Tips for Becoming a Pro at Consumer Product Public Relations
When consumers see products in the news, it gives the brand instant third-party credibility. We see this effect quite often, so why do brands struggle with garnering actual editorial content that’s focused around consumer product PR?
Typically, companies can maintain a strong brand presence by leveraging different public relations strategies. Still, when the brand is too product-focused, it can be challenging. Whether the product is a first-of-its-kind or filling a gap or consumer need, the media is looking for a compelling story to tell. If your outreach is too product PR focused, they might refer you to the advertising department as it came off too “sales-y” for editorial.
However, there are strategies you can leverage if your goal is to use public relations to launch a new product or continue brand awareness. Still, before you reach out to BuzzFeed, Forbes, Elite Daily, or GQ, consider the following.
What are your goals for the product?
First & foremost, it’s critical that you understand the goals for the product. If it’s lead generation, public relations may not be the first thing you utilize. However, it’s encouraged that you do so at some point. If this is the case, you might want to look into digital marketing tactics first. However, if you’re looking to expand your story by leveraging a product, public relations will be a tool to grow your brand’s presence.
You might have a variety of expectations for PR, and that’s okay, we’re here to help keep those realistic and on track. There are various examples of how PR could serve your brand and some include an increase in brand recognition and awareness, generating buzz, news placements and interviews, serving as an industry pioneer, and more. However, as you’re identifying your goals and how you’d like to pursue PR, it’s essential to ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- How will I measure the results of PR? What does a “win” look like to me?
- What is my budget?
- What will the timelines be? (i.e., Does the campaign align with my product’s launch date?)
Identify your target audience & think like a journalist
Once you’ve identified your goals, it’s time to tell your story creatively. By including data and statistics within the industry, your pitch will automatically look more appetizing, but if you do this and personalize the pitch, you’ll have a better chance of securing a media placement. According to MUCKRACK, the lack of personalization is the number one reason why journalists reject pitches. Plus, personalizing your pitch will naturally force you to do your research on whom to pitch.
The audience you’re trying to reach will play a huge factor in which publications and media contacts you pursue. Going back to the basics of PR, you always do your research before you begin to pitch because if you skip it, that’s the quickest way to get blacklisted. Your time is valuable, and so is the media’s, so it’s crucial you know exactly whom you’re pitching and if their readership is a fit for your brand/product. An obvious example would be a tech product. You’re not going to pitch BRIDES. If the product is available on Amazon or other major e-retailers, pitching e-commerce writers at an appropriate publication would be your target. Although it may seem that every media placement is a win, that’s not necessarily the case. Before you pitch anything, ask yourself, “if my product appears in XYZ publication, is it likely the readers will be interested, and could I see a true ROI?”.
Utilize roundups and product review placements
The world of PR involves crafting some of the most compelling stories, but product placement PR looks a little different. Unless the product has a fantastic backstory inspired by a heartwarming experience or phenomenon, you rarely see a media placement solely around a product. It’s common to see products included within a listicle/roundup format or as a product review. If you’re not familiar with what these look like, here are a few examples of coverage that we’ve secured for our clients: POPSUGAR, Elite Daily, Forbes, and BRIDES.
Incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The internet is a powerful tool, so let’s leverage it to its maximum potential. PR pros can work with their media contacts to incorporate different Search Engine Optimization tactics in the story. These include image descriptions, keywords, and backlinks to direct the reader to the brand’s website, ordering page, etc. It’s not guaranteed, but more often than not, the media will include links for you if you ask.
Do you still have questions about becoming a pro at product public relations or need help for your business? At Serendipit, we are purveyors of public relations and we want want to help! Get in touch with us and we’ll work together to create a successful plan for you.