Timing Your PR

Recently, I’ve gotten a handful of press releases that have puzzled me. They say things like “So-and-so is proud to announce that Project will be appearing at Site next month (or two or three months out).”

Why do I care? I mean, “Project has just launched at Site” is something I can check out and if I like it/think it’s newsworthy, send my readers to see. “Project is going to appear in a few months”… I don’t know what to do with that. Are they expecting that I’ll keep their notice until then? Am I supposed to remember to check it out later?

I suspect that the creator or company is excited that the details have been worked out, but they need to realize that their pride or happiness, while good for them, may not mean anything to other people. Instead of trying to finish everything up now, put a note on your calendar to send out PR at a more appropriate time. Sending out info too early risks losing a spot altogether, because sometimes, you only get one shot, and the right-time notice may seem like old news.

Of course, the rules are different for print, and in their case, they need lots of advance notice. But we’ve all learned that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all publicity strategy, right, and to handle print and online differently?

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3 Responses to “Timing Your PR”

  1. Tim O'Shea Says:

    While running the risk of “boy crying wolf” syndrome (carpet-bomb marketing), some folks think the sooner they can market a product the better. You didn’t specify if the press releases were email or snail mail. If it’s the former (as I assume) it is, the only thing they risk is running into a person who thinks along your lines. I’m not saying your unique, I just don’t see the risk outweighing the potential gain. I recall a few years back, interviewing Stuart Moore about an indy project he had on the horizon. A full year later, it had still not been released (it had not been scheduled to, please note), but a fan went to the trouble of contacting me to see if I could ask Moore about the status of the project. Before emailing Moore, I checked to see if any info was online. Turns out my interview was the only mention. And yet, that one mention made the reader curious. Granted that was not the result of the marketing you discuss, but it’s along the same lines. I know, even though scant details were available about it for a long time, I’m still very enthused to see Jeff Smith’s Shazam project whenever it comes out. Yes, it was announced way too early, but still I was pleased to know it was on the “ever-nebulous” horizon.

    BTW, while I don’t swing by here as often as I should, I’m pleased to see you’re still on the scene, still doing grade-A content and still having fun. Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Ok, I guess I’m overreacting, then. And Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  3. Shawn Levasseur Says:

    Actually the worst PR move is to announce a project that won’t solicit for a while yet. (Case in point, All-Star Wonder Woman).

    Now the PR department could make breif notes for the press to make sure that the rumor mill doesn’t rule the news of books still being planned or worked on, but the fuller details about creators’ books and projects should be kept close to the vest until its time to make a sale.

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