You have a ton of things to do to get ready for your product launch at the upcoming trade show. You have got your website in great shape, you have product on the shelf, trained your sales team and/or partners and have a great booth. You have even spent some valuable marketing dollars to promote your product. Public relations is often neglected and mainly because it is often confused with marketing. In its starkest definition, marketing looks to build a positive image and its products to a target audience though advertising and other paid means. Good public relations looks to do this in an unpaid and perhaps more organic matter.
Public Relations is…
A good PR strategy will include interviews with reporters (both in trade journals and potentially in the mass media as well), speaking engagements, arranging to be on influential panels at scientific meetings and, if appropriate, on state and local panels when your products could have an impact with the general public like a new diagnostic or therapeutic offering.
Why You Want a Professional for This
This is often an effort that is best delegated to a professional. A good PR consultant will often have a ready contact list of key people that will get you the interviews, articles and speaking engagements that will not only help to increase your visibility to potential customers but will also generate the valuable but hard to grasp concept of ‘buzz’. A PR firm or consultant can also help to resolve any bad press or negative reactions in the media and on the web should that occur (that’s the buzz saw, in case you were keeping track).
- Do develop a PR strategy with a PR Firm or experienced consultant
Unless someone on your team is an experienced PR person with all of the contacts you need, include this in your business plan budget as part of your commercialization plan.
- Do Make sure your website is up and running and contains compelling content
When your PR activities generate ‘buzz’, you want interested parties to have ready access to additional high quality content.
- Do prepare a ‘Media Kit’ to better manage your brand and image.
Put a tab on your website that contains high quality images, logos and other resources that journalists and other media folks can use when they write about your company. This gives you better (not absolute) control of how your logo and products are conveyed and helps to generate the positive impressions you hope to foster.