3-2-1… Product Launch!

Effective public relations campaigns and media relations tactics support successful product launches.

I’ve summarized the stories of two campaigns for you:

VAST Enterprises, LLC — materials science research and manufacturing company that develops and markets green building products… VAST was all set to launch its landscape pavers, manufactured in a composite of recycled rubber and plastics, in 2008. With the housing, credit, construction and stock markets imploding, it was the worst time to launch a new green building product. Demand for building products dropped off, sales slumped, investors shut their checkbooks, and VAST stalled. The company cut expenses to conserve cash. The marketing budget was zeroed out: no direct mail, no advertising, no trade shows.  

Yet VAST could not just sit out and wait out the Great Recession. Top-line revenue growth was essential to keep the company attractive to potential investors.

In February 2009, VAST authorized a 90-day media relations campaign to support the roll-out of its composite paver products. My campaign achieved 24 media placements (including a spot on The TODAY Show) that produced more than 250 sales leads, and VAST achieved a 60 percent increase in revenues in 2009. Then over the next two years, I continued to achieve a steady stream of placements in trade publications — including VAST product news and case studies — that kept VAST in the spotlight as the company pursued its successful M&A strategy.

Outback Chair Company ­— manufacturer of hammocks and hanging chairs… My award-winning campaign helped Outback Chair introduce its new Double Lounger. The next year brought a new challenge: support the debut of the company’s Urban Balance collection at the Casual Furniture & Accessories Market in September 2007. I achieved coverage in ten targeted trade publications. Outback Chair was the only manufacturer to score a full-page feature story in the at-Market edition of the industry’s preeminent trade magazine. The placements brought more buyers to Outback Chair’s display, and the company set records for the dollar value of purchase orders written at the show.