The words ‘company news’ don’t exactly capture the imagination. Relegated to the smallest of subsections on the websites of your favourite trade publications, appointment stories, staff expansion figures and office openings very rarely make the headlines – unless you run a major multinational.
Businesses tend to over- or underestimate the importance of their company news. After all, a new office opening, or the appointment of a new director is a big milestone for a business. Given the huge amount of work that’s gone in behind the scenes to bring this to fruition, a little promotional self-indulgence in a press release may seem justified. But a gushing endorsement of your own company isn’t going to make the editorial cut and help get your story seen.
More commonly, businesses underestimate the wider market value of these milestones and don’t do enough to shout about their successes. These firms might understandably think ‘nobody really cares about our new hires, and we’ve already notified our client base, so why bother?’ or ‘why announce our new address when we’re working on loads of really exciting new projects?’
Both of these attitudes miss the true purpose of ‘company news’ – or, at the very least, show a misunderstanding of how it can be used most effectively. Below are a few things to bear in mind.
It’s not all about you.
Yes, you may have just opened a brand new Brazilian office, but the details are only really of interest to a journalist when set into a wider market context. A successful company announcement, from a media perspective, uses your news as a vehicle for commentary on the sector and takes the opportunity to deliver valuable thought leadership. Consider the broader reasons why you’ve chosen to set up shop in São Paulo. What does this say about the state of the Brazilian market as a whole?
Identify your target media.
Let’s face it – your appointment story probably isn’t going to make the front page of the Financial Times. But don’t dismiss those ‘company news’ and ‘city moves’ sections. Additionally, have you considered local media? Regionals are always on the lookout for strong local investment angles and, when positioned correctly, company success stories can make local headlines. Even if all your business is international, don’t be afraid to raise your profile regionally. Local reputation is important and a well-respected firm locally is more likely to be a well-respected firm globally.
If you’re not seeing immediate coverage for your company news announcement, don’t be dismayed. It may be more productive in the long-term to think of it as an introduction to the media in the region or sector you’re targeting. Use the milestone as an excuse to get in touch with journalists. This can result in valuable profiling opportunities, and helps to position the business as a source of future commentary on the market.
The main point here is that your ‘company news’ is inherently important to the media and the market. But not necessarily for the same reasons it’s important to you. Celebrate your milestones, but also think about how they can be used most effectively to create future opportunities and support your commercial goals.
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