Getting media attention for a new product is increasingly difficult. These days it’s not good enough to send out a news release. If you want to stand out in the crowd, you may need to add something extra or take a slightly different approach.
Here are the first five of 10 proven techniques to consider.
1. Involve the reporters, readers or viewers.
Having the reporter or readers participate in the story can be quite effective. For example, I suggested a newspaper invite its unemployed readers to volunteer for a job-search “experiment.” The readers could work with my client, the author of a book on effective job searches, and the editor could report on the results. This approach gave a human-interest side to a topic that could otherwise deteriorate into a parade of depressing stories about unemployment.
2. Provide product samples.
Getting editors to see, touch and use your product can be powerful. A lipstick received a half-page spread in a major newspaper, mainly because the company had supplied samples and the writers described their experience with the product.
3. Arrange product reviews.
For some products, a formal review may be in order. I have managed programs where the bulk of the publicity – and the sales leads – came from the product reviews.
Of course, make sure that the product will do well. (No review is better than a bad one.) Learn as much as you can about the reviewer in advance; prepare a good reviewers’ guide and stay in touch with the reviewer. Some of my clients have transformed potentially poor reviews into excellent ones simply by resolving some technical issues while the review was in process.
4. Enlarge the announcement.
Make the announcement bigger. For example, you can tie the announcement together with related, but non-competitive businesses.
A participant in one of my PR workshops did that quite effectively. She had started a dating service for obese people, but did not have a single client, so she had no credibility. However, she connected with other companies providing services to obese people, and crafted a story about the increased market for such products and services. She ended up on the front page of the San Jose Mercury News – not a small accomplishment.
5. Position the announcement as part of a trend.
Editors love trends. Lately it seems most technology products are either “iPhone compatible,” or “cloud based,” both major trends.
Note: Editors also love it when something is “bucking the trend.” So if your product is extremely different from what your competitors are doing, play that up.
I’ll cover the next five ways to improve your product launch in my next post. In the meantime, what techniques have you found effective? I’ve love to hear about them.