#PRQuote: Decipher the Right Timing for Your Message!

Olutayo Irantiola

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

Ecc. 3:1

Welcome to another exciting edition of #PRQuote. Many times, C-Suite Executives fight their PR Consultant and in-house PR team that the campaign of the company is not gaining the desired traction, or the expected Return on Investment (RoI) is not happening. It is important to know that timing makes a significant difference.

I will want to tell the story of a defunct financial institution in Nigeria, First Atlantic Bank (later First Inland Bank). To a large extent, they pioneered electronic banking when they introduced the “Flash me cash” product. Customers can also recharge their mobile phones via SMS. E-Banking has made banking transactions easier around the world. Ironically, Nigerians did not embrace the product and eventually, the bank collapsed. Today, e-banking is the rave of the moment. In fact, Fintech company carries out financial transactions with no brick-and-mortar outlet.

What can make the timing right for your message?

1.  Be conscious of the season: This means that the Public Relations Consultant needs to be conscious of the season. For instance, the Kenyan election is just over. Every Kenyan’s eye was on the results, and everyone was anxious. There was no other news story that will catch the attention of any journalist other than the election.

2. Trend jacking: You can imagine trend jacking coming immediately about being conscious of the environment. It is important to hijack trends to be relevant. I will use the example of Nigeria now, some weeks ago, when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) set a deadline for the registration of electorates for the Permanent Voters Card (PVC). Organizations that want to hijack the trend could be in the news by allowing their employees to get registered ahead of the 2023 elections. Other times when organizations can hijack trends is when there is a national emergency, there are shows with a very high following like Big Brother Naija (BBN) amongst others.

3. Evergreen News or Time-bound News: Evergreen news is a news story that can fit into any season, while time-bound news must be published within a particular timeframe. Know where exactly your news story falls so that you do not lose the opportunity of reaching out to people.

4.  Human interest stories: this is a way of putting together articles or news stories that would attract the attention of people, news that speaks to “when a man bites a dog”. When brands proffer solutions to people’s problems, people would get tuned to hear from them. In fact, sometimes human interest angle stories reduce the spotlight on the brand, but it is a winning strategy for organizations. As I mentioned in an article earlier, humans are machines that think, so we need to understand what our stakeholders want, feel, need and think.

5.   Identify the best medium to tell the story: With the avalanche of media platforms, it is important to know where to tell the story. For instance, the effect of a news broadcast on TV and radio would differ from that of print newspapers and online news sites. So, every brand needs to know where to get its stakeholders ahead of any communication.

These are a few things that can be done to ensure that the timing of your message is right for your publics. As an organization, you have to be careful about what you say, when you say it, who said it, where it is said, and how you say it.

Timing really matters.

Olutayo Irantiola writes #PRQuotes weekly

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