Editors and reporters receive hundreds of product pitches every week, making it difficult to cut through the clutter and make your product stand out. Media mailers can be an effective way to get your product in the media’s hands, and with a little creativity, you can reach them in an innovative way that will ultimately drive brand awareness through media coverage. Here are some tips for planning your next product mailer:
Consider your product: The first step to creating an effective mailer is to know the ins and outs of your product. What type of demographic are you trying to reach with this product? What are you trying to communicate? Is it only applicable to a certain time of year (e.g., the holiday season, back to school)? Once you settle on some of these key details, you can create a theme for the mailer that will incorporate your product, while communicating the messaging.
Identify your targets: Whether it’s a new food product or a fashion-related item, make sure the editors or bloggers you are reaching out to are the right target. Research each publication, and get to know the editor who covers the beat you are trying to reach. Once you’ve identified that person, it never hurts to call the outlet and make sure he or she is still covering the beat. You don’t want your mailer to get in the hands of someone who isn’t interested in the product news. It’s also a good idea to reach out to media before you ship your mailer so they can be on the lookout for it when it arrives.
Standout: It’s important to create a mailer that will instantly grab media’s attention and make your product memorable. You can deliver a big impact with creatively designed packaging, a brightly colored shipping box, a small gift of a non-denominational value or an innovative way to deliver the product. For example, if you’re pitching a new breakfast food, give them everything they need for breakfast at their desks (e.g., tea, branded napkins, product samples, etc.). Just make sure whatever you do closely ties back to the product.
Communicate: So you have your creative execution and product decided, but what about the details? Include a press kit, release or fact sheet so editors have everything they need to write about your client. You’ll be more likely to get covered, since you’re making it turnkey for them to write about the product. And, don’t forget to include your contact information so they can easily follow-up with you if they need more samples, photos or information.
Follow up: You shipped your mailer, but your work is far from over. Follow up with your contacts to ensure they received the mailer, ask for initial feedback and mine for coverage opportunities. Keep the conversations going. Even if the product isn’t a fit at the time, there is always an opportunity for coverage in the future.
--Lindsey Shumway, Account Supervisor