Your company is about to launch a new product or service. It’s been in the works for months, maybe years. You are convinced it will be a huge success. It even has the potential to position you as an expert and your company as a market leader.

But how do you get the word out? And more importantly, how do you drive sales?

Simply put: you need to have the right PR strategy in place.

First, I suggest you start with the basics. Outline the strengths of your product or service, and what your competitors are doing in your market. Look for the gap in the market–that is the opportunity or niche you can fill. Assess your customers and think about how your new offering can solve their problems.

Second, get ready to elevate the basics with a number of other strategies. If executed and implemented successfully, they will help you create a newsworthy story that has the potential to drive widespread media coverage, and ultimately drive sales.

Some of the steps that have worked well for us at Broad Reach include:

Lead with an issue, not your product/service: instead of focusing your messages exclusively on your product or service, talk about related industry issues. Or even why there is there a need in the market for what you are offering. Media and influencers are more likely to cover your story if they can connect it to a broader topic or issue where there is the potential to educate or inform.

Conduct original research: statistics provide proof points, and if the right questions are asked during the research phase, they can offer hard news to generate widespread media coverage. Research can also become the building blocks of an Infographic to tell your story visually and set the stage for the publication of related thought leadership.

Engage industry or third party spokespeople: although someone at your company will serve as the primary spokesperson, don’t underestimate the value of working with a third party expert who can publicly discuss your product or service in a broader industry context. The credibility and authenticity they provide as a trusted advisor, rather than a corporate spokesperson, could help amplify your story and drive people to buy.

Gather case studies: real examples of how your product or service can make a difference and solve problems for others will help bring your offering to life, moving a customer another step closer to acquisition. And don’t forget that case studies can also provide valuable content for media materials, web copy, blog posts and testimonials.

Building a strategic PR campaign to generate awareness will take time: to position yourself as a market leader, you have to identify and implement the right tactics successfully to get your message out. But with the right people driving the right PR approach, the results will drive sales.

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post Canada on March 27th 2014.

About Andrea Lekushoff

A leader in the Canadian public relations industry, Andrea Lekushoff has two decades of experience creating business value for many of the world’s most respected brands. As the president and founder of Broad Reach Communications, she brings with her strong leadership and entrepreneurial skills, sound business acumen and a track record of success in attracting and retaining both clients and associates. @ALekushoff

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