10 Mistakes to Avoid When Launching a New Product or Service

The following piece is courtesy of our PRGN partner, Landis Communications in San Francisco.

It happens every year.  Right around now, we get a bunch of calls from potential new clients launching something new in September (OK, first tip – everyone launches in September – why not October?!).  They’ve taken an important first step in calling in some PR help at least 4 months in advance (vital if you’re looking for long lead publication coverage).  But there are other traps anyone can fall into.  Here’s our list of what to avoid:

  1. Rushing to market before your distribution is locked down.  If it’s not available, why bother?
  2. Not spending enough time on the basics – messaging, competitive analysis and media training.  You only have one shot to launch – don’t blow it by ignoring strategy.
  3. Poor communication on your differentials – why should I buy your product instead of someone else’s?
  4. Tacking on a social media plan instead of incorporating it into a larger strategy.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  5. Keeping your PR firm and ad agency from working together.  Integrating your marketing yields exponential results.
  6. Assuming the CEO should be the spokesperson.  Who is the target customer?  The spokesperson should be someone they can relate to.
  7. Not having a PR plan.  Yes, it might change, but if you don’t have a plan you don’t have a rudder.
  8. Ignoring SEO/SEM.  Everyone Googles. 
  9. Ignoring “traditional” media – all media should work together to support your goals. 
  10. Allowing “anyone on staff” to handle your Facebook and Twitter posts.  Treat them like mini press releases, with the same care towards grammar and proofing.