I recently witnessed a highly-anticipated product launch crumble to its knees. It was not exciting, especially because I thought a more thoughtful strategy and execution could have yielded an entirely different outcome.
Nowadays, product launches tend to strategically roll out slowly in order to integrate lessons learnt as they go and set expectations accordingly. Alternatively, there is the faster approach (often used in the technology hardware and FMCGs industries) of creating a lot of hype and announcing from the rooftops. Your team rallies around a date and time, and create a formal “launch plan” with the hope of raising better sales and substantial media coverage. Whatever pace you decide to take, having a sound strategy and paying attention to important details is the bottom line.
Also, consider the inclusiveness of your launch rather than exclusivity (remember this is not a media pitch, it is a strategy). Offering an exclusive on your first launch to one major media outlet can only work well after product/company take-off.
Some of your media contacts may not be your target audience, and therefore won’t possibly “get” your product or approach. However, if they lie within your coverage domain, do not ignore them. Reporters are key in communicating about your business, market and products so leaving them out of a launch risks harming important relationships for the future. Disregarding them also eliminates the opportunity to engage in dialogue and answer questions. Instead, as they scramble to write about your news (not because they want to, but to hit work targets), they’ll use whatever information about you they can find. At best, you can expect stories that lack key facts.