In terms of securing great and relevant media coverage, it is essential to understand that timing is everything. It is natural for companies to want to get the word out there about their business as soon as possible. However, there is a beauty to having a strategically timed PR campaign. Companies need to make sure that they time initial media outreach, follow-up emails, and social shares just right to get a more significant impact. It is a crucial lesson for businesses to make sure that the information they release is correct, complete, relevant, and timely. Otherwise, a company could come across as being irrelevant.
Here are some tips and reasoning as to why timing is so important for a successful PR campaign.
1) Send out a press release only when the company is ready
Companies generally only have their own shot at catching a media outlet’s eye. So, it is imperative to make sure that the story that is getting presented is powerful and captivating.
When it comes to discussing new products, media outlets generally want ones already on the market or close to it. Unless the company already has some authority in the market, publications will not be drawn to a product if it is still in development or no working prototype that a company can demonstrate. It is vital only to announce important things when everything is finalized because if companies send out something that needs to be edited over and over again, it is common that media outlets will lose interest and will not wait around for a product to go live and report about it.
Of course, it also depends on the news that is being presented. When their product is ready, companies should pitch it to media outlets at least 1-3 weeks ahead of the launch, giving them time to consider the topic, write about it, edit it, and publish it. It is the same for events; if a media outlet does not get sufficient notice, they will almost likely overlook it and not want to write about it. However, they are another announcement like funding, partnerships, new hires, etc. that are not time-dependent. However, it is also important not to wait too long if it is something important that should be announced because if a company waits too long, it may become irrelevant.
Timing is also essential because it helps create a strong narrative. Companies want to fit their story into the larger picture of what the company is about.
2) Choose how to reach out
When contacting the media, it is also essential to know how to reach out. Companies need to decide whether they will reach out with an exclusive, focused on only one journalist, or an embargo, requesting multiple journalists to wait until a specific time to break a story.
They are both important because the news will be perceived as being necessary for large publications. As mentioned before, it is something that companies should be thinking about it weeks before they are ready to announce so that publications have enough time to prepare and edit a story about the company. It also gives companies a chance to reach out to journalists on an individual basis.
Providing exclusives are very attractive to journalists because it makes them feel special because no one else has the same story; they get to break the news to the public. However, the downside of exclusives is that companies cannot reach out to more than one media outlet at a time. If companies plan to use this tactic, pitching an exclusive to more than one media outlet will assure that they will give themselves a bad name.
At the same time, embargoes also work to get the word out there because it allows journalists to know the news beforehand. It gives media outlets time to write a more detailed story, rather than rushing through it. It means that a company’s information is published by various publications all at the same time. It helps companies impact the market on a larger scale and makes a company appear more substantial.
3) Sending timely follow-up emails
Another reason why timing is critical in public relations relates to when companies send out email pitches about their news. Companies need to remember that they are not the only company that the media outlet will be writing about. They can get up to thousands of emails a day, and it is unreasonable to think that the email pitch that the company sends will be at the top of the list. So, companies need to give media outlets some time to review the material and consider whether they want to write about it.
Additionally, it is highly possible that one email might be buried, among others, and media outlets do not look at it. But, there is a way to fix that. If a journalist does not reply to the email immediately, which is very likely, companies can send out a follow-up email to remind them. However, they should try not to send it less than 24 hours after sending the initial email because if journalists see multiple emails over a short time, a company’s persistence may be perceived as annoying.
4) Share on social media to further coverage
Social media platforms have become a way of getting and receiving news these days. Once a journalist has written a news article about the company, they will let them know when the story will be published. It is also important not to harass them at this stage because publishing dates may get pushed back, and media outlets don’t owe an explanation as to why the article has been published yet.
Once it has been published, it is normal and a company’s right to celebrate the new media coverage. From there, they can share and promote the story on their social media to get the word out even further. However, there is generally a two-week grace period to “shamelessly” self-promote the media coverage; any more than that, it becomes a bit stale.
Regardless of what step a company is in when creating their successful PR campaign, timing is vital. Pushing a press release when the product/service is ready, communicating with journalists effectively, and promoting earned content will make a company more relevant.
Sometimes, it cannot be easy to figure out how to create a PR campaign and when and where to start. For that reason, public relations agencies like Pressfarm exist to help companies with everything that goes into a successful PR campaign. They know what they are doing when it comes to building relationships with media outlets, but they will also do other tasks like; creating a full press kit, providing a PR database of over 75,000 journalists, and distributing the press releases online expert advice. Using public relations agencies like Pressfarm, companies can better understand why timing is essential and not have to worry because Pressfarm will do everything. Their PR professionals know precisely when and how to post things on various platforms.