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Product News: Balance What You Do with How You Think

May 17, 2022 Laura Garofalo

Every launch is an opportunity to craft and tell your story. But lots of communicators make the same mistake. They get too caught up in the tech particulars (although they matter) and don’t focus enough on the broader business story.

Whether you’re unveiling a new product or debuting new features/updates, always connect the dots to why they matter to potential buyersTie the news to a bigger trend or issue affecting the industry. That’s what the media care about. This also helps establish your credibility as a thought leader. Ask yourself: 

  • What problem does this technology solve? 
  • What is unique that separates you from your competition and the old way of doing things? 
  • Why should your audience care?

Get your story straight ahead of your next product launch. And here are seven tips to make it a success:

#1: Seed the market. In the weeks leading up to your news, write and place contributed articles (plus blog and social posts) that highlight the problem that your product solves. 

#2: Build a product review program. Offer reporters and influencers the chance to use and review the beta product. This gives them a stake in the coverage. If beta isn’t an option, you can offer a demo. And don’t forget high-quality photo and video assets. 

#3: Prepare your spokespeople. You’ll need technical expertise on the product side—someone to highlight the business story, as well as customers who can comment on their experience using it. It’s also a good idea to have someone from engineering on stand-by. Conduct media training early and often. 

#4: Find third-party validation. If you don’t have a customer reference yet, turn to the analyst community. Consider pre-briefing analysts on the new product—even if it’s just a feature update to an old one. Their endorsement carries weight with the press and prospective customers. Pro tip: schedule time to do an inquiry with analysts in advance of the launch to get their feedback. It’s an opportunity to prepare for questions you might hear from the media or customers.

#5: Write a press release like a story, not a features list. Explain the problem/solution, and make it clear and simple to understand. Get rid of the tech jargon. And if possible, add color commentary from third-party validators like customers, analysts and investors. 

#6: Hyper-target the media. Not every outlet is going to care about your news. Be mindful of your audience and do your research on the best places to reach them. Recently, we’ve seen the trend toward offering exclusives when it comes to product-related news. 

#7: Time it right. Consider pairing the product news with a user event or conference. There’s typically a bigger appetite from the press for these types of announcements.

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