Announcing Product Improvements

I recently made some enhancements to an existing product.  Is this something the media would be interested in?

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By Kayleigh Fitch, guest blogger

The media will be interested in updated products if the enhancements benefit the end user or the environment.  For example, if your paper towels can now clean up even more dirt and liquid than before, it is certainly worthwhile to let the media know and even offer a sample for testing purposes.  Or if your new chip bag is now 100% biodegradable the media will take note.

However, if you simply updated a manufacturing process or material that does not affect the product’s performance, benefit the end user or benefit the environment, the media will not be interested.  As always, use your best judgment when sending “news” to media.  If you send too many news release or pitches that the media does not consider “newsworthy”, you risk losing credibility with the media and your email being marked as spam.

If you do decide to move forward with announcing the product enhancement to media, here are a few tips to help increase media and blog coverage.

1.  Consider how your improved product may be applicable to new markets and consequently new categories of media. For example, creating a child-sized version of your product creates an opportunity to target parenting magazines.

2.  Take advantage of seasonal or timely events coinciding with your re-launch that can enhance the relevance of the product. Introducing a stickier double sided tape, for example, will likely be more interesting to media planning their holiday issues because of the direct tie-in to gift-wrapping and decorations.

3.  Reconnect with reporters and media outlets that have previously written about your product. Particularly if they have written positively about your product in the past, these media will likely have an interest in reporting on its improvements.

Has a journalist or blogger written a poor review of your old product?  Now is the perfect opportunity to show firsthand how you have addressed their concerns by offering the opportunity to test the improved version.  This strategy can be very effective with bloggers who appreciate the give and take of a two-way conversation and genuinely appreciate when a company actively addresses their opinions.

4.  Don’t settle for missed opportunity. If you didn’t promote the old product to media, that doesn’t mean you cannot promote the enhanced product to media.  Rather than focus on only new enhancements, you can promote all the features and benefits of your product to generate media and blog awareness and interest. There is ample opportunity to secure media coverage for an existing quality product.

5. Do your research beforehand. Find out what media’s needs are first, and then find a way to tailor your message to their interests. For example, some monthly magazines run a section each month on their favorite products for a certain room or category.  So a tile cleaner with new green benefits can be applicable for a green cleaning, kitchen cleaning or even a bathroom cleaning feature.

Need help re-launching a product?  Contact me at kayleigh@sweeneypr.com or 440.333.0001 ext. 105.

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