It’s finally time. You’ve gone through product idea brainstorms, market evaluations, renderings, prototype development and are now ready to launch. Here are 5 tactics to incorporate into your product launch plan to help secure excellent coverage:
1. Target a Mix of Media Outlets
Start with making a list of magazines, newspapers and news sites that are the highest priority for your launch. It’s good to mix up the type of outlets you target. Expanding to different verticals increases your reach and puts your product in front of larger audiences.
Keep an open mind about which outlets your product might appeal to. For example if you have a hot new gadget that uses a patented technology unique from the competition you definitely want to target tech writers and bloggers. But if your product also has an innovative design or distinctive functionality it could also appeal to lifestyle writers. Identify the features that will matter most to the writer’s readers and tailor messaging and pitches accordingly to grab the editor’s attention.
2. Plan Around Calendar Year Events
Be mindful of where your launch falls within the calendar year, and any upcoming events like holidays and seasonal changes that could impact it.
If your product has the potential to be this holiday’s hottest gift then plan ahead, because publications start looking for products as early as six months out! If you’re launching a high tech grilling tool for example you may not want to launch in the middle of winter. While no one likes to wait to start making money, you could potentially be risking sales by holding your product launch at a time when the product isn’t that relevant.
3. Don’t Procrastinate on the Press Release
Any PR pro will tell you when you pre-pitch an editor under embargo about a new product that 9 out of 10 times they ask to see your release.
If pre-pitching is important to your launch in order to get coverage on the day of the launch, then make sure to have a press release finalized and ready to send to editors under embargo before you begin media outreach.
The fact of the matter is that editors are busy, they get tons of emails every day on new products, you don’t want to risk losing their attention by being unable to provide them with information on your product when they request it.
4. Prepare to have Product Images, Videos and Spec Sheets
The old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and in the editorial world a thousand words is a good chunk of real estate that sometimes you are lucky to get!
So make sure you have plenty of high-resolution photos, videos and any other collateral materials to provide press ready before launch. Photos help to build brand recognition and will make your product launch more memorable to customers.
5. Schedule time to talk to reviewers
If you’re launching a product editors can review, after you ship out review units it’s good to follow up and schedule a phone chat with the editor.
Not only is a great way to make sure that you highlight all the key features they should test out while they review the product. It is a great opportunity to build that relationship with the media and share your company’s messaging with key press.