Thinking of a Big Launch? Er, Do You Mind Waiting `til Spring 2012?

So you’ve got a big launch coming up – and you’re trying to find the perfect time to tell the world about your all-singing, all-dancing doo-dah. It is probably the best thing since sliced bread, most definitely the first of its kind which enables this, empowers that and delivers the other, so you’re very keen to spread the word. You’ll of course be trying to find a date when there’s not too much else going on. This will ensure that your latest and greatest gets the media attention it surely deserves.

OK, at this point, you need to think about May 2012!

Here in Europe we’re into serious Conference Season congestion, and it won’t get any better after Christmas. Since September, journalists’ diaries have been packed with invitations to conferences and trade fairs in Berlin, Barcelona and Birmingham – with nary a few days between the events to draw breath. The wheels fall off the conference season bandwagon around late November – Thanksgiving in the US – but then it’s all about Christmas. Media are getting “free travel fatigue” – I know it sounds like a non-sequitur.

So look ahead to 2012, and if you’re able to plan that far ahead, then be sure to plan around Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, then CeBIT in Hanover in March, while in the US the trade show year kicks off with CES in Las Vegas. Which means it going to be April before things really quieten down enough for your big launch (surely the new wotsit will actually be ready to ship by then?). But wait! Next year Easter falls in mid-April … so you can forget about the first half of that month, too. May 2012 anyone?

In reality, there are a few gaps in the months ahead, but not that many. If you’re planning something for different regions, there are additional hurdles such as national holidays that need to be taken into account.

And – of course if you have something that’s big enough news – like you’re buying Yahoo! or you’re hiring Léo Apotheker (there are rumors …) or you’re Facebook and you’re planning your IPO, then the need to avoid black-out dates doesn’t really apply. Unless you have decided on December 27th, that is.

Simon Jones, OnPR GmbH, Munich

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