Sometimes called a “press launch” or simply a launch, an event to announce the completion of a new project or other company news is one of the best ways to generate coverage in the news media.
Solar and wind are especially hot right now and news media across the United States are hungry for stories about clean energy.
If your news is big enough, you could get attention from national media outlets like USA Today or CNN. Or if your project is more local, you can get nice spots on local TV. Either way, it’s exactly the kind of coverage that can elevate your company above competitors.
But launch events take time and money to set up. You should make sure that your investment is worthwhile.
To succeed, a launch event has to go beyond the usual company snorefest. You know, where a bunch of guys in suits — or at a solar or wind company, they’re in khakis and polos — gush about how they’re entering a new market with “innovative clean energy solutions.” If your event is the same-old-same-old, you can invite reporters from the New York Times to the local college paper, but you’ll be lucky to just get a few of your own employees. And they’re paid to be there.
Here’s what you should do instead to make sure that news media show up and that they cover your event:
- Make sure you have real news to announce, like the completion of an important solar array, wind farm or battery-storage microgrid (idea: if you can somehow define it as the “first” or the “biggest,” and back up that claim with facts, that qualifies as news).
- Don’t announce too much in advance or reporters who want to cover the story will see no need to actually show up. Save your news release for after the event.
- Your CEO should speak, but that’s not enough. You also need elected officials and community leaders from your area and if possible, around your state. The governor or members of Congress are great if you can get them. Otherwise, state legislators, officials who cover energy and the environment and city and county officials can add interest to your announcement.
- Is there any way to include schoolkids? People from underserved communities? Environmental or community activists? They show that your company is doing good things for the community.
These are just some of the points to consider when asking yourself if your news is worth doing a launch event to announce. We’re happy to talk with you about what else it might take to help increase the chances that your event will get you enough news media coverage to make it worthwhile.
Just contact us. If your news sounds like it has potential, we’re happy to do a free phone consultation with you to discuss it.