Public Relations: product launch – the creative


Launching a new product is a scary business. It’s the time to find out how the world will react to what has been bubbling away in your organisation. It might be a huge open playing field out there, but it’s littered with other products. The chances are you are facing several competitors – so how do you make your product stand out?  Well, one thing is for sure; you need a creative concept that resonates with your customer.

Let’s say you have a new weight loss regime to take to market. The scientists behind the new diet have found a new way to control the metabolism by balancing energy in-take.

Whilst the science is a key selling point, you might intuit, however, that what is needed is a campaign that not only tells the technical story, but one that convinces your target audiences that they will benefit from the new diet regime…. and then to try it. And with several fad diets coming out each year you need to be insightful about the importance of body image and how messages will be received not only by consumers, but other people working in the weight loss sector and medics.

The first step in your Public Relations planning is to be confident and assertive. Know what your market wants and how they want it served up (good old audience research). With an issue like weight management, subtlety is important, yet you still need to create a desire for the product. The latest Weight Watchers’ campaign which creates a strong lifestyle image around playing the ProPoints game and puts glamorous singer, Alesha Dixon, centre stage is a great example.

Once you know how your audience thinks, the next step is the Ideas Box.

The concept of the Ideas Box is simple but works every time. Working with your public relations team, gather key collaborators (eg scientists, designers, policy-makers, creatives) in a room to generate ideas. Ban negative comment (or ‘black hatting’ as we call it). As no-one’s ideas will be pooh-poohed, this encourages the growth of ideas, however crazy they may seem at first.

The public relations team will use techniques that trigger the flow of ideas, for example, looking at the most extreme and unlikely way to launch your product, could give you exactly the right big idea.

You might kick-off the session by looking at key elements that will be incorporated into the launch, for example, your research data, brand values, striking images, case studies. As this is a forum for people to express themselves there will be some whacky stuff that will never see the light of day (probably most of it). Get the creative juices flowing (be sure to have coffee flowing too) and before you know it, you will have an array of possible launch ideas.

Then it’s over to the PR team to figure out which ideas are the most compelling and credible, looking at the objectives of the launch, the audiences and how to reach them, persuasive messages, how to encourage trials and how to measure success.

The PR team will develop the strongest ideas, test them against the target audiences and, based on the feedback, refine the launch concepts.

Tags: , ,