This post was first published by Stephanie Jackman on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.
When strategizing with clients on the ideal timing for a big announcement, the golden rule for tech PR pros is to avoid holidays, Fridays, and, if it can be helped, dates when you know an industry giant is going to unveil its own big news or product. The logic is simple – the media landscape will be consumed with covering the market leader’s latest news, and a client’s announcement risks being outshined.
Depending on how you look at it, this can be either a blessing or a curse for tech PR pros. On the one hand, having to work around other companies’ announcement dates can be frustrating. But, on the other, the date of a market leader’s big announcement offers the opportunity for a different kind of visibility.
With the tech media heads-down, writing articles that recount what’s just been announced, PR practitioners can engage in an “announcement hijacking” strategy in which they offer journalists quick commentary for their articles, from clients in the same space. This commentary offers journalists an outside perspective on questions like: “What does this mean for the industry?”, “who will benefit the most from this announcement?” and “how will this impact customers?”
The key to a successful “announcement hijacking” campaign is speed. Within a few hours of an industry giant’s big announcement, tech companies and their PR teams must work quickly to draft thought-provoking comments and sell them into the media before the next news cycle comes around.
This kind of fast collaboration was integral to the success of the work we did with client, mobile proximity commerce provider Proxama, on September 9th around the Apple Pay and Apple Watch announcement. With a great deal of credibility in the UK mobile payment industry under its belt, Proxama saw Apple’s foray into mobile payments as the perfect way to make its thought leadership debut in the U.S. Within a few hours of Apple’s announcement, we worked with Proxama’s experts to draft commentary around what Apple’s news meant for merchants, what the security considerations were and more, ensuring Proxama’s thought leadership and credibility shined through for a variety of verticals and segments we were pitching.
With speed and thought-provoking commentary on our side, the results were strong – quotes from Proxama’s executives were included in 10 articles about Apple’s announcements. The articles ranged from business and financial press, such as Banking Technology and TheStreet, to payments and retail IT publications, like Multi-Channel Merchant and Internet Retailer. Not to mention, our ability to offer quick, relevant commentary allowed us to build longstanding media relationships, because of which journalists have since turned to Proxama for their opinion on other industry news.
So, while a Proxama announcement on September 9th may have been out of the question, we found a way to leverage that date in a different manner, using a strong issues-based PR campaign that amounted to far-reaching results.