The world out there is noisy. New products, upgrades, solutions and services are hitting the virtual shelves at an immense rate in both speed and quantity. Making sure your new product launch cuts through the noise and reaches the people who matter requires not only a great product, but a considered and bold approach. The below five points will help you uncover some key elements to consider when embarking on a PR strategy to support your new product launch: 1) What’s the story? It may seem obvious but it’s crucial to a successful PR launch. Determining the story, or the ‘so what’ factor, needs to be top priority from the outset. If you can’t answer the question, “why should people care?” simply and concisely, then you need to take a step back and review your objectives. The story needs to resonate with your target audience and in order to achieve this you need to work out what your product can do for them. A product launch campaign needs to be clear and consistent to ensure that people understand what it is that you’re selling. Nailing the story early on will enable you to define your key messages that will act as the foundation for your communications. At this stage it’s not just your external audience you need to be thinking about. Take the opportunity to get your employees on board. Think about how the new product will affect them, what the launch means for the organisation as a whole and what part each employee can play in the success of the new product. Aligning messages internally and externally will encourage employees to feel ownership and ensure that your potential customers receive a clear message that they can relate to.
2) Timing is everything There are many factors that impact the success of a product launch and some of them can never be foreseen. There are, however, some measures that can be taken to minimise the risk of the unknown and lots of these come down to timing. Firstly, find out what else is going on in your industry when you’re planning to launch. Can you tap into any existing industry events, such as a trade show where you know a captive audience will be ready and waiting? And, is there a major national or international event that could affect your plans?
And last but not least, will you, your chosen spokesperson or ‘face’ of the new product be available around the time of launch for media interviews? Availability at the time of launch is really important to ensure you don’t miss out on some valuable air time/coverage.
3) The right tools for the job Before you start to reinvent the wheel take a look at the existing means of communication your company uses. Are the channels or online platforms you’re currently using in good shape, up to date and ready to be the vehicle for the big announcement? Get your house in order in terms of collateral, communities, online resources and media relations to ensure the sharing of news goes smoothly and directly to the people you need it to reach.
4) Content capital When you’ve established what your key messages are, who your audience is and what channels to use, now’s the time to work out how to create some killer content for said channels/audience. Sticking closely to your story, think about different ways to convey the message and demonstrate your solution to bring your new product to life. It’s important to speak in the same language as your target audience, whether they may be your employees, investors or potential customers. Put yourself in their shoes and translate your story accordingly. Explore new ways of telling the story; would an animated video be appropriate? Or a beautifully designed data visualisation graphic?
5) Stay with it Once the news is out don’t forget to maintain momentum by joining conversations with your audience both internally and externally. Speak to employees, customers – potential and existing - about how it impacts them. Soak up the feedback for better or for worse and take all the knowledge on board for the future benefit of your business.
The above list is far from exhaustive, however, it will help you navigate through some communication issues and enable you to make the most out of your new product launch PR activity.