Article: Tech Talk: How to Earn Media Visibility for New Gadgets and GearAuthor: Jaclyn Messina
Date: Jaclyn Messina
It may be a crowded marketplace for many types of consumer electronics, but customer demand is high for everything from wearables to speakers, connected devices and much more. The newest gadgets are no longer only for the affluent early adopters or “techies,” but much technology is mainstream, offering ways to simplify lives at a variety of price points.
Consumer electronics brands need to develop comprehensive integrated communications programs to ensure their product and message is seen and heard, as well as positioned properly against competitors.
A strong media relations campaign for a new product often serves as the crux of a larger program, and there are several ways to get your new product and company in front of your audiences.
1. What’s Trending and Relevant
The media loves trends and research. Leveraging third-party statistics, or, even better, leveraging your own original research is a great way to give reporter’s the hook they need to feature a product.
For example, we work with an over-the-air antenna company and found great success in discussing the cutting the cable cord trend and showcasing recent statistics on the number of households now without cable. This serves as a launch point to discuss ways to still watch your favorite TV programming without cable, such as using an OTA antenna to pull in local channels coupled with a streaming service, like Netflix.
2. Pitch the Brand Story, Not Just the Product
Sometimes the most interesting thing about a product is the story behind it. Dig deep and ask the right questions to find out what went on behind the scenes for the company or the specific product.
Did the CEO create the product from his garage? Does the company have a long history or legacy of ‘firsts’ in the particular space? What challenges were overcome to bring the product to market?
It’s the stories of innovation, passion, and perseverance that capture the attention of journalists, and serve as riveting lessons of success for readers.
3. Uncover Influential Reviewers
There are countless technology reviewers out there from large tech-focused websites, like CNET and Wired, to influencers with large followings on YouTube. Building relationships and making connections with this group of media reviewers is crucial when vetting out media opportunities for your product.
Once the product is placed for review, it shouldn’t end there. It’s important to follow along with the reporter during their review process to be sure the testing is going smoothly, provide any needed troubleshooting methods, and to deliver more background information that will help the review goes as smoothly and positively as possible.
4. “Tech the Halls”
For consumer electronics brands, holidays are big opportunities for more exposure to products. Media outlets from national TV networks to women’s and men’s interest glossy publications put out holiday gift guides—some with a tech focus or some simply broken down by price points or themes.
It’s important to know when these media outlets begin researching their roundups, and finding the right point of contact. For example, glossy print magazines can start planning their holiday gift guides as early as June! Other holidays or seasonal opportunities that often look for products for roundups include Graduation Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, New Years, and Back-to-School, to name a few.
5. Tap into Trade Shows
Establishing a strong presence in the trade show circuit is another opportunity to talk about your brand and your products. Often, tying a new product launch or announcement into a trade show can be a great way to maximize visibility. However, even if that’s not the case, it’s important to coordinate in-person meetings and demos with attending media to show current or recently launched product lines. This gives media an opportunity to test the product, and it builds that personal connection and relationship. In addition to media briefing, there are plenty of other ways to leverage trade shows to create buzz such as throwing press conferences or one-off events, or simply vetting out speaking or panel opportunities.
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