- Furniture PR 101
- Photography for successful product PR
- Creating a PR campaign for your products
- Request services
- Influencer marketing – the minefield
- Launching a collection
- Product Placement on TV (including a horror story)
Cutout images are needed for shopping pages, ‘get the look’ pages, trend pages… and basically any kind of page where readers are being recommended things to buy. So why wouldn’t you want to maximise your chances of having your products recommended in this way.
Real Life/Case study images:
In addition to product images, real-life/case study images are brilliant for securing media coverage. For consumer-facing furniture Pr and homes and interiors these will take the form of real homes. This can be either be a through the keyhole look at some gorgeous pad – featuring your furniture/products – or before-and-after style images of an inspiring makeover.
A case-study, is basically of a B2B version of the same thing. For instance, if you produce furniture for restaurants and bars, then stunning photography of projects you’ve been involved with is what you need.
The right kind of images…
Whether I am dealing with online or offline, I always send juicy high res jpeg images. I won’t send anything that’s smaller than 1meg or bigger than 3.5meg. Go for no less than 300dpi. That way, if the outlet is looking for a bigger image to fill a space, they will already have yours to hand.
I appreciate that this isn’t necessarily the definitive way to measure image size, but as a rule of thumb it works.
As well as images I’d always send a product release. It’s not the same as a “press release” and only needs to be short. Include product name, price and a short item description. Read this post on how to make your product releases 60% more effective (embedding links piece)
Photography – getting images working straight away…
After investing in a professional photoshoot, you want to get your pictures in the media and in front of potential customers as soon as possible.
One super-shortcut here is to use the ever-fabulous Press Loft.
In simple terms, Press Loft makes your high res images and product details available to journalists and bloggers 24/7 – and instead of you having to pitch them – they search for wht they need and when they take one of your images, you get an email letting you know.
It’s probably the most cost-effective way of carrying out product PR, that there is. We offer Press Loft accounts to all our clients – and to all our friends we can offer a free trial to Press Loft
To make it really work, you need to be clever with your keywords, and with how you follow-up journalist downloads. And if you’ve lot of products… it’s a lot of work to set it up. But once it’s done, just think of it as a way to make your images work for you, without you working.
Creating a PR campaign for your products
A PR campaign can be as complicated as you want to make it. But let’s keep it simple. We’re going to split things in two – reactive and … yep – pro-active. And we are just going to talk about media relations here – not about events, trade shows or desk visits. I’ll do those in another blog, soon.
Reactive press office:
Doesn’t need much explaining does it? You’re basically reacting to opportunities as they present themselves. Such as emails requesting information and product images for a certain room of the house, or a certain item of furniture.
“What!” you say. No-one emails you? Let me let you into a little trade secret here:
PRs use request services such as Response Source, and Homes4Media. When journalists or bloggers are looking for products to feature, a lot of the time they will fire a request out through a service like this. If you have the right kind of product and/or information then this can lead to great opportunities and lasting relationships.
Infleuncer marketing… the minefield
In the past we have struck up successful relationships with many different objectives: from product testing and testimonials to creating beautiful cost-effective lifestyle photography. But the ‘influencer’ world is a minefield of problems and fraud.
Since 2012 we have been witness to the rise of the influencer. We have worked with brilliant ones and become experts at spotting the chancers. A good place for you to start, would be to read my blog about the problems with influencer Fraud which was published in PR Moment.
Pro-active press office
This is a more powerful approach than purely reactive communication. Its where you ‘make your own weather’ as Tony Blair’s pressman Alistair Campbell, used to put it.
Two companies who are really good at this are Dulux and Pantone, who both release a ‘Colour of The Year’ report which supposedly predicts the hot colours for the next season. As soon as these come out writers and designers are falling over themselves to write about these shades – and you can react to these releases by gathering your own products into collections which match or enhance the ‘colour of the year’ and issuing that all-round to your key contacts.
Do they really predict the colours of the next season? No. You can’t predict that like you can’t predict the weather. But because they are big names they have an authority which journalists aren’t afraid to associate with. It’s a peg they’re happy to hang their hat on, and it almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You might not have the authority of Dulux and Pantone, but you can still ‘make your own weather’. Look at your sales data for trends, speak to your designers about what’s influencing them and release a report or a collection for a season or a theme.
Launching a collection
Got a new product or range of products coming out? Tie them into a seasonal collection and create a stylish look-book to launch them into the media.
A look-book should show your furniture or products clearly and concisely. Use your best images and develop the copy to really catch the eye of a journalist or editor.
Here’s an example of a collection of tiles we launched through a lookbook, which we mention in a small case study below.