CONSUMER PRODUCT REVIEWS A common strategy regarding boosting Consumer PR for a brand ahead of a product launch is to offer the product for reviews by influential industry reviewers. A positive review from an influential blogger or site owner with significant clout within the industry can create positive public relations and generate a buzz around the product before it is even launched. A successful product review programme can give an organisation a clear advantage ahead of the product launch creating substantial interest and coverage for the product. Therefore, however, you can’t expect to simply send off a sample of your product and receive an instant glowing report and widespread positive reactions across the internet. It is a lengthy and time consuming process which requires subtlety and nuance to deliver a positive consumer review.
ASSESS THECOMPETITION Consumer product reviews are not new. Take a look at what has been done before, review the style and tone of the review and assess what has been received positively and what was negative. This will give you a clearer understanding as to what the reviewers are looking for in your particular niche industry. Understand what features and benefits are most effective and emphasise those whilst downplaying any issues that may have become apparent during your assessment.
PROVIDE A CLEARGUIDE Journalists and reviews won’t have a lot of time and are most likely inundated with requests for reviews. Curry favour by making things as simple as possible. Develop a simple guide for any would-be reviewer outlining all the relevant and necessary information about the product. They are far more likely to write a review (and a positive one at that) if you have given them all the key information rather than needing to chase you up over issues as simple as price and availability.
ENSURE YOU AREWELL STOCKED What good is one review when you could have several? Make sure that you always have a decent stock of review ready products available to send out to reviewers and journalists. Many of the reviewers will be working to a deadline so make sure you deliver the product in a swift and timely manner. Given the nature of consumer products it is crucial that a reviewer is able to provide their thoughts in advance of a launch. If a reviewer has to wait weeks for a product to be sent out, it is likely that their review will be out of date by the time it gets published, which will damage their relationship with you for the future.
MAINTAINCOMMUNICATIONS Don’t simply send off your product and move on. Keep in touch with the journalist or blogger, particularly in the days after sending it. It is likely that any issues (technical or otherwise) will be apparent at this time and you will be able to sort any problems or issues quickly and conveniently. Be approachable and contactable. Ignoring the journalist and expecting him to come back to you with any problems will likely not lead to a positive review in the end.
ALWAYS MEETDEADLINES I’ve touched on the deadline demands of journalists before but it is crucial to maintaining favour. Always ensure that all your deadlines are met, keeping in constant dialogue with the journalist and any delivery personnel involved. Delivering what you say you will and when gives the journalist reason to see you as a reliable and dependable contact – boosting your chances of a positive review and future opportunities as well.
LET THE REVIEWTAKE CARE OF ITSELF After all that, it is important that you take a step back and let the reviewer do their thing. Nothing can be more damaging than harassing a journalist or nit-picking over the end result. If you have followed these guidelines closely than you should have no reason to be concerned and can expect a strong and positive product review.