Do you think that public relations is all about writing a press release and distributing it as widely as possible? While this is a well accepted and crucial part of the PR industry, it's not the 'be all and end all' of the system. If you have a small business and are getting ready to launch a new product or service, how could you leverage the wider field of 'public relations' in order to be successful?
Creativity is everything when you're trying to break through the noise in the general marketplace. While the journalists you are trying to reach may well get your press releases and consider them, it's a good idea to augment this approach by inviting them to review what you are about to launch. Just understand that journalists do get a lot of offers to review various products and may not be in a position to, due to other commitments. This is why it's important to try this as early as possible in your development cycle and to target a wide range of journalists in the beginning.
Horses for Courses
Do some research as well. You should know what outlets always prefer to do their own reviews and might be offended if you suggest otherwise. On the other hand, some media outlets are perfectly happy to take a third-party review, while others may send you a set list of questions in order to get more details.
Engineering a Hook
Don't fall into the habit of simply sending out press releases when you're launching new services or products. While these can be full of valuable data, it's always good to supply a "hook" in order to get good exposure. You should weave in a personal story into your releases, so that it gives them a human interest element.
The Expert Approach
Try thinking outside of the box. Are you an expert in your industry? If you are, you don't necessarily need to pitch your services or products directly. If you can establish yourself as the "go to" person in your niche, then that level of exposure can only benefit your business in general. Remember, a rising tide floats all boats. When you pitch articles that show your expertise to journalists, you could get the publicity you need in order to help you sell those products or services.
Taking the Next Step
If you're ready to launch into the marketplace, it's a good idea to have a word with experienced public relations campaigners, to make sure that you make the most of your upcoming opportunity.