Pre-Launch PR Checklist

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OK, so you’ve got that breakthrough product that you think is going to make your company the leader you’ve always assumed it would be. Prototypes have been amazing. Focus groups have proven the need. You’re ready to set your launch date.
Have you started PR?
Here’s a quick checklist to be sure you’ve crossed all your PR T’s before the big day:
T-minus 3.5 months:
Establish messaging: formalize your mission, vision, elevator pitch, 50-word description
Review your unique selling proposition – be brutally honest about what only YOU do.
T-minus 3 months:
Create a press list: identify journalists currently writing about similar products and research what they say. Be sure your messaging reflects that!
Create press materials: corporate backgrounder (I love N’espresso’s), press release, FAQ and all the graphics you want to be sure they have access to.
Create a few pitches: focus on the journalist and what will be of interest to their audience.
T-minus 2 months:
Long-lead press: after getting them to agree to an embargo, reach out to the print publications on your list.
Focus especially on those that will review your product!
Social media: be sure your social media plan is complete! Set up accounts for the social media you’ve decided to use, and identify messages for the company description. Start following the journalists on your press lists, and add other industry influencers.
Add a Press Room to your website: include specific contact info for now, with a ‘coming soon’ message.
T-minus 1 month:
Revisit press list: things change in a month. Find out who’s been writing about this topic since your initial list development and add them to your list.
Set up social: use Hootsuite or another management tool to prepare posts for the first week. You’ll be a bit busy, so get this done early.
Review your press materials: has anything changed? Fix it – and do one more last check.
T-minus 1 week:
Set up your press release distribution: PRWeb? PRNewswire? Make sure you’ve decided who will handle broad distribution for you
Set up press release for email distribution. Test is using a dummy email to a colleague you trust – make sure it looks GREAT and not spammy.
Refine the pitches. Make sure you’re sending the right info to the right kind of journalist and be sure it has a little spunk (but no schmaltz).
 
Launch Day:
Hit the Launch Button! Make phone calls to the 10 most important journalists on your list – but NEVER say “did you get my press release?”
Be available. Make sure your phone and laptop are both fully charged.
Interact with the social media inbound queries.
Post pictures!
Then, go pop the cork somewhere around 6pm… but only if you’re on west coast time, because otherwise you have to wait until 9.
Need some help with this? Give us a call and let’s talk through your launch objectives.
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