By Jenny Fujita and Joy K. Miura, Fujita & Miura Public Relations, LLC.
Last June, according to the July 9, 2001 issue of PR Week, “Heinz announced it would disclose the new (ketchup) color in ‘a few weeks.'” Notice that the real news, Heinz’s next ketchup color, hadn’t been communicated. Still, this pre-announcement release resulted in more than 100 media placements all over the nation leaving the public waiting in baited breath until the new color was made known. And when it was, the PR frenzy began all over again.
This tactic gave Heinz double exposure for a hot new product. Does your business have a twist on an old product, or a brand new item, coming out soon? If so, keep it a secret for a short while, revealing the details only to your inner circle. Then let a little information out – but only a little – and have fun with the results.
Next, prepare for the unveiling of your new product. Finally, make the big announcement with all the pomp and circumstance that you can muster. If history holds true, you’ll not only get the word out in an entertaining, positive way, you’ll also see your sales numbers and public approval rating rise. The public loves a guessing game. Use the elements of suspense and surprise to your business advantage.