In December 2019, the ThriveNorth program successfully completed its five-year mandate. Managed by Futurpreneur Canada, the program helped young entrepreneurs in Northern B.C. launch and grow their businesses by connecting them with resources, financing and mentorship.
You’ve invested your time, money and energy into creating the perfect product for your business. Now, you want to share your product with the masses. But where do you start?
If you’ve dreamed of seeing your product in the glossy pages of a magazine or talked about on television, read up on these three tips to earn media attention for your product.
When media outlets decide on what to feature, the brand matters just as much as the quality of the product.
The media showcases the newest and most innovative items on the market in order to engage their audience and branding plays a pivotal role in this. In fact, your brand often makes the difference between featuring you over your competitor.
Start by taking a look at your packaging. Is it clean, fresh and modern? Is the design eye-catching? If your product looks busy (i.e. too much text, cluttered design) on its own, that means it will look busy in print or on screen too – a big deterrent from being featured.
Next, take a look at your social media channels. Are they fun and engaging? Do they tell a story? Media outlets are going to want to check you out online (and often, social media is how they find out about the latest buzzworthy products in the first place).
Ensure your feeds are up-to-date, active and cohesive. Not only will this help you earn media appeal, but it’s likely the first thing potential new customers will look at after your product is featured, so you want to make that first impression count.
Now that your brand is strong enough to catch some buzz, it’s time to catch the eye of your target outlets in a creative way.
One of the best ways to do this is through media gifting. Getting your product in the hands of on-air personalities, producers, writers and editors allows them to fall in love with it personally, which will entice them to feature you on their shows or in articles.
This process requires a little bit of research. To start, you need to figure out who makes the decision to feature products like yours. These people are typically in ‘editor’ roles for print publications, or producers if you’re looking to be featured in a television segment.
To find people to reach out to, you can browse an outlet’s staff directories or look who receives the most bylines for media that mirrors how you’d like to be featured. Once you have a list of names, you will need to find their contact and mailing information. Sometimes, the outlet provides this on their website. However, you might have to call them to find out.
When gifting your product be sure to make it fun. They receive complimentary products on a daily basis, so ask yourself how you can you make yours stand out.
For example, this Vancouver boutique linen store had the goal to be featured in Canada’s most popular home décor magazines. But, not only would it be expensive to send out complete bedding sets, it wouldn’t be the most engaging gift to receive. Instead, they encouraged recipients to have a good night sleep by gifting milk and cookies to have before bed, alongside a nice new pillow sham for them to lay their heads down on. The campaign was a hit!
Alongside your gift, be sure to also include a personalized note and media kit so your recipients know all they need to know about your brand in order to fall in love. And don’t forget to include your contact information for when they want to reach out about featuring you.
Building meaningful relationships is critical – it’s what media relations is all about. Before and after you send out your media gifts, make sure the recipients know your brand name through authentic and genuine relationship-building techniques. The secret to this is often social media.
Not only should you be following the media outlets and the influential figures who work there, you also need to engage with them. Like and comment on their Instagram posts, share their work through Twitter and keep up-to-date with what’s happening in their lives by monitoring their feeds.
Then, when you do reach out with a pitch, use this information to your advantage. Compliment their latest work or mention how cute you think their pet is. A little flattery can go a long way in building a lasting and productive relationship.
Finally, when all your hard work comes to fruition and your product has been featured, don’t forget to thank your contact. Send them a personalized email and share the piece on all of your social channels, tagging the editor or journalist that made that feature happen.
A lot of work goes into having your product featured in the media and earned media exposure is never a guarantee. Still, with the right techniques, a strong brand and a quality product, your product will soon be making headlines across the country!