Many companies think they need to have a new product launching to start a PR campaign. Although it may surprise some, a PR campaign can be effective without a new product launch. There are several ways to generate media coverage without a new product.
One way to secure coverage is through âproduct round-ups.â Several publications, especially tech pubs, do product round-ups on everything from anti-virus software to the best MP3 players. These round-ups typically include brief reviews of several products (new and old) and in most cases they award an Editorâs Choice for their favorite product. The key is finding out when they are doing these product round-ups and what editor is responsible for the feature. The best place to start is by checking editorial calendars at publications within your target market â these can usually be found on the publicationâs Web site or by calling an editorial assistant. Be prepared to send a product sample if the editor is interested.
Another way to secure coverage (without a new product launching) is to focus on pitching your company. There are many possible story angles to pursue; Do you have a rags to riches story? Does your business model differ from most other companies in your industry? Are you breaking into a well known market with a new approach or truly innovative product? Several business magazines such as Fast Company, Inc. and Entrepreneur are always looking for pioneering companies / CEOs to highlight. The key to securing this type of coverage is researchâ¦.make sure you are reading these magazines to get a feel for their writing style and what type of companies they cover before you approach them.
Lastly, you can always target editors at local media outlets â outlets that are specific to a certain city or region. These editors are not inundated with as many products and pitches as editors at national publications, and are often times more likely to be responsive to your pitch. These outlets include tech editors at local newspapers, monthly city magazines and weekly magazines. It is always best if you can localize the pitch in some way (e.g. provide a local retailer or a user in the area), but a straight-forward product pitch can work as well. Donât forget to pitch your company to your local business publications and the business writers at your hometownâs daily newspaper â they are very responsive to profiles of innovative, local companies and people.
Bottom line: there are thousands of media outlets and they all need to fill their pages with interesting stories. Yes, some publications will like to cover new product announcements – but there are creative ways to secure coverage between product cycles. While reading your trade publications or your favorite business magazines take a moment and ask, âHow can my company/product fit into this media outlet?â