Good timing is a crucial component of successful public relations. Whether that be the time of day to pitch a journalist or the time of year to launch a campaign, timing can make or break any opportunity. At BIGfish Communications, we refer to special occasions and breaking news that provide opportunities for our clients as “timely moments.”
Effectively connecting a client’s messaging, announcement, or storyline to timely moments can help raise brand awareness, support key messaging, and build a positive reputation for a brand, all while building essential media relationships. Below, we have outlined a few key elements of what defines a timely moment, as well as how to approach them from a PR perspective.
A key factor in the newsworthiness of a story is its timeliness. Ongoing or upcoming events are valuable to a reporter’s audience because readers are looking to be updated on the latest breaking news. Even if the topic is not one that they normally follow, reporters are more likely to cover it since it aligns with current events that are relevant to their readers.
Timely moments serve as a great way to introduce media to your client in a way they haven’t seen or thought about before. For example, BIGfish client, PLAY Airlines, runs deals around the holiday season to entice consumers to purchase tickets. A deals reporter at a consumer outlet might not have previously known about PLAY, as they may consider an airline to be more relevant to a travel reporter. However, the timely moment that is the holiday is relevant to the deal reporter’s audience, so it opens the door to conversations about travel gifts. This exposes the client to more publications and audiences.
Timely moments can show industry audiences that your client not only cares about what is going on in the world, but also has valuable insight on the subject. Utilizing opportunities to share insight from a client amid a timely event in the news has the potential to not only build the reputation of the client, but also establish them as a thought leader in the industry. An example of this can be seen with BIGfish client Formlabs, a leading 3D printing company. Formlabs CEO and Co-founder Maxim Lobovsky has established himself as a thought leader in the innovative tech industry because he regularly shares his own thoughts and ideas about emerging tech in interviews. Industry professionals look to him for insight and expertise, which reinforces Formlabs’ image in the public eye.
Now that we’ve explained why timely moments are invaluable to successful PR, we want to share a few of our tips on how to execute them successfully.
Have a “timely moments” calendar on hand, and use it to record holidays and occasions that are relevant to your company or client and keep track of them to ensure that you don’t miss out on valuable opportunities.
Always be thinking ahead. PR seasons are like fashion seasons: in the winter we’re planning spring, in spring we’re planning summer, and so on. Planning far in advance allows you to foresee errors and keeps you organized and on track. Additionally, reporters often build out their editorial plans far in advance, so staying ahead will keep you aligned with their calendars as well.
Avoid any moments that deserve their own space in the world and in the media. Do your research beforehand to ensure that you are not being insensitive to any holidays or events that should not be used as PR opportunities. Be careful and double check with supervisors before injecting your brand’s ideas into potentially sensitive news topics, as something that seems appropriate to you may be perceived as offensive to other audiences.
Always be prepared. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but you can always take steps to stay proactive. Having messaging on hand in preparation for news moments that unexpectedly come up is essential so you can react quickly to timely moments as they develop.
When done right, timely moments are a true game changer in PR. It may take some time to perfect the master calendar and get clients fully on board, but when done correctly, timely moments can have a lasting impact for the client and their customers.