To Issue or Not Issue – The Momentum Release Edition
Image: Bank Phrom
The phrase “momentum release” is one used by PR and marketing professionals to describe a specific news announcement focused on depicting a company’s growth. The purpose of this type of announcement is to recap a successful year (or quarter) with the goal of leveraging the content as an asset for sales lead generation, social media content and often as a strategic tool to support a potential merger and acquisition, venture capital or exit discussions. For example, a typical momentum release includes business metrics such as the number of new customers and partners, growth in revenue (or market share), growth in specific industries, strategic hires, global expansions or new offices, prestigious award and analyst recognition, as well as new positioning and messaging.
On the surface, a momentum release should serve as a great media asset. The problem is that this kind of announcement is not considered news and will be largely ignored by the media.
So, why bother? Is there ever a time when a momentum press release is worth the effort? The answer is yes AND no.
When Does a Momentum Press Release Make Sense?
The reason why this answer is so difficult is that the question PR professionals, as advisors, should ask their clients is not, “why do you want to issue a momentum press release?” but, “what is the business objective you are hoping to accomplish by issuing this press release?” If the answer is to simply create press interest, that will require a larger conversation about the definition of news. If the latter, and there are specific business goals in mind, a momentum press release can be a helpful tool.
A few potential scenarios:
- Your client is a publicly traded company – think Apple, Google, Amazon or Microsoft. Here is a recent example, detailing corporate earnings, operations metrics and customer gains. In this scenario, your client has beat reporters (reporters who are responsible for paying attention to your every move) who are interested in company growth metrics because of the impact this growth will have on industries, investors and ultimately consumers.
- Your client is an established challenger (as in this example) in a market that is being redefined by technology. As an established brand, your client is going up against companies who are covered by beat reporters. In this scenario, the beat reporters might be interested in your company’s growth metrics, especially if they showcase trends that could potentially impact the company they follow. Note that in this scenario, the information is mostly used as a reference but can, in some cases, result in introductory conversations with influential reporters and put your client on the radar of financial analysts.
What if your client doesn’t fit nicely into either scenario? A momentum press release could still serve as a valuable asset – but its worth considering other options and tactics.
Issuing a Momentum Release – The Grey Options
For many startups, especially those in new and emerging technologies, a momentum press release would have little impact since established challengers or publically traded giants might not exist as a comparison. There are also instances where while the growth of your organization might be worth celebrating, the figures are not enough to go up against an established market leader. Best practices in these situations include:
- Turn the momentum press release into a blog post, as in this example. This can live on your website or on a third party platform such as Medium. This option gives your organization the ability to highlight overall growth but in a less formal manner that can be amplified through social media. For example, leveraging the growth stats could be part of a paid, targeted LinkedIn campaign that focuses on lead generation and overall awareness.
- Turn your momentum press release into a story that focuses on the problems your company is trying to solve and leverage the stats, particularly market and customer growth as proof points that support your narrative. This option will still require pulling together all the most recent growth metrics, but will result in a narrative that journalists will likely perceive as less self-serving and possibly allow for thought leadership conversations to take place, as the focus is more people and problem centric vs company focused.
As you can see there are many options, each with its own benefits. What’s important for businesses to ask themselves is, “What are we hoping to accomplish by issuing a momentum press release?” If that question is difficult to answer, then it’s likely not the best approach to take. Instead, a discussion with your PR team to discuss your overall strategy should be the next priority on your list.