We know your new product is very important to you, but does it also have the same importance for journalists or the public at large? If you believe you have something special or something that would save lives, you should trust your instincts and write a release. Before you send it, make sure it meets these qualifications explained in the following article.
by Louise Harris
Whenever a company comes out with a new product, its officers believe the product is newsworthy and should be proclaimed from the rooftops. However, they soon learn that the product is not taking the world by storm. Although journalists don't mind getting new product releases, companies and their public relations staff have to know that editors get too many releases about new products. Public relations representatives can improve their chances of getting a story if they know what journalists expect from new product releases.
To win the attention of media, the product has to be truly unique. For example, a product that touts health benefits are a dime a dozen. Most journalists ignore those products. Who is to say that one supplement works better than another. These companies all claim to be the best, but few of them have been proven with clinical studies. Most use anecdotal evidence. Therefore, your product truly has to be the first or something that journalists haven't seen. For example, I wrote a press release about a new podcast. It was accepted by a local paper because it was unique, the only podcast about true crime stories and cleaning up the site.
2. Few Claims
Whenever a press release presents too many claims, journalists who are naturally a skeptic, will not believe the information and believe the company is trying to overstate the benefits of a product. To be successful, you should mention one or two benefits and leave the rest of the claims for the sales pitch. Journalists don't need a lot of information about the new product. If they want more information, they will call and ask you questions about the product. Always provide credible claims, truthful claims, and claims that can be verified.
3. Less Information
As stated in the previous expectation, journalists want less information, not more. The best press releases are those that give bullet points on the product (what makes the product unique, what the product does, how it is different, where it is sold, etc.). If journalists have questions, they will contact the person in charge. Often, new products are built by engineers who have difficulty keeping their comments about the product brief. Journalists don't want a 10-page white paper on the product. I actually had a person tell me she sent a 10-page press release to the media and wondered why it wasn't being used.
In addition to keeping the release short, public relations people should realize that new products are usually written as tech briefs, business briefs or news briefs. Look at news sites online or in print and you will see a section of briefs somewhere on there. That is where you will usually find a new product release. Once in a while, the product will be more newsworthy to guarantee a spot as a feature in print or broadcast, but you should send the release expecting a brief. Also, briefs usually don't require journalists to contact the owners of the product, which means, unless you are actively searching for your product, you might miss the press release's use.
5. Searches and Follow-ups
As a public relations representative, you should be searching for the pickup of the product mention because you aren't going to hear from the journalists. You can do a news search on Google. That way, when you get your results, only newspapers, broadcast and online media will show. You also should follow up with the reporter who received your release. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Editors sometimes will run a story or brief just because a P.R. person asked several times.
THE NEXT STEP:
Your product press release may have all the necessary information, but the pictures or videos of the product are also important to the journalist. It makes your release much more newsworthy when you have attractive images of the product to send with a release. You can add ultra-high quality pictures and videos to journalists with an e-mail-only sized photograph of 50KB to 100KB with Faselis. You should check Faselis PR features on Faselis websites.