🏆 What’s News and How to Make It Resonate
Maximize opportunities for your company with a strategic comms playbook.
You and your team are hard at work every day building products, scaling teams, launching new verticals… the list goes on and on. Acknowledging and celebrating your achievements internally is so important, but don’t overlook opportunities for your company to gain broader recognition for your team’s accomplishments and vision.
It can be difficult to determine what to share outside your company walls and how to package it in a way that will have a positive impact for your business. Communications goes beyond generating press pickup from outlets – it’s a robust strategy that crosses numerous internal and external channels. Having a solid playbook can help make these decisions easier and maximize opportunities for you to shine a spotlight on your company.
There are many opportunities to get updates and news from your company out into the world. A purpose-driven communications playbook or checklist can help you think carefully about what your news is, how it ladders up to support your company’s goals, who would be interested, and what channels you can leverage to maximize your reach and results.
Here are six tips for thinking about what makes something newsworthy, understanding the various channels at your disposal and how to best use them to get your brand message across.
1. What’s your news? Why does it matter?
First, determine what’s new and why it matters.
Are you hiring someone new to the team?
Have you closed a big investment round?
Did you launch a new product? Add a new feature?
Think about why someone outside your company or your current customers would want to know about this and why it would be useful to them.
2. How will this support your company’s objectives? What’s the purpose of the news?
Are you looking to hire new talent?
Are you hoping to break into an industry?
Do you want to get your executives out to become thought leaders?
What are the themes or key points you want to get out about your company?
A comprehensive communications strategy and a business strategy must go hand in hand — any external communications need to be purposeful and ladder up to your business objectives.
3. Who is the audience? Who do I want to communicate with?
Understand who is going to care about what you’re sharing. Your customers may not necessarily care about a new round of funding, but they will care about a new feature to your product. A media outlet may not necessarily be interested in covering a new product feature, but would likely be interested in hearing you closed a new investment, acquired a company or brought on a notable executive.
4. Is this pressworthy?
It can be difficult to determine what is pressworthy. In general, you need to check the boxes on at least two of these items:
Is this a significant fundraise? (generally $2M or more)
Are there any notable names, partners or investors involved?
Are you launching a new product or service (different from a platform feature)?
Is my company providing a solution for current problems or trends within my industry?
5. Can you identify who would cover this news?
It’s important to do your research and understand who covers news about your industry, and within that industry, who covers the type of news you’re releasing. If you think there’s a reporter and outlet that this news would be perfect for, you can offer them exclusive coverage, which means they would be the first to break it. Sometimes this can help to incentivize coverage because you are offering something that others do not have, and it can be a great way to build a relationship with a reporter. Many reporters cover different beats and all are stretched thin, so ensure your pitch is concise and to the point.
6. How else can I share my news?
Press coverage is always great, but keep in mind it’s not the only way (and sometimes not the best way!) to share your news. Leverage your external facing platforms to build buzz and excitement for your company. Think about what other platforms your organization uses (i.e., a news section on your website, a company blog, social media handles, email communications to your members, support from partners, etc.). A comprehensive communications plan usually leverages a number of different channels to ensure you are reaching your target audience across multiple platforms.
Here are three examples of different communications strategies we put together for clients:
Example 1: A client closed on a significant ($10M+) round of funding, bolstered by notable names. Given the space the client is in, the size of the fundraise and the names attached to it, we recommended a full-court press strategy, securing an exclusive piece in the Wall Street Journal and getting pickup in key outlets across business, sports and entertainment. We used this as an opportunity to reinforce the company’s mission and approach, and highlight the momentum behind it. The company’s partners and investors shared the news across their personal social handles, and the company shared on LinkedIn as well as its website.
Why This Approach? Big names and significant funding offered an opportunity to reach out to a top-tier outlet that reached both a business and consumer audience to highlight the momentum behind the company and its vision.
Example 2: A client needed support for its go-to-market strategy to introduce its platform to a specific audience. Robin recommended a targeted communications strategy to reach potential new clients for the company, which included selective media outreach, leveraging partners and arming them with communications materials to reach out to their members, and a strategic social media push.
Why this approach? The client needed to reach a very specific/tailored audience. Because this is an early stage company, we needed to see adoption from this specific group and believed that getting the endorsement from already trusted partners would help to convert new users.
Example 3: Client expanded its offerings into a new region. Robin recommended a communications strategy that spanned client’s owned channels (social media, website and email) and worked to secure local earned media in the new location.
Why this approach? Client’s expansion was big news internally, but not quite at a national level to generate high-profile press exclusive. In this case, we recommended a localized strategy to garner awareness and excitement about the opportunity the client was bringing to the region.
🤝 Let’s work together. If you would like to learn more about Robin, or want to talk about your brand’s marketing, communications, and product development initiatives, contact us at email@example.com.
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P.P.S. We’re hiring a Junior Designer, Junior Marketing Associate, Junior Communications Associate, and Junior Copywriter. If you know anyone who’d be a good fit, we’d appreciate it if you could pass the opportunity along.