Press Launches

Press launches: Are they dead?

No, although it’s not quite as straight forward as that.

To be worthwhile a press launch should not be just the start or the end of a process but an integral part of an on-going campaign to build awareness around whatever it is that’s being launched.

While launches provide the opportunity to build relationships, the first step should be to identify stakeholders and the key messages. Get these wrong and it’s a wasted opportunity.

For the launch itself to be a success, then there must be a compelling reason for journalists to attend. After all, time is precious and if they can get the same information on email with a lot less hassle, then that’s what they’ll do.

The launch needs to offer something unique, such as a great photo opportunity, the chance for attendees to witness something that would not be possible without attending or the opportunity to experience something that can only be done so in that setting, such as an exclusive 1-2-1 with an oversees executive.

When you’ve decided that a press launch is right for you then there are a few basic pointers to help make it as successful as possible:

  • Timing – Just like with most other jobs, the last thing a journalist wants to do when they’ve finished work for the day is to then have to do more work, so try and make the launch event during office hours instead. If it really does have to be in the evening or even at the weekend, then it needs to be particularly appealing.
  • Location – If it’s easy to reach then the chances are that more of your target audience and invitees will attend. And don’t expect attendees to pay for parking!
  • Venue – Does it match the status of your brand? On a basic level, make sure the room or setting is clearly sign posted if necessary.
  • Pre-launch activity – Generate some buzz beforehand about your product or service, use the internet and word of mouth, such as asking influential bloggers to talk about whatever it is that you’re launching. Don’t also forget that      ‘traditional’ press release can also help spread the word.
  • Post-launch activity – While you probably deserve a good pat on the back after hosting a successful press launch the danger is that you then might lose momentum. Avoid this by following up with journalists and by having an information-packed press release ready to go. There’s also the opportunity to post clips on social media, your own company website and e-newsletter. Also make a suite of resources readily available for the media of the event, such as photos and videos.

So as you can see, the press launch is not dead and can be as successful as you want it to be.


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