When your organization has an external announcement to make, whether to inform consumers, customers or investors, how well do you execute to maximize this important opportunity?

As recently reported in a Harvard Business Review article, research out of Columbia University shows timing, content clarity, and execution all make a big difference in both the number and quality of impressions an announcement can receive.

Ultimately – that’s the goal, right? Receive as many impressions as possible, especially those within your pre-identified target audience.

Based on this research, it’s clear, “the positioning of news, not just its newness, plays a pivotal role in how financial markets incorporate information,” writes Anastassia Fedyk of Harvard Business Review.

While the thinking around the topic here is connected to an investor audience, IR strategies, and financial markets, it’s a lesson that can—and should—be applied across industries. Whether you’re making an announcement through a press release, social channel, ribbon-cutting ceremony, or all of the above, it’s critical to present your announcement clearly, consider the timing, and utilize the right network to amplify reach.

 

Here are three easy steps to help maximize a company announcement:
Step 1: Determine the news.

What are you announcing? A good way to start this process is to think about the ideal headline for your story if you saw it in a newspaper. This is focused on the one key and concise takeaway you want readers to understand before anything else. If you were working for a hospital that wanted to announce a plan to grow and further develop its footprint, a potential headline could read: “Poised for growth, local hospital to expand facility.”

Step 2: Consider facts and data.

This gets to the ‘why’ section of your announcement. For instance, in the hospital example, you would want to think about why you are expanding. Is it because a certain practice is growing? Does the facility need more beds? These can be supported with facts and figures that confirm the growth, as well as additional details, such as potential new jobs, added square footage, or other points that support the announcement.

Step 3: Decide direction.

Once you understand what you are announcing and how you’re supporting it with facts and figures, it is time to think about the right approach. Should you host an event and invite local media? Draft a press release? Develop marketing materials? Is a social media animation a good way to reach your audience? The answer can include one or many of these approaches, and often times it does.

Always keep your media list up to date and identify other stakeholders who might be interested to learn about this news. In the hospital example, think about elected officials, the local Chamber of Commerce, key leaders in the community, or other groups that will be pleased to know about the growth and can help amplify its reach through word of mouth and social media when applicable.

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