to top-priority journalists weeks in advance to outline the news in minimal detail and the intended release date; follow-up contact a week before the issue date to remind journalists, provide additional detail and discuss any media requirements, such as interviews or photography; for the most important correspondents, an embargoed copy of the full release shortly prior to impact day; and, lastly, full distribution  of the news on impact day to all relevant media.

When a story is important, companies need to embrace greater planning and longer lead times to achieve desired results.