Got Bad News? Release It On Friday Afternoon

September 24, 2007

Crap! You’ve been working a client for some time, everything has been going great, but now it’s time to deal with some “crisis pr,” the part of the business we all dread. Already annoyed by the fact that your cell number has been splattered across PRNewswire for the last year, you frantically try and find a way to deal with the world of pain headed your way.

Looking for a way to soften the blow, you find a way to announce the news on the “Friday black hole.” The one time of the week, Friday afternoon, where the least amount of people are paying attention.

Portolio‘s Business Spin blog wonders if this was the motivation behind crib maker Simplicity’s choice to issue news of a massive recall this past Friday. (If it was, it didn’t work) Jack Flack writes, “After all, it’s one thing to game the timing of your announcement when you’re closing a plant or firing your CFO for stealing. But it’s another when you know you’ve got a potentially dangerous product in the marketplace.”

What tactics have you used to “hide” news?


One Response to “Got Bad News? Release It On Friday Afternoon”

  1. Releasing news late on a Friday is almost guaranteed to get the media MORE interested in digging when they return from the weekend, if not sooner.

    If you have bad news, look for events — e.g., national elections, major holidays — that are likely to distract the media and the general public. That MIGHT help a little. But, frankly, since we’re on the Internet, news “sticks” forever. You’re better off learning how to position the news in the best light possible, being your own publisher (blogs, websites) to the greatest extent possible.

    Jonathan Bernstein
    Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc.

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