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Birth and Campaign Announcements

(Deacon) Larry A. Vaclavik, Managing Principal
December 21, 2013

Often campaign steering committees, development officers and CEO’s agonize over the importance of the campaign announcement. How much should we raise before we announce?  When is too early? When is too late? How will we know the right time? Some even approach announcements as if there were an 11th Commandment revealed, “Thou shalt not announce until…” The reality is that the campaign announcement – that going public moment – is a matter of communication and leveraging, not doctrine.

Increasingly in today’s high tech, social media driven culture, campaigns are public knowledge, or at least in the public domain long before they are publicly announced. It is sort of like pregnancy, once evident, it is only a matter of time until the announcement – to confirm what we expected. No disrespect to the expecting intended!

Today, the best rule for when to announce is to determine that moment when your campaign would benefit from the leverage of this broad communication. When is that right moment that you need the extra push to drive your campaign forward in a dramatic way? It could be at the 60 percent mark or the 90 percent mark. What’s important in the announcement is that there is a shift in strategy in the campaign, and this is the communication that leads the way.

So the answer becomes more a matter of the right strategy for your campaign, not some pre-set best practice that reflects the manner of campaigning before the social media era. Today, consider who probably knows about the campaign, but would benefit from the emotional impact of a public announcement as one more touch in their cultivation. With these individuals in mind, plan your announcement, pick your right timing and go big with this public moment.