In my previous post, I discussed these five ways to announce a product:
- Special Interest group
- Web conference
Here are three other ways to make an announcement.
#6: Trade Shows
I am not a fan of introducing products at trade shows, but it can make sense in some circumstances. If that is your case, I recommend arranging one-on-one interviews. Start contacting reporters and analysts about six weeks before the show (depending on its size and type) and give them enough information to get them interested, but not enough so they could report on the story without seeing you.
Depending on the type of product, you might find a way to make the “pitch” illustrate the product benefit. For example, a 3-D imaging company sent the media invitations that needed 3-D glasses to read. The company was almost overwhelmed with media attention, in spite of competition from much larger, better-known companies at the trade show.
Another possibility is to announce your product before the show. Many publications and websites have “show preview” issues. Generally you’ll get better coverage in those than you would in the after-show articles when you’re competing with everyone else.
#7: Press Conferences
I am also not a fan of press conferences. By definition, they require significant news and important people. Few announcements qualify.
However, if yours does, make sure you invite the media in plenty of time. Schedule the conference early in the day. Put out fewer chairs than you expect attendees, so it can look as if you’ve generated more interest than expected as you pull out more chairs. Practice the presentation and review possible questions. Videotape the presentation for use on the website afterwards and, for that matter, for a way to evaluate the effectiveness of the presentation.
#8: Media Tours
A media tour means you travel to the reporters to meet them in their offices. This can be very time-consuming, but can yield enormous benefits. After all, the reporters like the fact that you take the time and trouble to visit them. You get one-on-one face time in a fairly controlled environment, and you can tailor your presentation for the individual reporter.
Start at least two months beforehand, contacting the reporters and analysts. Get a good (no, a great) travel agent to help with logistics. And recognize that things will go wrong. (In one case, the company spokesperson and I were in a traffic accident while en route to a live TV appearance in Boston. We made it…with about 20 seconds to spare!)
A Final Note
In all this, I’m assuming that you have your other announcement “ducks in a row, e.g., that you have notified the appropriate people internally and externally, that you are supporting the launch through your social media channels, and the like.