Don’t Let Your News Go Stale

When should you announce a new product or service? That’s a question we run into frequently in consulting with clients, who often don’t understand the role an announcement can play in generating business.

Our answer is pretty straightforward. You announce it right as it is available, because any demand that the news announcement helps to generate will need to be responded to immediately.

Unless you’re Apple, and can pre-announce your next iPhone months ahead and have people standing in line to get it, your customers and clients aren’t going to be as patient as those who are hooked on the rush of the latest and greatest screen.

A news announcement, through the media, social media, and direct contact, can tout the value of your new offering and kick off some immediate demand. It can be a valuable aid to your salespeople by harnessing publicity to help them generate awareness.

We have had clients tell us they want to wait until they have a client or key customer before announcing something new. That often means their “new” product is actually available and on the market for months before they announce it publicly. Of course, in the meantime the information about that product is on their website and their salespeople tell all kinds of potential customers about it. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that when the announcement comes, it isn’t widely seen as fresh, but stale.

With that approach, you run the risk of waiting for those initial customers and then finding out that they would rather not be named in your announcement anyway, so you have delayed your announcement for nothing.

You can always follow up your new product/service announcement with a subsequent “happy customer” campaign that builds on the original announcement and shows that your product is gaining ground in the market and being used successfully by real companies.

There was an old saying that “good things come to those who wait.” If we’ve learned anything in this new media environment that we’re in, with its emphasis on immediacy, it is that waiting doesn’t really pay off anymore.