Monday, May 28, 2012

How to Time Your Launch

I just answered a question on Quora about the best time to distribute a press releases over a specific wire service. But there's a broader question there - one that has nothing to do with the specific wire service or the various distribution mechanisms for the news. The essence of the question is about the best day of the week and the best time of the day to release news.

I pasted my answer to the Quora question below so non-Quora users could participate in the discussion.

I'd love to hear thoughts/feedback from other PR teams about their best practices.
Five simple rules for timing your news:
  • Release on Tuesdays. or Wednesdays. For the biggest bump of media attention, release on a Tuesday morning.  This also gives you an opportunity to pre-brief reporters if you wish.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays are both solid options.
  • Thursdays trim your news cycle. The problem with a Thursday is that, for really big news, there's no opportunity for a protracted news cycle (ie, you miss the day two and day three stories).  If it's good news, go with a Tues or Wed.
  • Avoid Mondays, avoid Fridays. Mondays are for coffee and catching up on email. Fridays are for releasing bad news, the idea being that the news will be reported but will be old by Monday and by Tuesday, the media will have moved onto something new.  This doesn't always work.  The Enron folks certainly didn't get out of their media cycle over the course of a weekend.  Nor Madoff. Nor BP.  If you f*ck up royally, prepare for a lengthy skewering.
  • East v. West. OK, so we've established release days, let's talk about what time to put it over the wire.  Are you a publicly traded company? Does your news impact financial trading? If so, release it early Eastern Time (usually 8am, though sometimes midnight if you're chasing a WSJ embargo).  Are you a California-based startup hoping to secure tech coverage? An 8am PT release should be just fine and will give your core press targets a chance to wake up. The time zone you favor will set the tone for your coverage so choose wisely.
  • Going global and making the best of it**.  Want global coverage? Truly global? Well, that's trickier.  Who do you want to piss off the least?  Midnight ET is going to make everyone unhappy but means Europe and Asia aren't completely shut out of the cycle and the West Coast of the US has already reached their print deadlines but you might be able to eek in for online.

**I have a follow up post in the hopper that addresses truly global launches.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One Post Behind

I should blog more. I know it’s important. I enjoy doing it. And yet, I constantly feel as though I’m one post behind. I have perpetual, nagging guilt about it. My blog is an electronic extension of my Jewish mother – wondering why I haven’t written or called and manifesting as mild but persistent anxiety. 

I’m eager to start blogging about my current adventure. But there’s a catch…I never closed the last chapter. I didn’t take the advice I’ve given several times over: your blog is your story and if you jump around, don’t be surprised when the people following along at home look up and say, “wait a sec, I have no context for what’s going on here.” So two weeks ago, when Stormy asked the Mozilla Conductors group to blog, I realized I was a post behind.
Juggling at OSCON 2007
Staying involved

In February, I left my full time post at Mozilla where I ran the global PR team(1). My five years at Mozilla were pretty all encompassing and the prospect of doing something new was incredibly exciting (but also terrifying). At the time, I didn’t have a very clear idea of whether or how I’d stay involved in the project. And it’s one of the reasons I delayed writing this post. I wanted to figure out what my version of “staying involved” looked like before I committed to it.

Where to find me

It no longer says Mozilla on my paychecks or my business cards but I remain an active contributor as a Mozilla Conductor, a MozillaWebFWD mentor, and as part of the NorCal Mozilla surf crew.  And while I never thought I’d miss it, I’m occasionally hanging out in IRC. If you see me around, say hi.  And if I can help with courageous conversations, startup mentoring, or San Francisco restaurant recommendations, don’t hesitate to ping.

My goodbye note:
Dear Mozillians,
Over the past five years, numerous colleagues have approached me when it was time for them to write goodbye emails to ask for some pointers.  I always said pretty much the same thing: draft it at home, take your time, speak from your heart and know that no matter what you send, it’s unlikely to capture everything.

Now that I’m on the other side of that advice, I can tell you that leaving Mozilla is exactly as hard as everyone says it is.  Mozilla lines are blurry: contributors are indistinguishable from employees, colleagues morph into incredible friends, the work, though hard, frequently feels like play.

Next Friday (February 10th), I’ll leave Mozilla and move onto my next adventure. I am honored to have worked for the Project and lucky to have spent time in the trenches alongside all of you.  It’s been an amazing experience and one I’ll treasure for my entire career.  Rarely does one get to work with such a passionate, dedicated, and splendid group of people and be entrusted to share their stories with the world.

I look forward to the next time our paths cross.  I’m including my contact details below - please stay in touch.