Continuing from where we left off..
Many trade shows target the press both for media coverage of the event as well as for their attendance to cover the exhibitors at the show. Engage with the show management early, months prior to the event, to obtain the media invitation list and to make your product know to the show management as a potential story to present to the media.
It is important to have press kits, samples if applicable, and prepared staff to address the media at the show. If possible schedule specific times for appointments, have demonstrations ready but keep them short, and try to have a location where you can actually hear each other, and ALWAYS ask how long you have for the appointment after greeting the editor. Always also ask, if time permits, what the editor saw of interest so you can tailor your presentation to their interest.
There are media events, at least in the technology sector, which are either held near or in conjunction with major trade shows like CES the annual Consumer Electronics Show. One event group I have used for 20 years is ShowStoppers (for info. E-mail Mike@ShowStoppers.com ). Targeting technology trade shows with significant media attendance, they offer shows at CES, CTIA, MAC World and others including international events. The events are well organized; offer a low pressure, reasonably priced opportunity to get to media representatives. ShowStoppers provides an invitation list, post show attendee list and provides the media with a USB memory stick with the press/media kits of the sponsoring companies.
At the last CES show more than 1,100 members of the press, editors, analysts, bloggers, etc. attended the 4 hour event. Companies pay for tables and have the opportunity to present from their tables to interested media. While the media is there, you still need to stand out, politely approach the media, and follow-up, follow-up, follow-up and follow-up.
Last year, we convinced ShowStoppers to allow Vamoose into the event due to a pending line of electronically controlled odor eliminators. To rise above the crowd we contacted invited media with e-mail invitations to visit our table and included a teaser: “Visit us at ShowStoppers and receive a nostalgic gift.” The gift was a product related give-away. We brought cases of candy cigarettes, and put Avery labels with our contact information and link to our press kit on the boxes of candy. Many of the media, even those not interested in the Vamoose products, stopped by for the gift and a few laughs.
Vamoose was subsequently covered in multiple blogs, a Florida based radio station, Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline, a Nationally Syndicated radio show, which attends most ShowStoppers and many trade shows.
Give-Aways and other sponsorships
Many web sites, smaller media outlets and local media have product and service sponsorship opportunities. Radio stations have contests, other venues may have charity auctions, and some may offer subscription premiums. All of these opportunities could be supported with product donations in exchange for media coverage.
Most media outlets have some web presence. Even TV news stations and many radio stations have web sites with media coverage (stories which may or may not have been covered on the “air”) and RSS (Real Simple Syndication) news feeds which are supplied by the media news distribution services we mentioned.
It is important to note that the primary search engines do not index RSS feeds; although in the past some were caught and indexed if the search engine spiders were scanning the web site at the time the RSS article was present on the site. As with any reporting mechanism, search engines do not index everything. It is important to mention that just because something is not indexed or show in search results does not mean that no one saw the article on any number of web sites. Google intentionally stops indexing a story if it appears on “too many” web sites and does not show the additional sites in web results.
As it can be said, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one was there to hear it, did it make a sound?” If a tape recorder was present would there be a sound? Broad distribution may hit increasingly less targeted and smaller audiences but there still may be an interested party that sees it.
Blogs can also be widely read and distributed. Some gadget web sites have more than a half a million web visitors monthly! Don’t discount these venues or product review opportunities. You can easily validate these via Alexa.com or other web/media ranking web sites.
“Using contract call centers for lead generation, sales, customer service and support, and disaster planning.”
“Small product and packaging changes can open new market opportunities with little additional cost.”
“Disposing of obsolete inventory could be your most profitable sale.”
“Choose your early resellers carefully; they could be your last.”