June 27, 2022 — One of the biggest challenges public relations practitioners face is the fact they have only minimal control over many of the facets that can impact success.
Preparation for the launch of a ground-breaking product can be all for naught when a competitor introduces its product first. A celebrity endorser’s lack of judgment resulting in a public controversy can wipe out a news media campaign before it even starts.
One of the most powerful factors that PR pros have little control over is the potential for other news to overwhelm their own news. Practitioners can consult all the major event calendars to determine an opportune time for their announcement. But all it takes is one major news event to push coverage of your event or product launch to the back of the newspaper or mute the attention on social media.
A good example occurred last week. News of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade dominated the news cycle in ways rarely seen. Every article on the front page of the New York Times Saturday centered on the landmark decision and its impact. News of the 823-point rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average – amid a worrisome economy plagued with record inflation … was relegated to the business section. Even the readers of the Wall Street Journal, the nation’s leading daily business publication, had to turn to Exchange Front to learn the details about the Dow’s biggest one-day gain in more than two years. At least that’s according to the print editions delivered here in Pittsburgh.
Few PR pros would launch a campaign on a Friday but last week’s Supreme Court decision serves as a stunning reminder that their efforts are always susceptible to news entirely beyond their control.