You have a new product or service that you want to promote, one that needs a big splash to help generate early momentum for your company.
Well, how do you define big splash? Do you want to develop some print and/or broadcast ads? Not a bad idea to help create awareness.
What about a webinar to help define the business case for your new widget and put the spotlight on benefits experienced by early adopters? “Of course,” you say.
And direct marketing? Sure, you need to let your clients and prospects about your important news.
But don’t forget about the PR, which can help create buzz about your new product or service like nothing else.
For example, Microsoft is trying to promote the availability of its Windows Phone 7 smart phone. And the company has leveraged its PR arm to do so, but the PR message from Microsoft is designed to get people to think about bad phone behavior, not about its Windows Phone 7 smart phone.
Microsoft’s PR wonks hired Harris Interactive to help tell a story about bad phone etiquette, and to help its new customers to say NO to things like taking phone calls in public bathrooms and answering calls while at a funeral.
I love the idea, because the topic is obviously something everyone can relate to. Half of the people reading this probably saw their life flash before their eyes within the past week thanks to a distracted driver that was talking or texting instead of paying attention to the road.
PR should allow you to think outside the box and approach an idea from a different angle. This particular example also demonstrates how to effectively incorporate market research into your PR messages. Surveys can be your friend in PR.
While I won’t be rushing out to get a new Windows Phone 7 any time soon (my contract isn’t up for several months), I applaud Microsoft’s PR team for this idea and wish I saw more of it from business today.