5 steps to planning the perfect press launch

One of our clients, FiftySeven Finance*, has just launched its new business, so we thought it would be useful to write some tips, on asking the press to support the launch of a new product or service. Press coverage can be a great way for a business to enhance its reputation, and raise awareness among its target audience, without spending a fortune on advertising.

To make sure it works, you need to plan and think through your press launch beforehand, otherwise you could end up either with no coverage, or appearing in the media less positively than you anticipated.

Here at LCM, we help clients with press launches, and handle media enquiries associated with a new launch. We either garner press interest through sending publications a press release and following up afterwards, or by holding a physical press launch, where we invite the media to an event where they can see products, and meet those working for the organisation.

Here are our five steps to planning the perfect press launch for your business:

Understand your audience

You need to make sure you know exactly which media will be interested in your product or service launch. The best way to do this is to find out what newspapers, magazines your audience reads, and what kind of things the publications write about. You also need to think about the kind of social media the audience engages with. That way you can focus on journalists and feeds where there is going to be interest and engagement.

Have a clear news angle

While your product or service is really important to you – the press needs a compelling angle to make it into a story. You need to be able to show quickly and easily, why it’s newsworthy and why they should be interested. Think ‘news’, not selling.  A journalist reports objectively on events, he or she is not there to sell for you. You need to tell the story behind the launch and make sure there is a clear, interesting news approach to attract the media to the launch event.

Provide for the media

While planning your launch, try to anticipate what the media will need and aim to meet those needs. For example, think about the timing so your launch isn’t in the middle of their print deadline, or clashing with another much larger event that might pull them away.

Make sure you have information which they can take away and use in their story including facts and figures and quotes from the company – put together a press pack to send or give them. You also need to provide competent spokespeople to be interviewed. Make sure the spokespeople are carefully briefed, especially if you are looking at broadcast media. If they need a little media training, make sure they get some.

Think visually

Both the mainstream and online media rely heavily on images, so the more you can make your launch image-focused the better. Provide stills and video which the media can use, as well as the opportunity for them to take their own photographs and videos if you are having a physical launch.  Think about the venue and the backdrop you are providing to make sure you can show your product or service in the best possible light for photography.

Offer an exclusive incentive

If you have a particular magazine or trade newspaper you really want to get into, and then think about offering them an exclusive extra to encourage them to cover the story. Think about something they could do, such as an interview with the CEO, or a free trial of your product, and offer it to them ahead of everyone else.

A press launch should be supported with social media activities and other marketing plans as well, rather than used as a stand-alone approach. That way, there will be a consistent message to help your brand stand out from the crowd and reach your audience in numerous ways.

How can LCM help?

If you’d like help with working with the media, please get in touch with us at LCM and we will be happy to talk through what you are trying to achieve. We will ask you guided questions to find out if you need our kind of input, or if another route is best for you.

Telephone 01489 891870 or email info@lcm.co.uk

*www.57finance.co.uk is a consultancy; privately-owned, independent and specialising in business finance and banking. The founders, Alison Trant and Jeremy Richards, both have long-standing experience in helping SME and Corporate entities secure the right type of funding for their specific needs.