This is the time of year I start getting questions about the optimal timing for upcoming news announcements. Thanksgiving is about a month away and before we know it, everyone will be occupied with family gatherings and holiday parties. So it’s probably best if your company avoids releasing any important news between mid-November and January, right?
I don’t think so. And here’s why.
When was the last time you missed an important news story because you were away from home and didn’t get your newspaper? Or you were too busy to pick up the paper or turn on the evening news? It’s probably been longer than you can remember.
Increasingly, the news we care about finds us – on our computers and smartphones – thanks to email blasts and social media posts. We’re keeping up with the news while we’re sitting in a waiting room, standing in line at the grocery store or eating lunch at our desks.
According to a 2014 study by the American Press Institute, 56 percent of Americans now use their cell phones to access news and 69 percent use computers or laptops. In addition, 63 percent of Facebook users and 63 percent of Twitter users say the platforms serve as a source of news outside of happenings with friends and family.
In my opinion, news that’s worth covering and worth sharing will find its audience no matter what day or week of the year it is. Plus, there can be advantages to releasing news or pitching a story during the holiday season.
For one thing, many reporters are looking for leads and ideas during the holidays. Because of the misperception that it’s a “bad time of year” to release news, many reporters – particularly news and business reporters – experience a slowdown. With less competition for attention, you may actually get more attention for your news than when the information flood gates open in January.
Of course, news exposure depends on a variety of factors. But don’t be afraid to at least consider sharing your latest announcement, development or story during the holiday season. It might just pay off.
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