From the desk of Jennifer Roane...
Do you have a product, idea or a company to launch this year? If so, you probably have put quite a bit of thought and research into what exactly it is that you are going to offer. You have studied the competition, the market, the target audience, now all you need to do is introduce it and generate sales. Right?
Sort of. If you have incorporated public relations into the process from the beginning then the launch and public introduction likely have already been set. However, more often than not, companies wait until a few weeks before they want to launch their idea, product, or company to integrate PR. All of the thought and research that went into the product gets short changed when companies don’t work through the public launch with their PR team early on in the process.
Regardless of the scale of the
introduction, the following five critical success factors provide guidelines on
what to think about when preparing for an eventual public launch of a new idea,
product, and/or company.
Planning: Will you be prepared for a full launch out of the gate? Do you stagger the
launch according to audiences? Do you introduce a beta first? Is there a social
media component to the launch? Ideally, the PR team should be integrated in the
process from the beginning to help answer these questions early on. By keeping
the PR team in the loop from the beginning ensures that there is a well thought
out strategy for a public introduction.
Timing: Another reason to have PR involved from the outset is so that timing can be
discussed. As the saying goes, timing is everything. Without a plan, the timing
of a launch can end up being determined by outside factors. What conferences,
trade shows or industry events make possible launch platforms? Are there events
that may steal the attention of the press? Will Google or Apple announce
something that is going to trump your news? Ensure these important questions
are considered by bringing the PR team into the fold early.
Messaging: It is important to develop the story in a way that will reach and resonate with the right
constituencies – shape the story that will ultimately help build a brand.
Finding the difference early on gives both the business
and the PR team the framework to execute programs that resonate in the market
and ultimately build brands.
Commitment: Everyone needs to be committed to the plan, from the executives serving as
spokespeople to the product, marketing and PR teams. Without commitment to the
plan, the execution will become more difficult.
Execution: Without solid execution, the planning, timing, messaging and commitment
become meaningless. Ideas without flawless execution to support them can be
just as detrimental as solid execution without the great ideas. Make sure you
have the right PR team in place that can provide both.
Integrating your PR team early on in the process and keeping these five factors in mind while planning the introduction of an idea, product or company can greatly improve the overall success.