August 31, 2016
Best Practices for Announcing News the Week Before Labor Day
Mr. Trump is known for his very successful book imparting business advice, The Art of the Deal. Based on Mr. Trump’s announcement during what normally is very quiet news week (usually reserved for layoffs or other bad news) that he will travel to Mexico, there should be a new version: The Art of the Steal – as he has clearly stolen the headlines.
Regardless of your political leanings, candidate Trump is a skilled conductor of the media in a way we have rarely seen in previous political campaigns. Yes, it is an active political season full of finger pointing and name calling (thus all bets are off), however, the timing of this trip is more than interesting.
When voters are enjoying their last beach days or that last refreshing gin and tonic before Starbucks starts pushing their infamous pumpkin spice latte, this candidate has people and news anchors paying attention in a big way.
He continues to grab the headlines with a subsequent address today on immigration — an issue that has understandably captured assignment desks’ (and voters’) attention and is directly related to the visit south of the border.
This begs the question: Is the last week before Labor Day really that quiet news week after all? Is it still the optimal time to release bad news? The answer seems clear.
In a news cycle that is 24 -7 both with traditional and online news outlets – there is a new frontier, but there are still rules of thumb to follow when thinking about how and when to issue news, good or bad:
- What kind of noise do you want to make; what headline you would like to see?
- What kind of news is it? Layoffs? An acquisition? New products arriving at retail? A product recall?
- Who is your main audience for this news?
- What do you want to accomplish?
- Do you want to generate select features in key news outlets or will you be satisfied with sending a release on the wires?
- What is the downside of issuing your news at this time?
- Will your sources be available for comment (or are they on vacation?)
Answering these questions should provide PR professionals with a clear indication of best practices – to issue the news or not.
Today’s world of news changes by the minute; it is up to us to not only stay on top of these changes, but to thoughtfully consider how they impact the immediate task at hand.
Cartoon courtesy of Dave Granlud