In traditional digital marketing, the best time to announce your news is during a marketing / advertising campaign, those times when you are developing momentum. This way your blogging, SEM, SEO, email & social media efforts are working in conjunction with your push media - TV, print, radio, streaming ads...for example:

Doctor Who Announcing great news hours before their next TV series started

It’s Easter weekend, 2013. The world phenomena Doctor Who is about to launch the 2nd half of their much anticipated season. In a few months, November 2013, the show will be having their 50th Anniversary special. During the past 50 years, there have been numerous anniversary specials. The hook to these specials is that the show’s previous lead actors return to be part of an ensemble. The tradition has not only dazzled the fans but those rabid supporters have come to expect it.

Cut back to the 50th Anniversary special.

The show has never been more popular. Lead actor Matt Smith has become an international icon and has agreed to stay on for at least another season. But Smith didn’t initiate the popularity of the show since its reboot in 2005. The lead actor then was legend Christopher Eccleston. He stayed on for one season before they brought in David Tennant. With Tennant playing The Doctor, the show’s popularity began its meteoric ascension.

Rumors had been flying that David Tennant and his first co-star Billie Piper would be returning for the 50th Anniversary. Parent company BBC would not confirm nor deny reports of his return until hours before the Easter weekend airing. With a simple blog post the BBC confirmed Tennant and Piper’s return. From there, the media went into a frenzy, spreading the story for them while the airing of the show cross-promoted Doctor Who conversations from the living room to Twitter.

And folks like me were so giddy we couldn’t sleep that night

Why April 1st is a great PR day

Not everyone has a ten-digit budget and a popular television network to support their brand. For the rest, we have to rely on cultural ebbs and flows from which to piggyback momentum. April 1st, April Fools Day, is an incredible time to jump into the PR soup. So many companies are posting the craziest April Fools day stories. Here’s a few examples for this year:

People are looking for April Fools Day stories

April first is a big day in blogging and social media. With more and more companies coming up with their best jokes, people are doing multiple searches just to see who’s been the craziest and funniest. Many small and medium-sized companies take this momentous day to do sales, specials and announcements. On such a day, people are already online more than a normal day. The even makes for sales gold.

While no one is believing anything anyone says on April Fools Day...

Now is the best time to announce anything bad you have to publically report. Lost earnings, firings, closings, contractions, shutdowns, unacceptable political stances...go ahead, shout it out loud. Your audience should already in good spirits because no matter how bad your bad news is, your audience’s spirits will only been dampened until their next April Fools day online search. This way, you’ve been open and transparent. You’ve told your audience. If they don’t believe the news, it’s not your fault. And if they forget, it’s probably for the best.

After all, April 1 is traditionally the start of the 2nd business quarter

Recommendations for April Fools Day Bad News PR

Now, there’s a chance the following could happen:
  • those paying attention will probably hate your sense of humor
  • those paying attention will probably tell others about your bad sense of humor
  • your news will be probably be considered a bad PR stunt
  • you’ll probably have to do triple the positive PR to account for it
  • you’ll probably be hated by those paying attention for killing their buzz
  • you’ll probably have even worse news to announce in the following quarter

But the shock value, though delayed, will be priceless

After all, as the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad PR. Right?

Final thoughts on announcing bad news on April Fools day

Now, if it were us, we would have waited until Thursday of this week if we had bad news to tell. Why? Because we left our insanity defense in our our other set of Google docs. But, yeah, go ahead. Try it. Consult with other experts in the field if you would like. Of course you’ll probably fail miserably & be on the path to imminent failure but you will sure as Hell get noticed.

So, would you do it?

Would you announce bad news on April 1st?