But, there’s a PR lesson here – for both small business PR and large corporate PR. No matter how good the plans are, there are always things that you do not think of that can affect the launch of a product or a news release.What do I mean – well, you cannot really control the news process. You can put together a sound PR plan and campaign, have a great hook for the news … and something more newsworthy happens during the day, so you are bumped from the local morning news show for another week, or your product launch goes no where.
Here are three examples that I was thinking of when I started this piece.
Today, a friend is announcing some big news for his client. The announcement is newsworthy, as it is a series A investment in the client, with some good backing. But, when he started today, I mentioned to keep in mind that the news is likely going to be busy with the death of Peter Jennings and Baidu’s stock performance. The company’s news has had good pickup, but if it were a slow newsday, it would have more legs.
Last month, I had scheduled a morning shoot for a client. The TV crew was ready to come out, and we were all set to shoot at 10.00 AM. I woke up – and it was July 7, 2005 and London had been attacked. When I got a call from the producer at 7.30, I figured the spot was going to be cancelled, but was just going to be shot later in the day to be run the following week.
A few years back, I was in New York and dialing for coverage. My office mate and I were just going down the media list, calling on a new product launch for that morning. As we were both concentrating on calls, we did not know what had happened in Columbine. Thankfully, a nice reporter told us what had happened, and we put the calls on the back burner. We knew that while the product was interesting, it was not going to get news coverage that day. Or that week.
There are plenty of other examples where this has happened, and you can partially plan for such contingencies. But, those plans are likely best used to postpone the announcement. Yes, the client might get upset, but they have to understand that things happen that are not under anyone’s control, and sometimes it’s just the bad luck of the draw.