Tuesday, February 9, 2016

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You have created your dream product and now what? 
Buzz is everything! You need to get potential customers talking about your product.
It usually takes seven encounters of your product name for a potential customer to fully recognise it. Buzz works in a similar way. People will see or hear about your product a few times before it fully sticks in their mind and are ready to spread the word.
Follow these five simple steps to create maximum buzz with minimum investment:
Create anticipation:
To create buzz around the time of your launch, you need to start building anticipation. Get your potential customers excited even before your launch!
Develop a holding page on your website with your logo and a few words of anticipation several months before the launch. You don’t need to have your full website developed. Just make sure the style of the holding page reflects your brand image and has a few sentences summarising what your product is all about.
Ask visitors to register their email address so they can be notified when your product launches. You are building anticipation and building your email database at the same time.
Invest in PR:
Whether you do it yourself or hire a PR agency, PR is important to get your product known to a wider audience. You can do it yourself, but unless you have a background and contacts within the press, it is a better use of your time to grow your business and hire an expert to do your PR. You need to focus on the publications that reflect your industry and for that reason you should hire an agency that already has a few clients in the same industry. Depending on your budget, you can go for a large agency who can create a lot of buzz around your product at launch time and open doors for you, but in the long run, a smaller agency will work harder and get you more consistent press.
Hire a PR agency at least 3 months before your launch. Many national magazines work on 3-4 month lead times, so get talking to them as early as possible to ensure the press is out when you launch.
Use Social Media:
Social media is becoming very powerful in spreading buzz very quickly. Set up a Facebook and Twitter account several months before you launch, so you can start recruiting followers and build a solid database ready to read your news as soon as you launch.
Social media is increasingly becoming as important as the press and can turn a message viral very quickly. In order to build a strong follower base, you need to spend a few hours a day connecting with people. You can get sites to generate a lot of followers for you for a fee, but you should try to get quality followers who are potential customers, rather than just a lot of volume.
Once you build a base, start communicating with your followers and get to understand them. Build trust and be genuine, don’t just bombard them with promotional messages. Social media is a way for potential customers to get to know a brand on a more personal level and this helps to create brand awareness and buzz.
Take risks:
You have set out your platform to spread news virally. What do you talk about? You need to take risks. If you have an average product with an average story, don’t expect a lot of buzz. You need to take risks, think out-of-the-box and forego conventional business decisions in favour of something unusual that will get people talking about you and your product.
Once you find what is different and unique about your product – a different and unusual type of use, a certain association, and so on – then you can work on your existing platform to make it viral and create a buzz.
Gain third party endorsement:
Your product will become instantly recognisable and desirable if it has third party endorsement. Depending on your industry, find out who the influencers are. For example, if you are in sports, a sports celebrity; or in the food industry, a famous chef.
How do you get their endorsement? If money is no object, a celebrity would be happy to endorse your product for a fee.
It is important to identify the right fit with your product so that customers can make the connection. Once you get the endorsement, use it everywhere: in your press releases, your website, your newsletters.
Words By Maria Hatzistefanis, an entrepreneur and founder of two best- selling global skincare brands, Rodial, and Nip + Fab. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

In the noisy world we live in many PR professionals have forgotten the one basic element of their trade, the one that drove them into the business to begin with:  people.  Amidst the social media expertise, demographics and highly specialized statistics are human beings, motivated by many different tastes, preferences--and fears. 
The first word in "PR" is "public"--and if you do not know how to relate your clients ideas to the public, or rather, a specific segment of the public, you might as well take down your shingle in front of your office with the logo you worked so hard on in order to make a good impression.
If you cannot judge character, evaluate needs, and learn how to bottle it and sell it, you might need to change industries.
While clients want a tech savvy PR firm on their side, they would do well to see if the firm in question knows what makes people tick.  Often, PR becomes a series of templates that products or services are plugged into--it's the old, "One size can fit all,"  or two or three sizes can fit all mentality.
So how to we get to the core of our clients needs, and the desired results they want, alongside of the needed technical abilities that today's PR firms must have?  That is, how do we get to the human element--the thing that will move people off the dime and create buzz?

 The answer is to get back to basics; basics that may have been lost in the shuffle during the transition from a "traditional" model, to a hybrid techno-wise operation.
Here are some suggestions:
-Know your client--personally.  This does not mean that you must know the intimate details of their life, but you must know something about the person behind the product or service you are promoting.  You must be a friend, a coach--and an advisor.
-Never assume you know all about the product, even if you've done dozens of launches in the same industry.  Start with a mental clean slate, and don't let personal business hobby horses steer the program you design.
-Be polite, but brutally frank with your client.  Don't worry: they will respect that side of you when they see you are not simply there to pocket a hefty retainer fee.
-Treat all accounts with the same energy and creativity--not always giving preference to the "big fish."
While many agencies  pride themselves on their staffs creativity, that same creativity can be a hindrance if your client believes he or she is not being heard over the din of your proposals.
After all, they are human.  And don't we all want a voice among the high decibels of the world's chatter?