Pressing the Flesh with CE Product PR
By, Jeff Bratton, Account Supervisor, Fusion LA
The majority of my communications with journalists are done via email. The majority of my interactions with practically everyone, these days, are done via email. In spite of email’s usefulness, there’s a critical value of face-to-face meetings that was recently underscored during a product media tour in New York.
Here at Fusion, I handle a large portion of the agency’s business with consumer electronic brands; companies whose products directly touch end-users is where I make my mark. Over the past few years, the industry has shifted considerably. No longer do CE products live solely on the tech pages, only. With increasing regularity, gadgets now appear in places like accessories guides and fashion spreads. Although I credit iPods, digi cameras and smartphones with driving this shift in perspective, the conversation is now open to a range of digital products that sit under the “lifestyle” umbrella.
Last May, when our teams were planning for the holiday period, we took a hard look at the products on our fall roster and then at all of the places we need to position them. There are some natural matches, and we made note of those immediately, but there are many places that require a deeper level of engagement with journalists to make sure that the value in our client’s new devices is recognized. With that, we went back to basics and organized a small, select media tour designed to reach journalists who may not “get” some of these products in the way we need them to via email and pictures.
Over three days we met with a number of influential journalists and were able to successfully move past the 2D limits of email to demonstrate products that were likely to be misunderstood without the face time. Results are yet to be seen, but I’m confident that the groundwork opened doors for a number of important products.
This is a simple story, but for those of us on the front lines of media relations, reflections like these can provide some valuable reminders.