Timing is Everything When Big News Happens

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An otherwise quiet Friday in our office quickly ratcheted up to high-alert level this past week when a major news story broke and journalists from far and wide pounded on our doors – or at least our email inboxes!

Just like that, our print-campaign team was extraordinarily busy – and extraordinarily thrilled! We happened to have the right client for the right moment – and soon he was just as busy as we were, fielding media questions with professional aplomb.

You probably heard about the event that launched the frenzy. It was the announcement that Amazon was buying Whole Foods, a business transaction that raised this intriguing question: How would this affect the brands of both companies, as well as the brands of their competitors?

Our client, who soon became the media’s best buddy for the day, happens to be an international branding expert. Our team immediately understood that we could tie him to this major breaking news event in an impactful way. We crafted a quick pitch and sent it right off to our contacts at major publications.

The response was downright explosive! Within an hour we heard from journalists at major publications like CNBC, USA Today, NBCnews.com, the Houston Chronicle, and others all vying to interview our client. We jumped on the rapidly arriving requests and arranged interview after interview after interview.

Within the hour we began seeing the articles these news sites posted. And shortly after we got notice that over 60 other publications ran the USA Today story.

Even LinkedIn got in the act. If you’re one of those people puzzled about the value of LinkedIn, here’s an example of how it can help build your position of authority. When LinkedIn detects that you’re in the news in some way, it announces this to all your LinkedIn contacts, and provides a link to the news article.

And that’s just what it did for our client.

Whew! What a day!

We were elated!

But moments like this don’t just happen by chance. Let me share how this all played out so that you might experience great results yourself when the opportunity arises:

  • Recognize the story. This is where it all starts. For our team, the first step was to recognize how significant this news story would be and how it ties into our client’s message. This is a great example of how keeping tabs on news pays off. Every day we are watching what’s happening in the world to see if there’s anything that relates to a client’s expertise so we can offer them as a source.
  • Pitch your angle. After we realized our client was a perfect match for this breaking news story, the next step was to convince the media that they should talk with him. We penned a short, powerful pitch to go out to the media. How short, you might ask? The email we blasted out to journalists was a one-sentence pitch! We also included a short bio of the client so the media would instantly know he had the credentials to speak on the topic.
  • Make responding to the media a priority. Very quickly, media outlets were contacting us and asking for interviews. We had accomplished the first part of our goal, but this is where the client’s role becomes critical. He dropped everything as we arranged back-to-back telephone interviews spaced every 15 minutes. I’ve talked about this too many times to count, but I’m going to point it out again. It does no good to draw the media’s attention if you aren’t willing to devote the time to responding to their requests. They are often working on tight deadlines, especially for a breaking news story like the Amazon/Whole Foods announcement. If you don’t respond promptly, they’ll find someone else who will.
  • Enjoy the results. In this case, because the news event had such widespread interest, the results were downright amazing – and are still coming in!

When I reflect on how all this unfolded, one thing that jumps out is the speed with which everything was accomplished. Our team wasted no time jumping on the news event. The media wasted no time responding to our pitch. And the client wasted no time in fielding those media calls!

In the end, everyone involved could look back with satisfaction on what proved to be a rewarding day!

Yours in a flash!


P.S. If you’d like professional help being quoted in the press or arranging radio and TV interviews for you, give us a call.  We’ve been providing this service to clients for 27 years. We also offer a comprehensive social media marketing program for select clients, where we do it all for you.  If you’re interested in our help, please call us at 727-443-7115 Ext. 231. We’d love to hear from you!


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