We’ve all been in the situation before: Your company has a great part in an upcoming event or initiative, but needs to work with one or more other organizations to share the news. When multiple parties have an interest in a single joint announcement, the waters can get muddy quickly, and it is critical to ensure your voice comes through loud and clear.
Whether you are a startup company partnering with a big player or one of a handful of interested organizations—such as a landlord, new tenant or broker in a real estate joint announcement—it can be a challenge to make sure your messages are coming across distinctly.
In many cases, a project can turn into a long-term partnership down the road and this first joint announcement will set the tone for a strong and healthy relationship. Below are a few essential tips and practices to make sure you get the most out of a joint announcement:
Play Well With Others
To begin with, it is important to set the stage by being a great asset who is easy to work with. Your role will be the middleman, lead negotiator and gatekeeper for most communications with the other parties on your company’s behalf. As such, it is critical to be polite, responsive and helpful. By protecting your professional relationship, you are laying the groundwork for a strong partnership now and in the future.
Not only is this professional conduct that you should employ every day, but your ability to get along with different personalities in different roles will help to get your suggestions heard and translates into better information and prominence for your company. While building a reputation for being capable will help get what your company wants immediately, it will be critical when planning any long-term projects.
Plan Ahead—and be Ready to Move Quickly
Gathering all of the necessary details, quotes, collateral materials and approvals takes time, particularly when there are multiple parties involved. As timetables shift, ensuring that your company’s messages are approved quickly and that your materials are ready will result in a clean announcement that is ready for release.
It’s important to understand that business deals may change and organizations that are not prepared to move quickly when the time calls for it often get left behind. When the primary player in your joint announcement is ready to distribute the press release, they may not wait for additional rounds of revisions and review.
Raise Your Hand
Working in a group can be chaotic, and often results in one person doing the bulk of the work. If at all possible, be the person doing all the work. Raise your hand to manage the process and offer to schedule meetings, coordinate planning, write the first draft of the press release, and volunteer to distribute the joint announcement.
In many cases, the more prominent or largest organization will be the one to break the news, however, your best shot to control the process and your company’s messaging is to take a hands-on role. As the group leader, you will have a greater ability to infuse your voice and messages throughout the process.
Find Additional Creative Outlets
If the major announcement is coming through a multi-party press release, consider other venues to separate your company from the crowd. For example, seed media opportunities with trusted reporters in advance, draft a guest column in a premiere business journal, offer an exclusive tour or visual component from your company, or plan a special event on your own.
Think creatively, but make sure your plan is in alignment with the group’s guidelines and does not undermine the joint announcement.
The art of compromise and learning to work—and occasionally compete—with others is a skill that can transcend an individual announcement and improve your capabilities across a number of multi-party projects and situations. It pays to be a team player—while always keeping your eye on your company’s goals for success.