Yesterday, I had the good fortune to attend a product marketing day run by a prospective client. The day was not only great fun but extremely useful. Much too often, PR consultancies are brought in after the product orientation is complete and often after the initial marketing communications phase is over. Sometimes we are invited in even later than that – around about the point where somebody says, ‘damn, we forgot to find a PR agency…’
This is a hangover from previous marketing eras - when PR sat very firmly in second place to advertising in terms of creating brand strategy. However, this has changed in the last decade, to the point where PR should now be at the head of the positioning table.
In contrast, yesterday was a chance to get involved in developing a product and ensuring that it will be in a position to both please the market and generate publicity when it is launched.
A strong positioning strategy is so utterly intertwined with PR that it makes perfect sense to involve PR practitioners in developing it. Furthermore, without the right positioning strategy even a great PR campaign will fall flat on its face. The right name, the right relationship with competitors and the right attitude towards those competitors can make the difference between and ineffective effort and a real return on investment.
So, thanks to all involved for yesterday’s meeting. I can advise anyone out there looking at launching a new product to follow the lead of the company in question and get your agency involved early – the long run benefits will be well worth it.