As the driving force behind your creative business, you’re also the person responsible for sharing news around important updates, milestones, and shifts in said operation.
You might be considering sharing updates like:
- News about a new product line you’re launching
- A shop anniversary or sales milestone
- Taking a holiday break or some other short-term closure of your business
- A new direction for the brand
These types of important announcements shouldn’t just slip under the wire - they should be delivered in a way that helps you capitalize on the momentum they present. The trouble is that knowing how to execute that is just not everyone’s forte.
The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert in PR to do this well. And if you’re not an expert, it’s your lucky day: here’s a step-by-step plan for delivering important business messages, so you can reach the widest possible audience in the most professional way when it matters the most.
Step 1: Fine-Tune the Message
The first step is to do some brainstorming around how you’ll phrase your message or announcement. A good way to start is to get some ideas down on paper and trim down those words and phrases into a more succinct, logical format.
- Write down the general idea of what you want to share in 1-2 paragraphs.
- From there, whittle that message down to 2-3 core sentences.
- Finally, try to distill the essential idea down into a single clear sentence.
By working through the wording in this fine-tuning process, you’ll be able to figure out the simplest way to communicate the core message of what you want to share.
Step 2: Plan Your Sharing Strategy
Once you have a general idea in place around how you’ll present the message, you’ll want to think about how, when, and where you’ll be sharing that information. You can develop the best statement in the world, but if you don’t share it, that effort and energy was for nothing.
As you plan, ask questions like:
- Are there specific brand channels you need to share this on?
- Is an advertising budget needed?
- Is there a network of personal connections you should share this info with too?
- Do you know any journalists or writers who may be interested in this story?
For important announcements, you should plan on spreading the word far and wide. That may mean you’ll need to consider an ad budget and doing some outreach, but these efforts can pay off in a big way. Think creatively about all the connections you can reach out to with your big news that will help you cast a wide net.
Step 3: Plan for Questions
Next, it’s time to think about how you’ll answer and address questions that may arise around your announcement.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to work through responses to any common questions you think may come up, as well as the five questions you’re absolutely dreading being asked. If you have a prepared response, you’ll be more apt to reply professionally than if you’re answering questions the fly, driven by emotions in the moment.
Write down any questions you think may come up as well as your responses. From there, get a second or third set of eyes to review your responses and critique them so you can give the best possible answer to questions that arise.
You may even repackage this material for a frequently asked questions page on your website, or you can proactively include that info with the announcement to head off any questions.
Making the Announcement
When the day comes that you’re ready to share your big news, there are a few final best practices you should keep in mind.
Be available. Make sure you’re free to field questions, answer emails, and to respond to people on social media who have questions about the news you just shared. Don’t schedule a bunch of calls or meetings - or worse, hop on an airplane - for the day or two after your announcement. Keep your time free so you’re available for your audience.
Respond, don’t react. If someone lashes out with negative comments around your news, don’t react emotionally and fire right back. Instead, take a breath and respond thoughtfully and calmly in a professional voice.
Follow up. If you don’t get much response with the release of your news on the first push, follow up with your audience and contacts a few days later to make sure they didn’t miss your announcement. Check back in with a friendly note and see if there are any questions you can answer for them to casually remind them of your news.
Making important announcements for your business might feel intimidating at first, but with a game plan and some preparation, you can capitalize on these big moments and make a splash for your creative business (rather than letting them pass by unnoticed).
Remember: Don’t overthink it and talk yourself out of a good opportunity for you or your business. You’ve got this!
Kaleigh Moore is a freelance writer specializing in ecommerce and software. She also writes for publications like Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, and HuffPost.