PR for product launches: 3 things to consider

Creating a new product is time-consuming and challenging, however, it is important to not fall at the final hurdle when it comes to media relations. Senior account executive Holly Hill gives her advice on how to best craft PR for product launches.

Make or break your product’s success

At Cartwright, we’ve launched everything from protein bars to potatoes to market, making sure we put new products on the right people’s radars through clear messaging and targeting. As a starter for ten we’ve put together our top three tips to help with PR for product launches:

1. Know your audience

It’s crucial to know who you are targeting during any media campaign. Our team can develop a campaign for any target audience but need to understand the product’s key messaging, purpose and point of difference. A great example is a two-strand campaign we delivered for Seasonal Spuds targeting both B2B and B2C audiences, focusing on Cornish potatoes’ unique flavour, how they are different from other products on the market and their British agricultural heritage by putting the spotlight on producers.

It is also important to ensure you’re using the correct tone for your audience. Technical jargon, such as SKU (stock keeping unit), isn’t appropriate for consumer-facing copy, while lots of emotive language and adjectives wouldn’t be in keeping of the tone found in trade press. It’s vital to decide who you are speaking to about the product and how. This extends to social media and advertising tactics – which platforms do your audience frequent and when? Getting under the skin of your new product’s target audience is a huge part of any PR campaign.

2. Be strategic with exclusives

It goes without saying that, as PR professionals, a large part of our day is spent speaking to journalists and building relationships. One of the valuable benefits of this is the opportunity to offer an exclusive news story or piece of content.

The term “exclusive” means you’re not giving the story to anyone else – nowadays this extends to exclusive content or interviews which only one media outlet receives.

This is a great way to secure coverage in one of your top media outlets – are you eager to be featured in one key title? By offering an exclusive you are enticing journalists to spend more time on your story, they feel valued and that they have the edge over competitors, while you’re ensured your product will get strong promotion in their publication.

During a new product launch your brand is likely to want as much media coverage as possible, so offering a traditional exclusive may not be a possibility. However, in preparation of the launch you can offer key media outlets access to senior members of your team for interviews or behind the scenes videos and photos that other media won’t be receiving.

3. Don’t jump the gun

The excitement surrounding a new product launch is palpable. After months (or years) of planning, endless meetings and rounds of testing, all you want to do is shout about what makes your product great and get customers excited. However, tread carefully on social media. As tempting as it is to show behind the scenes packaging or tweet your latest flavour – please try to keep a lid on the launch. Sometimes social media leaks can undermine a PR campaign and really take the bang out of the big reveal.

By Holly Hill

Holly has worked in both the public and private sectors, with extensive experience in software, technology and services industries as well as within the emergency services and crisis communications. Holly has recently completed her CIPR Advanced PR Certificate and supports the Cartwright teams with PR campaigns, social media and event management.