Good News, Bad News, and Important News. What’s your strategy?

It’s been a common strategy for corporations and their PR and Communications teams to send out bad news around 4 pm on a Friday. Why? Because it dies almost immediately. No one really pays attention to the news cycle on the weekends and by Monday morning something else happens – we release all of our great news because we want it to run all week!

So, bad news gets released on Friday afternoon, our good news gets released early on Monday, when do you then release your “important” news? The news you need your employees, customers, clients, stakeholders, etc. to pay attention to?

A recent study showed that late in the week isn’t the time because you’ll get these results:

  • 34% less social media mentions
  • 23-66% less mentions in articles
  • Up to 51% are likely to never receive the information at all.

The problem is we tend to work all week to make communications perfect and typically release important news late in the week when it’s going to find fewer people. The better idea for important news and information that you need people to pay attention to is to release it first thing on Monday, and then trickle out bits of information about the main message all week to gain more and more viewers of your message.

It takes most people five to seven times of seeing and/or hearing the information you need them to know before it clicks, so you can’t just do one main release and hope that everyone gets it. They won’t and you’ll be frustrated that your message didn’t have the impact you wanted.

Right now, so many organizations are doing their Open Enrollments around their health insurance for next year. Most will spend weeks preparing the communication, but put very little thought into how do we best amplify this message so everyone gets what we need them to get.

The strategy should be one big splash announcement, and then highlight announcements on an ongoing basis over the next 7 days for so. It might look something like this:

Day 1 – Big message!

End of Day 1 – A “USA Today” version of the big message. “What you really need to know about “X”!

Day 2 – 1 really important fact about “X” you have to know, or you might die (or something almost as dramatic!)

Day 3 – “Did you know…The top 3 things that are changing”

Day 4 – Story from the field, the most asked question of “X”

Day 5 – Before you leave for the weekend, Are you sure you and your family will have insurance this weekend?

Day 6 – Probably the next Monday – A message from our CEO on “X”

Day 7 – Last call – the final things you need to know before “X” runs out (aka – At this point, it’s your fault you’re not covered!)

This example is mostly about open enrollment, but it can really be used for any big change you’re trying to make internally or externally within your organization.

The other side of this has to be how and when you release these messages. In corporations we tend to rely on email, but we have to send out more than just email. Leverage text messages, social media messages, signs where you get the most employee traffic, etc. Think about the one thing every employee would do each week and try to wrap your message around that.

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