Most marketers benefit from public relations activities to increase awareness of their company or brand. PR is still a key channel for all marketing initiatives and campaigns. Yes, there has been a social media revolution that is bypassing traditional media to reach audiences, but in order to get full value and to maximise reach, we should view these digital platforms as adjuncts to effective PR campaigns, not alternatives.
However, we do need to be aware that there is a right time and wrong time to undertake PR. The 10 points below look at what PR professionals and marketers need to consider before launching initiatives involving new products and services:
1. Make sure your products and services are actually available before you start a PR campaign. You don’t want to upset any reporters by wasting their time.
2. Ensure your products have been tested before you invite reporters to review them. There is nothing more embarrassing when something doesn’t appear to work.
3. Know the competition’s offerings. You will come across as knowledgeable if you can point out the advantage of your piece of kit over that from your rivals.
4. If possible, find a real-life case study that highlights the benefits of the products and services you are promoting before speaking to reporters.
5. Make sure you are topical – tying your product or service to a current issue or development makes it more relevant to a reporter.
6. When it comes to launch day, make sure everything has been well rehearsed and put in place so that there are no glitches.
7. Ensure you have all the necessary authority approvals for your product or service before it hits the market. You don’t want to incur a hefty fine or product recall.
8. Approach the media when you know that your messages will spread to the right audiences through the right channels to maximise your reach.
9. Make sure you have your strategy in place before your launch. If you don’t have a clear strategy and messaging, it is better to postpone your PR campaign.
10. Remember that reporters are your friends and not adversaries to be hoodwinked. Politeness and respect for what they do will help foster a good relationship, which can influence results.