The word planning automatically fills the mind with thoughts and images of a lengthy to-do list, scattered notes and paper. If you’ve ever been put in charge of anything, especially a publicity campaign you can easily feel the pressure mounting as people continually call and email for updates posing the key question: “How are things coming along?” No fear, it’s a typical scenario that can be managed by carefully planning the steps you’ll take to successfully execute your campaign.
A few guidelines in sorting out where to begin start with a quick Q&A brainstorming session so that you can get an idea of what you need to accomplish. Then, analyze the media to determine which outlets would be more suitable for pitching the story about your product or service. Make sure their subscribers or readers are the type of consumer you can market your product to. Finally, how does the media play a part in your campaign? Will you be inviting them to attend an event or submitting a feature request/media pitch?
Here are some planning tips & ideas:
Make a timeline or schedule of the product launch and determine when you’ll turn to media for attention. This needs to be thought out and timed at the right moment.
Draft a media release and determine distribution outlets (will you use a press release distribution service?)
Research media outlets that serve a demographic similar to your target market and research their past coverage. This is especially important when dealing with magazines, tv networks, radio and blogs.
Determine your purpose for contacting the media (are you seeking live event coverage, a feature, a review?)
Utilize existing business relationships with those individuals who can assist in sharing your pitch with their network of associates and friends.
Discuss possibility of a promotional tour in high traffic areas where you can come face to face with your target audience. It doesn’t have to state-to-state, it can be city-to-city or smaller; consider visiting college campuses, malls, libraries, community centers and the like.
Create relevant press/media kits and business cards along with any promotional items you wish to give away. Be sure to give them something to remember you by in addition to your wonderful first impression.