There are many types of features, stories and press releases that are regularly pitched to the media and one type that’s fairly common, particularly around this time of year, is product placement. This could be a new product launch, a limited edition product or it could be products that are part of a brands Christmas collection. With multiple people frequently contacting journalists in relation to products that they’re looking to get featured, it can sometimes be tricky to get yours to grab their attention. With that in mind, here are some top tips on how you can maximise your coverage opportunities and better your chances of getting your products featured.

Make sure that your products have seasonal hooks 

There are multiple events throughout the year when journalists create gift guides and these provide great opportunities for product placement coverage. The most obvious of course being Christmas, Mother’s & Fathers Day and Valentines Day, but it’s also becoming increasingly popular for gift guides to be compiled around events like Easter and even throughout the summer. These tend to come more in the form of ‘best buys’ or ‘top picks’ but are a really great way to get your product featured by the media. If you’re able to offer a seasonal hook to your product, this can give us great leverage when pitching to the media. We can compile a list of key, topical dates and events throughout the year that they could possibly be using to pull together a product round-up and identify potential opportunities where your brand could fit. Ultimately, the media love a seasonal angle and if you can make sure your product has one, it will better your chances of it getting featured throughout the year!

Be prepared to offer samples to journalists 

We appreciate that sometimes this isn’t always an option, however where possible being able to offer journalists samples is likely to help with securing product placement features. If we can get the product in front of them, it will allow them to really see what it’s all about and may entice and encourage them to feature it. Also, as they say you don’t get anything in life for free – so anything we can offer them as a gift is a really nice touch and may help us to establish a relationship with them – which could be beneficial for your brand moving forward as it may bring other opportunities!

Ensure you have strong imagery to accompany your products

This is really important and a must! If you have a really great product, but no or poor quality imagery to accompany it, it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to get coverage. Especially in magazines, these images need to be high quality. It’s always handy if we can offer high res imagery, in both cut out and lifestyle shots, to give the journalist an option and to also see the product in different instances. This is particularly important for gift guide features as the images often take up the most part of the feature with limited text to explain the product. Good imagery can stand us in really good stead to better the chances of getting your product getting featured. Of course we understand this isn’t always something in your remit and  we can certainly help by organising a photo shoot to ensure you have all the appropriate imagery you’ll need.

Allow us to do our research before we start talking to the media

Proper preparation is key and making sure that we’re talking to and communicating with the right people is really important. Therefore, it’s really important that you have a little bit of patience and allow us to get all our ducks in a row before we go ahead with pitching your product. We’ll do this by looking at the type of people who have previously composed gift guides or written product focused features – as they’re likely to do so again and getting in touch early on to establish the best contacts at each key media titles. By doing this initial research we’ll ensure that we’re making the most of our time and the medias time and will better our chances of getting your product in front of the right person.

Help us to meet the deadlines

This is probably the most important thing to consider: journalists are working to strict deadlines and because of this, it’s crucial that we can work together to be on the ball and way ahead of the game. Some publications, typically long lead women’s and lifestyle magazines, have content ready up to three months in advance. So, if you’re looking to secure Christmas coverage in these titles, we would need to be able to pitch in August/September. It’s important to be realistic in a sense and understand that they do have deadlines quite far in advance. If we are short on time, we’d recommend focusing our efforts on online publications as they have much shorter deadlines and may even be able to amend a feature they’ve done to include your product if it really catches their attention, which of course isn’t possible in print! With tight deadlines always a factor that can affect the coverage of your product, it’s wise to work with us to help us start pitching as early as possible to ensure we offer as many opportunities as possible.

Finally, make sure your products are in stock!

A nice problem to have, but when product placement works, it really works, and it’s not uncommon for  products to sell out very quickly. In the early noughties, this was called “The Delia effect” with supermarkets selling out of niche ingredients after Delia referenced them on her cooking show. It can be the same case with product placement, especially when we secure a placement in the national press or in a lifestyle title like Grazia. The lesson? Make sure you’ve got plenty of stock to avoid an embarrassing incident!
This time of year is a really big focus for product placement with Christmas gift guides being compiled by almost every single type of publication so ensuring we can be organised, speak to the right people and be well ahead of the game can really make a big difference when it comes securing product placement coverage!
At Prohibition we work with a number of brands delivering effective PR campaigns that deliver real results. Get in touch with us today to find out more. Why not also follow us on Twitter to receive more of our useful and handy tips across all things PR and social!

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About Abbey Gray

Account Manager at Prohibition PR. First class journalism graduate, passionate writer and novice baker! Based in Leeds.