Rookie Brands Take a PR Cue From Established Brands
All PR is good PR. Maybe. Any PR is a start. Even the cookie cutter approach of submitting a press release to a wire service and waiting for it to generate pick up can have some benefit.
Smart brands need to be more proactive than that.
You shouldn’t rely on a press release to generate buzz in this competitive media landscape where “me-too” products are being introduced daily.
Here are a few PR strategies often neglected by earlier stage companies.
Communicate with the trades – Reaching for the stars is great. Try to get on the Today show, it will do your brand good. In the meantime, trade publications are respected and read by the buyers making decisions at the retail level. Stay top of mind by staying in the trades. Read them to know what your competitors are circulating and what retailers are trying to achieve.
Leverage industry conferences for press – 90 percent of the work that goes into a trade show should happen before you set foot on the show floor, it’s a year-round effort. Media relations needs to be a focal point for trade show success.
Start reaching out to local media before national - Most trends start on the coasts, west or east, and then spread across the US. Start by owning your own backyard and you can soon take a brand from local obscurity into mainstream consciousness.
Support your associations and retailers before expecting they will support you - Mass merchants take on brands that are successful in independents and with a PR push your brand will be even more successful and retailers will see you are supporting them.
Seed products to celebrities that you know you can reach because you have a strong ideological or real connection – It’s not what you say about your brand that counts. It’s what other people say. Often perception is more important than reality and celebrities are perceived to be experts. Seeding products to them anyway you can whether directly or through gift bags and events will help get in the right hands. Getting celebrity connections is the first step. Working them for press coverage is a skill.
Have an expert on board – You don’t need to have a paid spokesperson but you do need someone other people trust to answer questions about why your fitness brand is better than others.
Try these low budget, big brand PR tactics and you might just be able to fake it ‘til you make it.