Tips for Sending Product Media Samples to Journalists
Written by Allyson McCormley, Senior Public Relations Strategist, Orca Communications
Part of a successful public relations campaign with Orca Communications includes having and shipping samples to requesting media outlets. Here we’ll outline the best approach to sending product samples, and everything you should have ready to go as soon as you are ready to begin your public relations campaign.
Samples Should Be Ready to Ship
We always tell our clients during their onboarding process to have at least 10-15 media samples ready to ship out. We start our media outreach on day one, and it’s possible we’ll have sample requests to send to you your first week as our client. Having these samples ready to send ensures that the media will receive your samples in a timely manner, begin product testing, and prepare their media features.
Include a One-Page Document to Accompany Samples
We also recommend a one-page letter to accompany your samples. Just ask, if you don’t have one; we have a template ready to go. This one-page letter should include that the sample/s were requested by your publicist, name of the product, website, pricing, and publicist contact information. This is especially important during the rush of holiday sample requests that media outlets receive. Some of the large national publications could be requesting hundreds of samples to review for their holiday gift guides, and including this one-page letter will ensure that the editor or producer has everything they need to feature the product and that they can easily go back through their email to find your publicists’ contact information, as well as the original pitch with important details.
Presentation is Important
Presentation and packaging are important. Please send the media outlet exactly what a customer would receive if they placed an order. This will allow the media outlet to properly review the samples and recommend them to their readers or viewers.
Tracking information is also important to send to your publicist. This way we can communicate with the requesting media outlet to be on the lookout for your product sample. This is especially important if a journalist places urgent requests, and the media outlet has a deadline to receive samples. Also, if you have food or perishable items (even candles or anything that can melt in the summer), it is important to provide the tracking details to the media outlet, so they can be sure someone is available to receive the package as soon as it is delivered. Tracking information tells us that the samples were delivered. We can then follow up with the media outlet to be sure they received the sample and to see if they need anything else to consider for upcoming inclusion including hi-res images.
Do Not Send Samples Without a Request
We never recommend blindly sending samples to the media. We know everyone wants to be on the “Today Show,” OprahDaily.com, or in the hands of popular influencers, but it is really important that your publicist makes initial contact with those editors and producers to ensure that the product is something they would like to review and possibly include in upcoming features. This could leave a bad taste in their mouth if they receive samples they didn’t request, and it could hurt your chances going forward of future coverage. Also, it could be wasted money on the price of the product, as well as expensive shipping costs.
Sending samples to the media is a very important part of a successful public relations campaign. By following the tips mentioned above, and maintaining a proactive approach you will increase your chances of media features. Remember, media exposure can significantly impact your business, so embrace this opportunity to showcase your products or services to a wider audience and reap the benefits of increased visibility and credibility.Sign up for our newsletter for more PR t