September 25, 2022

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Preparing for a product rollout with media monitoring

Preparing for a product rollout with media monitoring

There’s so much going on in the months, weeks, and days leading up to a product rollout that maybe you haven’t spent the time thinking about your media monitoring. This would be a mistake, because doing some work monitoring before the rollout has many benefits, from examining what the landscape looks like for the new product, to identifying the right reporters and bloggers to whom you should be reaching out.

Whether your company does frequent, regular product rollouts, or if they only launch new products occasionally, monitoring media outlets can provide a treasure trove of insight that can help a launch go smoothly.

Here are some tips and items to consider:

  • For recent rollouts of other products, use monitoring to conduct research on the success of prior launches. Identify areas that can be improved upon, such as using the right messaging or reevaluating which publications to pitch.
  • For rollouts that occurred in the past, review whatever records—even clip books!—you might have lying around. If there were articles or posts that were particularly positive, take time to research to see if the publication or blog still covers your product type—or, on a more morbid note, verify that it still is around and publishing.
  • If the product is an improved or upgraded version of an existing line, use monitoring to see what journalists have been saying about the existing product.
  • Develop media lists based on those who might have identified features that are in the new line as “missing” in prior versions. If the new product addresses concerns or complaints, reaching out to those people would be a good idea too.
  • See what is being said about competitor products, especially if their products have similar features. Use this research to figure out messaging that differentiates your product from the broader market.
  • Review prior product rollout media mentions—which journalists or bloggers were receptive to your rollout? Which ones were not, but might be interested now?
  • Use media monitoring to verify who at a publication is now on the beat that your product fits into. It can also be used to make sure a blog is still active—or find new ones that might be a better fit for your audience targets.
  • When monitoring social channels, pay close attention to how your product or similar products are being talked about by your target audience. Language changes, and sometimes the shift is subtle, other times it can be substantial. Using the same language as your audience in social channels helps break through the clutter, if you use it wisely and it’s in character for your brand.
  • Re-read the piece published previously on Newsjacking, and keep it in mind while you are monitoring. Again, remember: be smart about using this tactic. Don’t do something tasteless or embarrassing.

Media monitoring can help prep the foundation for a successful and news-worthy product rollout. Dedicate time on the front end, prior to the rollout, and give your media monitoring tool a workout. Doing research, updating your media lists and journalist profiles, and getting a general sense of where the market you are targeting stands can all help contribute to a positive product launch.

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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the Director of Marketing Communications for CARMA. She is also the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for more than 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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