Launching a new product is often the most hectic time for a company. With so much time dedicated to problem-solving, logistics, and coordination it is important to ensure a chunk of time is given to PR. If the public isn’t aware your product exists after all your hard work, your well-laid plans for a sizzling launch might fizzle, instead
Coordinating the PR for a product launch requires a robust, comprehensive campaign, while even a minor product launch needs a multi step approach. Let’s look at the basics of the product launch process.
How to Launch a New Product
- The Packet – Having a set packet ready to send out to media sources, testers, and other influencers is always a good starting point.
- Good stock photos, usually pulled from your marketing materials, need to be put together and made easy to distribute. You will want a small variety, but a simple photo with a white background is going to be your most versatile.
- You will also need a fact sheet. It is important to keep it to a single sheet whenever possible. Simple and clear language should be used along with clean visual organization (bullet points, etc).
- If the product is complex, a how to use guide may also be needed. Whether a short video demonstration or just a suggested uses pamphlet, it is important to ensure testers will be using your product correctly. Samples of the product need to be included as well.
- The Timing – Determining the length of time for the PR of a product launch is very dependent on the scale of potential sales and the market for the product. That being said, here are some basic rules of thumb:
- Packets need to go out to your chosen influencers with enough lead time to ensure media release (online, print, and news) happens when you want it to.
- Background infrastructure such as websites, call centers, and social media pages need to be set up well in advance, ideally 2-3 months prior to launch. This ensures time for testing, fixes, changes, etc, but it also ensures when the first potential customer Googles your product they can find evidence that it exists and is coming soon.
- The timing of marketing campaigns depends entirely on the scale of the product being launched. At the very least you want your marketing plan to be comprised of four segments; pre-launch, during launch, post-launch, and continued marketing.
- Contingency plans also need to be worked into your overall timing schedule. If the product launch is delayed or if there are problems with the product, having a PR fall-back plan can ensure that your company looks professional even when chaos has struck behind the scenes.
- The Relationships – The purpose of any Public Relations campaign is to create relationships. When launching a new product your campaign needs to take into consideration how those relationships will change or remain the same with the introduction of your new product. Will you be connecting to a new audience? Will you be changing your image in the public eye? Will you be supporting your existing customers with this product? Answering these questions needs to be part of your immediate planning. How a new product impacts your existing relationships or creates new ones needs to be in your long term thinking and strategy as well.
PR is an important facet of any product launch process, large or small. It is vital to ensure enough resources are in place for the launch to be well noticed and well reported. Instead of watching your launch fizzle, good PR will ensure it goes off with a bang.