Article by Luke Richbourg

Summary: A product launch is your first best opportunity to generate free media buzz to kick off sales and grab a little piece of public attention.

Advertising is the art of the new; leverage the cachet of an as-yet-unseen product for free media coverage. The master of such unveilings, of course Apple’s Steve Jobs.

That’s not to say you’re about to life the veil on one of the most innovative consumer electronics devices in decades. But lessons nevertheless can be drawn.

As with everything, context matters. Fill a large dimly lit hall with anticipation only to unveil a variation on the saltine cracker may be a big fail. The larger point is, you have something new, and consequently something to say to the public. Silicon Valley black turtlenecks and pinpoint spotlights are not the only way to go.

Traditional low-cost press releases, likely by email or fax blast, are certainly effective, if poorly targeted. Consider your target market and the media that serves it. Aim to reach the writers, editors, educators, personalities and influencers most likely to reach your target market. Obviously in the world of the Web a viral YouTube personality may well influence more purchase decisions than a full-page ad in the New York Times. You may also consider sponsoring events, whether a local competition among school children to, say, design a company logo, mascot, or ad campaign to sponsoring sporting, art, film or music events. The notion is to create a public event, cast your product or service in a positive light, and message your value proposition to your target market.

With respect to virality ad social media, you’ll want to ensure the product is available to important influencers. These can consist of friendly customers, bloggers, and even prospects that have an online presence. Encourage these groups to use your product and then write review articles and even blog posts. Major businesses utilize these tactics whenever they release one of their services or products. Remember, these groups of people are also great resources to talk to in regards to your pre-launch.

About the Writer:

Luke Richbourg aims to use his proficiency in the fields of law, finance, and business to provide practical and perceptive counsel for early-stage entrepreneurs looking to achieve success with their startups. Visit Luke Richbourg on Instagram.