Most mid-tier government contractors have minimum thresholds on contract wins for press releases. Many companies will not publish a release if the contract win is less than $10M – unless it has other strategic value. And in the past, long before anyone heard of COVID-19, that guideline made some sense – depending on the hard news value of the deal. However, with 90% of today’s news being COVID-related, the media are eager to cover other topics.
Of course, reporters are still writing COVID-19 stories. They’re covering everything from facts about the pandemic to how government and industry are responding to best practices for communicating with your stakeholders, including tips for working from home. However, let’s not forget that reporters are like us; they want to write about good news, too. And their readers want to read all about it.
So, if you have any good news, don’t wait. Share it now. Even smaller news and contract wins are reaping tremendous press interest right now! Recently, we distributed a client press release for a very small contract win that resulted in about a dozen high quality news pieces – plus three requests for interviews! That’s something you rarely see during non-pandemic times.
Now is the time to issue press releases and to participate in introductory background interviews to build relationships. As you do, keep these four tenets in mind:
1) Even small contract wins can be newsworthy. This is a time to be flexible about your minimum contract value threshold for press releases. A small strategic win should be shared.
2) Reporters are actively looking for good news from trusted sources. If you and your public relations team have established strong relationships, chances are you’re hearing from reporters as they reach out to trusted thought leaders for news and perspectives.
3) It’s never too late to build strong media relations. If you’re new to public relations, now is the time to start building relationships with reporters, so you’re better prepared for when the industry settles into its post-pandemic normal. Remember that reporters are incredibly busy, and part of your job is to make their job easier. Start by (only) targeting reporters whose beats cover companies and news like yours.
4) When in doubt, consult. Our clients tell us over and over how much they appreciate having a public relations expert on their team, to weigh in on things like whether, when, and how to issue a press release. Post-pandemic, we’ll want to consider all contract wins, no matter the value, to decide if it’s the right news and the right time to share with reporters. We love weighing in on those decisions.
PRO TIP: Even if you don’t push the small wins over the wires or pitch to reporters, at least post a news brief to the web for every win. Sharing your good news online will be a welcome read at any time! (And it will help your SEO, too).