How a PR Campaign can help a brand launch

How a PR Campaign can help a brand launch

In today’s increasingly competitive world, consumers are being bombarded by information and marketing from all sides. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to grab the attention of their target audiences. However, the world’s top brands have always been innovative in their marketing and ensured that when their brands get launched, they get the big spectrum attention.

Most brands cantake a leaf out of Apple’s book. After all, it’s one that has very successfully used PR to create a buzz. If you scan the media, before the launch of any new model of Apple iPhone, you will find the hype building around it. It keeps the target at the edge-of-the-seat in anticipation. The result is that there are long queues for it immediately after launch. The products get sold out like hot cakes. Now, isn’t that the dream of any marketer?

Define your target audience well

A clearly defined target audience is what sets the tone for a successful brand launch. This also helps in selecting the media that you want to reach.

How will PR tie in with the brand launch?

PR will build up the anticipation for a product before its launch. This is to similar teaser campaigns that brands use before a product launch. The product launch event will also be covered by the media and this will generate the much needed hype. This initial aggressive thrust will increase brand awareness and build credibility.

Should you have a soft launch?

Sometimes brands want to get a feel of the market before going all out. This happens with a soft launch where not much media hype is created. This could be done with a small By Invites only launch with the press and few guests. They could sample the product. This will get a preview of the market response and in the case of some products certain features could be tweaked if needed.

Get your product reviewed

Favourable product reviews can create the curiosity about your brand. This plays a big role in influencing brand opinion. This works especially for consumer durables and electronics.

Keep the message straightforward and clear

The ad agency and PR agency need to stay aligned so the same message goes out. If the advertising campaign follows a certain line of thinking in its message and the PR campaign contradicts it, this will affect  the brand as consumers will get confused.

PR helps humanise your brand

The personality of your brand comes through with a well-planned PR strategy with regular updates. The brand launch through PR shows its human face that the target audience can relate to.

Like all other promotions, plan your PR strategy for your brand launch well in advance. Maintain a clear line of communication. Besides the information, provided to the PR agency, depute one person in the company to handle any queries from the press. Make sure they are friendly and accessible. The better your homework and the better your planning, the greater your reach.

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Meet the Father of PR

Meet the Father of PR

Edward Louis James Bernays is popularly known as the Father of PR. Though he was born in 1891 at Vienna, Austria, he grew up in New York. The Austrian-American was a master of propaganda and had crafted many highly innovative and effective PR campaigns that made a big impact during his time. He was named one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century by Life magazine.

He was instrumental from separating PR from the realm of advertising and give it the recognition and position that it truly deserved. He said, “Public relations, effectively used, helps validate an underlying principle of our society — competition in the market place of ideas and things.”

He had an impressive line-up of clients   ranging from manufacturers such as General Electric, Procter & Gamble, and the American Tobacco Company, to media outlets like CBS and even politicians such as Calvin Coolidge.

He had a list of rich and influential clients who came to him for advice in creating a positive impact on the public. These included Presidents Coolidge, Wilson, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower besides Thomas Edison, Eleanor Roosevelt and the dancer Nijinsky.

He also rejected some notorious clients such as  Adolf Hitler, Gen. Francisco Franco, and former Nicaraguan dictator, Anastasio Somoza. Hitler had approached him to create a campaign for the German train system.

Some of his ideas were nothing less of sheer genius.  When he found there was “sales resistance” to cigarette smoking among women, he came up with an ingenious strategy that caught the imagination of the public. He went ahead and staged a demonstration at the 1929 Easter parade, where he made fashionable young women flaunt their “torches of freedom.” This was instrumental in taking away the taboo associated with women smoking.

Another of his brilliant campaigns was for Procter & Gamble. During that period, kids just hated soap because it got into their eyes and irritated them. What he did was to persuade schools across the country to participate in soap sculpture contests. This transformed the way kids looked at soap, from being a much hated product, it turned into something that they started loving.

Bernays was constantly working throughout his long career to make a difference in what he did. He raised the benchmark and standards of his profession. He gave many lectures on public relations in 1923 at the New York University. These had the distinction of being the first on that subject at a major university. He has authored a wide range of publications in the PR field such as Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923), Public Relations (1952), and The Engineering of Consent (1955). These classics are still read by PR students.

Bernays after a fruitful career retired in the early 1960s. However, he continued as a consultant and advocate of public relations well into his 100th year. He was also known as a philanthropist. He served on numerous boards and committees in various fields, and received honorary degrees and many awards for his work. Truly a life lived to the fullest!