Publicizing your product or company is rarely a priority for inventors. Sandwiched between other more “important” tasks or altogether forgotten, public relations may be the key to your product’s success you’ve missed. Think about it: you’re more likely to buy a product you’ve heard or read about in the media. It’s important to remember that PR and advertising are NOT the same thing. Anyone can purchase advertising space. But an endorsement from a reputable news source is invaluable. Orca Communications, a PR firm that helps inventors and entrepreneurs, was kind enough to provide me with a list of the advice and tips they consider most important to remember! Take notice.
Before gaining the interest of a newspaper editor or television producer, you need to come up with something catchy and to the point. Press releases are formal announcements and are rarely read thoroughly by the media. A simple paragraph about your product could generate a television segment at your local station or grab the attention of a national magazine looking to feature gifts in a round-up for Valentine’s
Day. When a press release is necessary, media outlets look for the appropriate Associated Press format. The headline is the most important part of the release and should grab the reader. The body of the release should answer who, what, when, where, why and how. Correct grammar and spelling are imperative. There are various online resources with free press release templates including, Prnewswire and PRWeb.
When working with media outlets think of the big picture. The media loves trends! Do your research and find out what’s going on in the news right now and how you can tie in your product or service. Attaching your company to a bigger story gives you better chances for immediate coverage. Another great way to generate coverage is through hometown stories. Don’t underestimate the value of news features in your local market as well as small regional magazines, trade publications and even online editorials can drive sales.
Once you have sent your pitch and have been booked on a local radio or television show, you must prepare for the interview. Make a list of three points that you want to cover in the interview. Don’t forget to mention your product and company name don’t just say ‘my company’ say the name of the company as much as possible, without sounding like a commercial. Remember the segment is part of a news story, you aren’t
there to sell your product on television. It’s also important to respect deadlines. If a newspaper requests a product sample or photo of the product, it’s in your best interest to respond quickly. Also, tell the reporter if you can’t meet their deadline. But remember to snatch the opportunity while the interest is fresh.
Media outlets say their number one complaint is when guests ask for a copy of the segment. Set up a recording beforehand or have a friend tape the segment. There are also media clipping services where you can purchase a tape.