We are most definitely in a golden era of entrepreneurship. This means there are a lot of people, each and every day who are launching new businesses and products into the world.
Not too long after they’ve done the hard work to make their concept real and available to the public they naturally consider PR. As they should. PR helps to ignite a romance between people and a product through profound storytelling and compelling brand positioning that together manage reputation.
Ideally PR is considered at concept stage and not product completion stage, however it’s when a new product or service is about to hit the market that we get a call about a new product that is “different, unusual and of course in the business owner’s mind…deserves media attention.”
When most people think of PR they think of media coverage. But if you’ve been following raraPR content for a while you’ll know that PR draws on a multitude of communications tactics with media coverage pursuit being just one of them. And more often than not it’s the final stage of a PR strategy and not the first.
A media outreach campaign is definitely not the leading strategy I’d recommend as a PR approach that best positions a new product, service or business in the market. It’s kind of like trying to withdraw money from an account with no credit.
Naturally people like to secure third party endorsement in the media. It’s always better to have someone else say you’re amazing, than yourself. But before most new businesses are ready to secure media coverage; they need to have these communication foundations in place.
Before businesses are media ready these are the five most important things to have in place:
[Some of these can be managed by a PR unicorn in your business and the rest can outsourced to a PR agency.]
01 GET THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE RIGHT FIRST
Great product alone is no longer enough to succeed either in sales or in securing media coverage. So this step is probably the most important. There are steps within the step. It’s a biggie. They’re all foundational musts in a competitive product landscape. PR in its traditional sense can’t be considered until you can confidently tick these items off:
- incredible product or service
- exceptional branding and design
- thoughtful and high quality packaging
- profound copywriting
- excellent online user experience
Tick these off and you are ready for the next ‘launch’ step.
02 DEFINE YOUR KEY MESSAGING
If a PR consultant hasn’t already stepped in on arming you with well-placed copy, then this is where your PR consultant can jump in and jam on defining your key messaging. Getting clarity on why your business is unique and special and being able to cleverly wrap words around it, will set you up on a clear path of knowing why you do what you do and what impact your business can have on the world. This step will also allow you to communicate clearly with your audience, from that point on and forever.
03 SHARE YOUR STORY ON YOUR WEBSITE
First thing media will do after a pitch they’ve seen that they’re interested in (should they be interested) is scout for more info to compound what they believe to be a good story. Equally, the first thing a customer prospect will do is bounce off from product news editorial that had an impact on them and dive in for more information to reaffirm the story and belief in the business before purchase.
It’s well documented that it takes at least 13 meaningful and compelling interactions with a brand before a consumer decides to buy. A media outreach strategy (and a paid digital marketing strategy for that matter) will fall flat on ROI if content isn’t in place for your product or service. Therefore this is all about sharing your story on your own platforms; with the website being the holy grail of content support to legitimatise and establish a voice for your business.
04 GET YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CREDIBILITY IN ORDER
A considered social media strategy should be executed on before media outreach is considered. And this doesn’t just mean set up and a few posts; this is all about consistent content day in day out for months if not a year or two. Through the placement of consistent and high quality social media content; it helps your brand build a relationship of trust with your audience. As well as that valuable will help your business appear more legitimate and better position your brand as an authority.
05 ENGAGE INFLUENCERS THAT APPEAL TO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE AND THE MEDIA OUTLET
Before you reach out to media, executing on a thoughtful and strategic influencer strategy should definitely be activated or at least considered. Working with Influencers helps you to position your brand. They can help you to build trust with the potential consumer and they can help you to secure quality content that builds on your brand position. Again this is where PR powers come to life well before media liaison. Influencers help to secure third party endorsement before media are approached and help to seed the concept that your product is of interest to the public and the relevant media audience.
The key take home… It’s easy to get carried away with the burning desire to have someone well credentialed in the press say how amazing your new product is. But a better PR strategy is a successful one. And that’s one that delivers results that position your business to prosper in the immediate and long-term future. So before you centre your PR expectations around coverage, be sure to have these essential communications tactics in place first.
By Jade Roberts.
raraPR Founder, Creative Director
Jade Roberts is the founder and creative director of raraPR, a boutique creative PR agency based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade is dedicated to changing the discourse around what PR is, how it works and educates and implements sustainable PR strategies for businesses doing good in a kind PR environment centred on mentorship. Jade is a published writer for both national magazines and retail brands and has extensive agency and in-house consumer-led PR and brand strategy experience across two decades.