How do I craft a news release lead about a new product that will achieve media interest and ultimately achieve media coverage?
By Jennifer Manocchio
Creating an effective news release lead is essential to getting media to read the rest of your news release and consider writing about your product. You have just a few seconds to prove your news is worthwhile, which means the lead needs to be impactful.
The key is to focus on the benefits your new product delivers to the end user in the headline and the first sentence.
For example, what you want to avoid is a news release headline that reads “XYZ Company To Launch New Glass Cleaner”. While the new product is essentially the news, you have to ask yourself why the media and consumers will care about the new product.
Instead, consider a headline like “New Glass Cleaner is Streak-Free and Environmentally Friendly”.
As you continue with the first paragraph of the news release you want to avoid repeating the headline. Consider the first sentence valuable real estate and a way to continue to hook the media.
For example, avoid “XYZ company will launch its new glass cleaner on June 30, 2010.” Instead, consider a lead sentence like “New glass cleaner made from coconut extracts is guaranteed to leave consumers’ windows and mirrors streak-free or their money will be refunded.”
An effective way to beginning the news release writing process is to consider what story you would ultimately like to see in the newspaper, magazine, etc. Another tip is to review target media headlines and leads to get a better feel for what will interest the media.
Launching a new product or service and want to conduct a publicity and media relations campaign that achieves results? Contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.
I have a limited budget to conduct publicity and media relations for a new home design product my company is launching. Initially, the product will only be available at retail locations in certain states in the U.S. Is it more effective to focus my media relations efforts on national consumer magazines or local newspapers and regional magazines?
By Kayleigh Fitch, Guest Blogger
Ultimately, you will achieve the best results conducting publicity and media relations with both national and local media. But, if you are forced to choose, there are several things you should consider before making a decision:
What type of coverage do you want to see?
National consumer magazines are more likely to include minimal product coverage – a product photo and caption or brief description of your product and its primary benefit to readers. In addition, your product will be competing for the spotlight with five to ten similar products on the same page and potentially hundreds in the entire magazine.
Daily and weekly newspapers (with the exception of national papers like USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Times) are more likely to develop an accompanying story or feature fewer products in one article with a common theme.
What is your primary marketing goal?
If your goal is to create national brand awareness, national consumer magazines will have the greatest impact on a wider audience. While most daily and weekly newspapers and regional magazines only reach a general metropolitan area, and therefore build brand on a market-by-market basis.
By targeting local publications there is greater likelihood media coverage may also include information on where consumers can purchase your product locally, ultimately supporting sales goals and supporting sales in brick-and-mortar retail stores.
The trade-off, then, is between building strong brand recognition nationally and supporting sales efforts at the local level.
Do you want to drive retail or website traffic?
Finally, you should consider whether it is beneficial to drive consumers to your website or to local retail outlets to learn more about and possibly purchase your product. If consumers are likely to want to touch and feel your product before purchasing, using locally targeted publicity to drive consumers to brick-and-mortar locations will be most useful. On the flip side, a product that consumers can learn enough about without physically experiencing it can be very successful online, and national publicity will be the best resource to drive website traffic.
To initiate a national or targeted consumer publicity and media relations campaign, contact me at kayleigh at sweeneypr.com or 440.333.0001 ext. 105.
Is it acceptable to begin creating consumer awareness for a new consumer product before it is available at the retail level?
By Jennifer Manocchio
Some companies don’t want to put the cart before the horse, while others take advantage of the opportunity to create buzz prior to a product’s actual availability (think Apple iPhone). While not all products are as innovative as the iPhone nor do all companies have the luxury of iPhone budgets, there are clear benefits to conducting publicity and media relations– in addition to a wide range of complementary marketing strategies – prior to retail distribution (assuming of course that early disclosure will not create issues).
Reaching out to retailers, buyers, potential investors and consumers prior to a product’s official launch can help build awareness, interest and excitement. Both traditional media coverage and an online presence will help set the stage and get the conversation started, exposing market expectations and allowing for last minute adjustments if needed.
Hain Celestial and Martha Stewart, for example, used publicity in February of this year to announce their partnership to create a new line of products, Martha Stewart Clean . Eleven months later they announced the new cleaning products line will be available at Home Depot in January 2010. The news will have floated around the industry, the Internet and the media for a full year before the line is actually available at the retail level.
Of course, it is essential the early announcements are not made so soon in advance of a product’s launch that the media, retailers, buyers, consumers, etc. forget by the time the product is unveiled. And equally important, the information shared must be sufficient to generate and maintain interest over a given period of time.
Here’s the bottom line: if you have a good story to tell, and you are able and willing to effectively “share” with the marketplace prior to an official launch date, there can be distinct advantages.
To find out more about how to achieve national media coverage and leverage your publicity and social marketing efforts to increase retail distribution, contact Jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.