When it comes to putting together your initial business plan or making out your annual marketing budget, the amount of money you allocate toward “marketing supportives” can make a big difference in the success of your business’ impending public relations/publicity campaign. Although it sounds obvious, many new entrepreneurs don’t realize that typical sales marketing materials you budget for can certainly be used for your “media marketing” as well. What I consider “marketing supportives” that are effective for publicity/media exposure are things like: product photos; product samples; website links; sales fulfillment options, etc. The more supportives in place — the more media coverage you might expect.
Case in point, I recently launched a consumer product publicity campaign for a client who had many strong supportives: great product photos (hard copy & digital); product samples for the media; an online ordering vehicle on his website. We got tremendous media response in magazines and newspapers and even a number of TV shows and newscasts. Because the product was very visual, the coverage on the TV medium would have increased tenfold had the client had a VNR (Video News Release) with product footage. When many shows requested the VNR and found out the client didn’t have one, they simply could not give us coverage because they didn’t have the time to shoot the video themselves to meet the show’s deadline. (The same principle holds true for product photos.)
This is not to say that your publicity/media campaign will fail if you don’t have EVERY marketing supportive available. VNR’s for example can be very expensive to produce, duplicate and distribute. Many new entrepreneurs decide against them for that reason. I have launched publicity campaigns for very small start-up businesses that didn’t even have simple product photos. (Although I strongly recommend having as many supportives as possible.) Because the client’s product had strong, widespread consumer interest value, media outlets picked it up because of the newsworthiness of the pitch/product. Again, if the client had more money in his limited budget to afford a FEW supportives – at least photos or media samples – our media coverage would have been even more extensive.
Bottom line — from a publicity standpoint — your marketing supportives should help the media cover your product with as little effort as possible. The less effort the editor/producer has to put forth to place your product in an article or news story, the better your chances for good media coverage.
If you are planning/budgeting for a publicity campaign and you have strong marketing supportives in place you stand to gain much more from your campaign. Conversely, maybe you hadn’t thought about a publicity campaign for your business. But if your marketing budget has, in fact, allowed for a few of the supportives listed below, you are more primed than you realized for a campaign that should lead to some great media exposure.
But does your business/product have what it takes to initiate a successful publicity campaign? How do you know if you are ready to initiate a publicity campaign? Although PR campaigns can be implemented for any type of business/product, there are a number of factors that can help make a campaign more successful. In my professional experience, the most effective publicity campaigns are generated from:
- New product launches (consumer or industry/trade specific)
- Start-up businesses with innovative product lines
- Successful case-study information (stats/stories of product’s effectiveness)
- Expert By-lined Articles
Businesses/products with the following “supportives” tend to generate better publicity:
- Professionally manufactured/packaged products
- Professionally-produced photo/art (color or b/w prints, slides, digital files)
- Promotional samples available for media reviews
- Reliable sales fulfillment vehicles (retail placement, online ordering capabilities)
- Video news release (B-roll – video of product and its applications)
The items listed above are simply suggestions to help you get the most out of your prospective publicity campaign. Each PR campaign should be evaluated on an individual case-by-case basis before determining which “supportives” would be most effective.