Successful product placement in stories and roundups is a public relations feat, and one that usually comes with plenty of valuable impressions. While this is the goal for any media relations campaign, the proactive pitching leading up to this coverage requires a great deal of knowledge and planning. At Fort Lauderdale and Aspen-based public relations and marketing agency Durée & Company, we understand the ins and outs of pitching consumer products to the media. We also understand that the rules of the game are always shifting, so the D&Co team recently sat down with journalist and friend Bryce Gruber to catch up on some best practices when it comes to product pitching.
Below are some key takeaways for pitching products like a pro:
Understanding the Timeline
Understanding timelines that guide publications is critical, and there are distinct seasons for the most successful pitches. While many may think that holiday-related round ups and articles seemingly pop up overnight, there is considerable lead time involved for these stories. In fact, journalists typically work 3-4 months out for those big shoppable moments, including Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. This requires preparations very early on and making sure any holiday-specific offerings, assets and promotions are solidified before reaching out to media. Smaller holidays (think Father’s Day or Labor Day) have shorter lead times, typically 4-6 weeks. Many publications readily share their editorial calendars, so pitches can be timed accordingly.
Preparing a Media List
One of the golden rules of pitching is having a media list that has been researched and is relevant to the product being pitched. Whether it’s a journalist or an influencer, knowing the beat they cover and the types of stories they have written in the past is key to determining if the product is worth their consideration. An expertly written pitch doesn’t do any good if it’s not connecting with the journalists that could potentially cover the product. Keep in mind, this isn’t necessarily a numbers game, but rather an exercise in connecting with the right contacts. Moreover, pitches aren’t always one-size-fits-all. It’s important to tailor a pitch to fit the right contact or media outlet for the best chances of coverage.
Keywords are critical in today’s media world. Not only do consumers search for products by entering keywords, but journalists research key word searches to determine the relevance, demand and desirability of a particular product. It’s important to do the homework and look at Google Traffic for search terms. These search terms can be identified by using the SEO keyword tool from Google ads that will show the competition level. Knowing that products and brands have the opportunity to “own” certain terms can make pitching to journalists looking to fill that niche more effective and with a better chance of pick up. The sweet spot is finding a key word or words that net thousands of searches but remain low in competition.
Commerce Friendly Content
Brands that have affiliate marketing programs in place stand the best chance of coverage from media outlets. Why? Because these third-party publishers are compensated for promoting products. They create content and are paid for generating sales and traffic stemming from that content. As such, when pitching, always include if a product or brand is affiliate friendly and expressly state if the product is available on common affiliate sites such as Share A Sale or Skimlinks. Links to the product’s page on Amazon are also valuable, as this brings another layer of credibility to a brand.
Product sampling can make the difference between inclusion and being left out of a story. Being able to share products with media or influencers so that they may see, taste, touch or experience beforehand can lead to product placement in a story. An experienced PR agency knows that getting products in the hands of journalists requires some skill, including where, when and how products should be shipped. It’s a process that typically has to be handled on a case-by-case basis, and it’s important to note that product sampling doesn’t necessarily guarantee coverage.
Have a great product and need a savvy PR agency to promote it? Contact us today to get started.
About Durée & Company, Inc.
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale Florida, and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit practice areas for local, national, and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in business, fashion, hospitality, travel, health and wellness, cannabis and hemp, psychedelics, technology and cryptocurrency, marine and yacht, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to dureeandcompany.com; cannabismarketingpr.com; or psychedelicpr.com. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.