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When it comes to physical products in the media, there are so many opportunities right now through PR to share the news of your new launch. Reporters and media outlets are excited to feature new brands consumers are willing to buy. Whether it’s a holiday gift list or a rundown of trendy products, journalists are always on the pulse of new product launches to share with their audiences.
But when it comes to product PR, you need to make sure your brand is ready for success before your launch. As you prepare for your launch, take note of my tested rules for generating interest.
Related: 10 Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business
Add to your first online personality
Start building your own social media presence months before your brand launch, before you’re even ready to announce it. Additionally, you should start by promoting yourself as a thought leader and expert in your field. For example: if you are planning to launch a new skincare/face wash or make-up line, build your reputation as an expert on all things beauty in the media. Introduce yourself to journalists on relevant topics, write contributing articles in relevant media outlets, and share your unique experience and expertise with as many people as possible. Then, when you’re ready to share news about your launch, you’ll already be an established expert in your field.
Prepare your product for success
It’s nice to have a press release and media kit, but in reality these items are not 100% necessary for release. These tools can be a great way for your brand to clarify product details, but you really need to make sure you’re giving journalists what they want. They will need the main details laid out succinctly.
Ask yourself: Who does this help? What problem or problem will this product solve? What is unique about the product? However, they will want professional, high-resolution photography. Be sure to take some lifestyle shots along with some product-specific images.
Last and foremost are affiliate networks and programs. In the last few years, media outlets have come to need affiliate programs to feature products in gift guides, shopping lists, trend reports, and more. Do your research and set up your product to be media ready!
Related: How to Build an Authentic Brand
Unbundle your partnerships
Before your launch, it can be helpful to align your brand with relevant public officials such as influencers, celebrities or on-air professionals. Their involvement will help build your credibility and give journalists a reason to think about your brand. They may also have links in the media and make promotions to support your launch. If these are not available, see what other partnerships can support your launch (for example, a like-minded business or local nonprofit). Are you looking for an established relationship you already have or a like-minded person or brand to connect with? These partnerships can really go a long way.
Review your sampling strategy
Most editorial contacts want to physically see, feel and test a product before putting its name behind it. For brands, this can result in extra unplanned expenses if they don’t budget accordingly.
Before launch, develop your sampling strategy and answer questions such as: How many samples do you want to submit? Do you have a threshold for the size of various media outlets or influencers to submit samples? Will you ask for samples to be returned? In general, we recommend that you do not send unsolicited samples without first reaching them and determining their level of interest.
Another disclaimer: Not all samples you submit may appear in the media. Often, most of the requested samples submitted will be in the media at some point in the line, but it’s important to have clear loss expectations ahead of time.
It’s important to keep an eye on the trends that journalists are writing about, watching news, keeping the pulse of your target authors, and reaching out to them the way they want. Follow them on social media and start interacting with them in an authentic way. Provide them with useful information so they can do their job as efficiently as possible. This will help establish your brand as the go-to place for media coverage along the line.
Using PR as part of your product launch strategy will be invaluable to your business growth.
Related: 5 Fresh PR Ideas If You’re Tired of Knocking On Closed Doors