When launching a new product or service, leveraging media relations can be a powerful tool to create awareness and build credibility. But, telling the media about a product’s benefits and features is where many companies start to hit barriers.
Features and benefits are not stories; you don’t curl up on the couch with the latest list of product benefits or binge-watch a show late at night listing features. To create strong media relations, your company’s storytelling needs to go to the next level.
Developing a great story requires taking a creative approach when looking at your new product or service.
First, truly reflect on how your product/service is revolutionary and helping solve a larger problem. Ensure you support that claim with third-party data, so it is believable. While conducting this research be sure to identify the key audiences for your product and how it specifically can impact their lives. Second, keep it simple. Refine your message and story until it is a headline or a few sentences that illustrate your key points. Third, and final step is finding an imaginative way of bringing your story to life for the media, which could range from an eye-catching event to a powerful success story to a heartwarming surprise. Here are a few tips that will help you hit your next product launch media relations effort out of the park:
- Research Required – As mentioned above, having third-party data is critical. It ensures your story is strong and the need for your product/service is real. We live in a time of disbelief, so you must work extra hard to make it easy for your audience to believe your story. Start by looking into existing, credible research in the marketplace. Based on what you find, you may need to create your own proprietary research, organize focus groups, go out into the field and test the product, and/or ask for feedback and testimonials. In the end, the more data you have the better. You want to highlight that your company is not making this claim – an unbiased third party is.
- Identify Your Audiences – To tell a good story you need to narrow down your key audiences and then discover the narrative about your product or service that moves them to act. After you pinpoint your key audiences for your product, ensure you evaluate all relevant media to target. Start with traditional broadcast, print and online outlets, then add freelance journalists, bloggers, influencers, and anyone or anywhere a large portion of your audience goes to for credible information.
- Simple Storytelling – Once you have established credible facts and identified your audience, then you need to simplify your story into a clear, concise pitch customized for each editorial contact. Share the problem or issue your product/service solves and why it’s relevant to their news beat. Also, always explain why their readers/viewers/listeners need to know about it now.
- Memorable Moments – At Motion, we always look at how to create a moment in time that brings the launch to life. This could be an event or stunt, or it could be something completely different such as leveraging a special day like National Mentor Day to announce a groundbreaking new mentorship program. Creating a moment enables you to connect with your audience in a dynamic way and gives media a reason to report on this product/service now as it drives a sense of immediacy.
Launching a new product or service is an exhilarating experience and can be the start of something amazing, but taking the extra time to ensure you create a strong media relations strategy can help create the buzz that will catapult your product or service to new heights.