A press release is usually timed for maximum impact. Unless, of course, it happens to come from a catastrophically struggling sub-prime mortgage lender on the brink of implosion. Sneaky Business awards maximum marks for effort (though none for style) to American Home Mortgage Investment Corporation. Reuters Dealzone Blog reports that:
"The mortgage lender's shares plummeted 40 percent on Monday morning, after the company put out a press release at 10:19 p.m. EDT on Friday saying that it was writing down assets and receiving margin calls on credit facilities."
The company is clearly ruing the fact that timing is not in fact everything when it comes to press releases.
Now slipping a press release out late at night is one way to reduce coverage. There are other more advanced tactics, as Sneaky Business has determined through a series of informal discussions:
- The news-sandwich. Bury the bad news deep within a dry, feature-rich release on, for example, the role of local channel partners in the Black Sea region.
- The Cheney-stratagem: Circulate the press release with minimal effort to ultra-local news organizations, and hope that it never goes further.
- The Orkneys-approach: Release the news to a little known overseas news organization, preferably in a rarely-used local language.
- The thermo-cline tactic: Submerge the press release on a day of intense media coverage of another breaking story. Hope that your information remains hidden from the prying, but otherwise overworked, eyes of the media.
Perhaps if American Home Mortgage survives long enough they will be able to employ such tactics in the future.