2 ways to make sure you have products and experts available in large media cities
National media outlets are largely located in New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta, with other key markets including Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia. Each week, editors and editorial assistants receive hundreds of products and goods from companies hoping for a feature in their publications. For many companies, the ability to ship their products to New York City or Los Angeles for a review, feature or brief results in coverage in major national outlets.
What happens if you can’t ship your product to these outlets? What if it’s too large or it’s meant for more than one individual? If your product isn’t available in large media cities where most national and industry news outlets locate their headquarters, you’ll hinder your public relations efforts.
Here are two ways to solve this issue:
- In-person media visits.
Once called a media tour, an in-person media visit solidifies you as an expert and resource for a reporter. While it works for a PR person to fly solo, this is a great opportunity for you to showcase a product that’s difficult to ship or too costly to send to a single media outlet. It’s also a way to have an expert, who’s not from the area, speak about the product. If it’s possible, bring your product for the reporter to try. Most journalists like to be able to share their product experiences with their audiences. Don’t forget to keep in-person media visits under 30 minutes and as close to the reporter’s office as possible.
- Local experts.
You may have some difficulty getting your product in the hands of an expert, depending on factors such as cost and logistics. However, not having an expert ready to speak to the media in the key national markets can hurt your PR outreach. To gain experts in key markets, consider approaching various experts and offer them a chance to try the product before they buy it for 60 to 90 days. This technique improves the likelihood of having the product in cities like New York and LA, paving the road for more coverage. Once you have buy-in from the expert, he or she can be your local spokesperson in the key market.
While it may seem overwhelming, it’s important to find a way to get your product to New York, LA or whichever large market you’re trying to reach to better facilitate media interviews. Reporters want a way to localize a story and to show consumers that the product does or doesn’t work. It’s easy for PR professionals to arrange an interview; however, with no local product for the reporter to test and no expert to speak on your behalf, it’s counterintuitive to your PR efforts.
Getting your product to a key city is one way to get the most out of your PR investment. Download our free e-book Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment Guide to learn other ways to enhance your PR efforts today.
Marjorie Comer is an award-winning PR professional. She graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Marjorie has worked for Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Follow her on Twitter @Marjorie_Comer. Learn more about Marjorie Comer.
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