When you’re launching a new product, you want to get immediate traction in your chosen target markets.
A strong PR product launch plan is a great place to start – getting your product quickly communicated to large sections of your target audience through online and print news channels, bloggers and vloggers and influencers is a great start.
Managed well, getting your product reviewed almost immediately after launch, so people have confidence in purchasing the product is also possible.
For the purposes of this blog, we’re going to assume that you’ve defined the target audiences for your product, and which markets are the key priority.
Getting the basics in place for your product launch
First things first, you need to make sure you’ve got your messaging right for the new product. It’s crucial that you’re clear on:
What does the product do which your previous product didn’t and that’s new in the market?
It’s important to think in terms of what it does for your customers. If you want to highlight a new piece of technology or innovation that your proud of, that’s absolutely fine, but it needs to be in the context of customer benefits.
What are the Benefits?
Having clear detail on exactly what the product does and how it helps the customer is vital.
It can be very helpful to understand where your product sits in terms of features and benefits against your competition, and existing products in your portfolio. This doesn’t have to made into a public facing document, but it’s great for internal use if nothing else, and if you’re willing and confident in publishing it, it can be a great way to showcase a step forward against your competition.
Will you be offering a promotion on the new product? Or if not, will you be offering a way for existing customers to get the new product and benefit from their brand loyalty?
Being clear on this before the product launch is crucial because it’s a question you’re going to get asked. Speaking of which…
Spending the time to think of the questions customers (and press) are going to ask about your products is well worthwhile. A web page can help team members and customers quickly get the information they need.
If you’re launching a product, you’re going to need good photography and likely video collateral for all manner of reasons, but none more so than high and low-res photography that the press can use of your product.
Having this included with fact sheets, FAQs, pricing and offers, product comparison and your product launch press release in a press pack, is an easy way to ensure that you consistently provide press with the right information.
Getting maximum coverage from your product launch
So, you’ve got your ducks in a row, and you’re ready to launch your product, what’s the best approach?
Briefing & heads up
First up, it’s worth identifying key/known journalists and contacts who you are willing to brief in advance of the actual product launch. This can be done using a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), which many journalists are happy to work under. This is an excellent tactic because it means that a core selection of press already has the information of the product ahead of any announcement. This means that your story and possibly even a review (if your product is ready!), can be published instantly when the product gets launched.
It also is a great tactic for building relationships with journalists as there is an appreciation that information is being shared in advance.
A good press release is crucial. It’s a simple way to get your information out to a wide audience quickly. When writing the press release to ensure you cover the key information, be careful not to load it with banal quotes from a wide selection of executives at the company, instead focus it in on what this amazing new product does for customers.
Press Release distribution
Sending your press release needs to start with calling your core press to let them know the release is coming and any key elements, this is called the sell in.
Once a thorough sell in has been done, personalised emails should be sent to your core press. You want to, as much as possible, ensure your message to each journalist is tailored to their and their readers interests. A mass mailing, particularly to your core media is just not going to cut it and will mean your story will likely get missed.
Once your core media has been contacted, a press release distribution service or broader communication to wider, ‘non-core’ media may be appropriate.
Hold an event
To launch your product, you may want to hold a press conference or press event. Depending on the scale of your market, the scale of the new product launch and exactly where your press are located, a live event can be a great way of getting your message across to a wide group of press, and also have the chance to run ‘interviews’ or meetings with press after the main presentation.
It’s also a good chance to get the product into journalists’ hands.
Ways to launch your product with the press
An online event
If your press audience are disparate in terms of location an online presentation or webinar can also be effective. You can also run multiple events to handle different time zones or journalist availability. These sessions are good because they allow you to present the product live, while taking questions and answers.
Exhibitions & trade shows
Launching a new product at an exhibition or trade show is also a great way to get your product in the hands of press and consumers at a similar time. You can either run an event at the trade show, which usually brings a number of journalists together in one location, or you can run a series of meetings at the event to do 1-1 presentations.
Another nice way of engaging face to face with journalists and offering personal information to them is to visit journalists at their location. You can usually group visits into particular cities or areas. This allows you to get personal feedback and also explore more creative ways to work with journalists on an ongoing basis.
Getting your product reviewed
Crucially, you want to get your product reviewed. Having review products readily available for press to have/loan is crucial. It can be helpful to have a time limit on how long these are loaned for, if for no other reason than to give the journalist the imperative to review the product in a reasonable period of time. Product reviews are crucial for a number of reasons and you can read more about them in our separate product reviews blog. Primarily though, having your product reviewed by an independent 3rd party is a great way to validate the quality of your product, drive traffic to your website and help consumers make a purchase decision,
It may be useful to create a reviewer’s guide to help journalists, bloggers and others to navigate round a new product. Crucially, your product reviews campaign is something which can start with your core press and expand out to associated markets, allowing you to keep momentum and noise around a new product for some time.
A product launch programme is as much about good preparation as it is about delivery, and the success of the product launch will depend on being well prepared for launch day. From there, a clear approach to reach as many of your target audience as possible.
In addition, PR will form just one stream of your product launch plan which is likely to include social media, advertising and much more.
If you’d like to discuss how Digital Glue can help make your product launch successful, get in touch with the PR team.