You've sunk the time into developing a totally revolutionary new product that's going to take the outdoor audience by storm and drive consumers to their nearest retailer, dealer or e-commerce site to pick up one of their own.
But how to get the word out?
Step one is putting together an effective press release that announces the new development and gets coverage and pickups across the industry. Remember the following when drafting up your release and strategy.
Make sure that your announcement passes the newsworthiness smell test - is it something the general public or your niche audience will care about? If the release isn't timely or attached to some recent development or event, it probably doesn't belong in a press release. For example, you may be launching a brand new line of holsters with features your customer base hasn't seen before - it's timely. Or maybe one of your existing holsters now comes in a different shade of brown - not so timely.
Smaller announcements might fit better on your blog or website - save the press blitzes for the truly "newsy" product launches.
The Upside-Down Pyramid
A recent study found that the average journalist or news outlet will spend approximately one minute per press release received... at best. This is why getting the most important information out first is crucial - make sure you sell your story and the key details right from the get-go and don't bury the lead.
Some strategies to curb this dropoff of interest after the first couple paragraphs include putting some "key points" bullets at the top of the page for ease of readership. Mention what new product is being released, some of the key features or specs of the product (including unique selling propositions) and maybe how it can be acquired by a consumer. Think of your release as an upside-down pyramid, where the most pertinent, valuable, weightiest information is toward the top and the least important information closes it out.
Speaking of specs, it's always a good idea to attach a few informational pieces to your press releases, particularly when launching a new product. While you should always lead with the high-level key points in the release, a spec sheet or catalog can add a bit more credibility to your pitch.
Include the specific details of your new rifle, fishing rod or ski boots right there with your release, and you may see these attractive features included verbatim on a high-traffic website.
But don't just provide written details - show your product off by featuring at least one (three max) high-quality product images. It will not only sell the visual appeal of your new outdoor product, but it will also give the journalist, blogger or reviewer a leg up on acquiring an accompanying photo. You just did the work for them!
Now, this is crucial - only include photos that are professionally taken and high-resolution. Smartphone snapshots and point-and-shoot-quality camera work won't reflect well on your release.
A great press release can only get you so far if you don't have a solid distribution strategy. First things first - get your PR in the hands of the right people by making use of a wire service, such as The Outdoor Wire, that gives you access to journalists across the industry for a flat or per-use fee. If you find a niche wire that works for you, it can be highly effective in getting the word out about your new product.
And in the case of high-profile reviewers, get your product in their hands as quickly as possible - just make sure it's a fully functioning model and not a prototype. Putting together a press kit to amp up excitement is always a good plan.