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Many small business owners can spend several months or even years in developing a new product or service. But how much time do you take to plan the new PR campaign for the product launch? You only have one chance to make a great first impression. Planning your PR strategy well in advance helps generate faster buzz among your target demographic and increases your chances of success.

Set a budget and stick to it

So many organisations spend so much money on the research and development phase of the product that they have very little financial resources left over for the launch. Plan ahead. Determine a number that won’t leave the company short, not only for the launch but for other general running expenses. Perhaps consider using a portion of your usual monthly marketing budget for a short time to get the ball rolling.

Issue press releases

Entrepreneur Magazine suggests establishing a calendar for the issuing of multiple press releases throughout the year. Press releases can come in the form of local newspaper articles and online varieties. Small business owners will want to use these initially to announce the launching of their new products and services, but press releases are also useful for keeping the general public informed of the success of the new product launch throughout the year as well.

We no longer have to rely solely on the print media for getting the news out there. Social media and other channels enable small businesses to get their PR stories into the public domain for little or no cost. Just the time and effort.

Develop a social media strategy

Social media is usually going to be a key determining factor in the overall success of any new product launch. Again, advanced planning is crucial. Consider creating an individual Facebook Page for the new product well before the initial launch. Contact Review Bloggers, and create a staggered schedule for their postings of honest opinions, much like you would with your press releases. Also, choose the hashtags that you plan to use for Twitter campaigns.

Model your PR strategy after masters in your industry

You don’t need to build a better mousetrap to generate a profitable PR campaign. Sometimes all it takes is the manipulation of past strategies that have already proven successful for other companies. For example, before developing your Facebook marketing strategies, take a look at the competition. What did they do that was successful? And what mistakes did they make that you can avoid?

Perhaps the most important factor in developing a PR strategy for a new product launch is to select the proper team. You want people who are going to be excited and dedicated to seeing the launch through to completion. Choose people who have areas of expertise that are different from your own, and your rates for profitably and success increase dramatically.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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