How to Debut Your Brand:
Charming the Media
The media, both old and new, are gatekeepers of information. Even in today’s information glut, when almost all information can be googled, people still discover tons of unfamiliar information from their favorite papers, shows, and blogs. For an upcoming brand or product to succeed, you need to get journalists and bloggers on your side.
While the public launch will involve the media, they’re attendance isn’t assured because they may not understand the product’s importance or uniqueness. That’s why it’s crucial to prepare the way before the event takes place. Journalists and bloggers need to be educated and hyped about the product and the issues it’s designed to solve. In this undertaking, few things are more effective than a Round-Table-Discussion (RTD).
Set Expectations and Goals
Unlike a press conference, a media RTD isn’t meant to be a hard sell. It’s meant to raise awareness, to build relationships, but, most of all, to stimulate discussion. This event won’t directly benefit the company’s bottom line – yet. Concrete objectives should still be listed but it should revolve around the people and the awareness of the topics.
Send Invitations to the Right People
Media RTD’s tend to be smaller affairs. It’s usually composed of a dozen media personalities plus a few thought leaders. Because there are fewer people, the main problem lies in ensuring that they attend. It’s crucial that influencers from your targeted publications, shows, and blogs arrive. Additionally, prioritize journalists and bloggers that talk about your industry (for example, insurance) and related products to deepen the discussion – and the audience. You can be sure that many people already follow their lead in their expertise. Also, take care in choosing your thought leaders; they should appeal to the media and be a good support to your brand. While thought leaders from your company are satisfactory, an outsider can be more persuasive because they appear unbiased.
Schedule the Date
Aside from its effects on attendees, the event’s size tends to lessen the importance of the venue. The date is still crucial however. You want the RTD to support your upcoming launch. It should be long enough to build hype but short enough to still be in the minds of the media when launch day arrives.
Prepare Program Flow and Talking Points
RTDs should be structured to ensure that everyone, including the media, have their say. Prepare an outline for discussion; it will help greatly in ensuring the smooth flow of conversation. Don’t forget to prep the thought leaders and the company representatives on the points which they have to cover.
Good food and drinks go a long way in building good will among journalists and bloggers. Discussions can take a long time depending on the topics that you wish to cover. Having something to soothe the throat and calm the stomach is essential.
If you need help building media and blogger relationships and ensuring attendance in RTDs, don’t be afraid to ask help from PR agencies.
Charming the old and new media is crucial to the success of your brand debut. Make a good impression and you will find the public following suit.