Product Reviews – A PR High Scorer

Product Reviews – A PR High Scorer

The rapid growth of internet shopping over the last decade has led to an explosion in the popularity of product reviews. Increasingly, shoppers are turning to customer reviews for information and guidance before making their final purchasing decisions, whether they are looking to buy a new car, invest in the latest technology or take a holiday.

Many online and print trade magazines regularly run review pages to help their readers make more informed buying choices and keep them up to date with the latest products and services. These can provide some great opportunities for coverage and with budgets being squeezed, a good score in a highly regarded magazine aimed at your target market can make a real difference to your sales.

Going for Gold

Product reviews are usually carried out either by journalists working for the publication or independent users, such as teachers, local government practitioners or IT professionals, who have been commissioned to write for the magazine or website.

It’s worth remembering that your product will be scrutinised from just about every angle and go head to head against similar offerings from your direct competitors so there are a few things you need to think about if you want to achieve a great result.

Here are a few top tips for success:

  • Hit the right people

Check the readership of the publication to make sure it is aimed at the people you want to reach. If your company has developed a new piece of software for managing school finances, for example, you want school business managers or local authority staff with buying power to be reading about how great your product is for balancing the books.

  • Know your product stands up

Be confident that your product will perform well, do what it’s supposed to and stand up under a critical spotlight before putting it forward for review. You don’t want to risk being marked down on a product that is still under development or has an unresolved problem that could potentially be picked up by the reviewer.

  • Show your product in the best light

If you can, make arrangements for a knowledgeable product manager to meet the person who will be writing the review and present your product to them face to face. This is not always possible, but it can help to ensure that the reviewer understands all the features your product offers. It will also provide an opportunity to highlight the real benefits of using your product to the people it is designed for. This is particularly useful if the reviewer is a journalist rather than someone working in your target sector. If a meeting is not an option, a phone conversation might be. Alternatively, why not prepare some background notes that will help the reviewer make the best evaluation of your product. The offer of some impressive images would also be a good idea.

And don’t forget, if your product gets a great review, make sure you let your existing customers – and the all important prospective ones – know about it. Announce it on your website and tweet about it, including a link to any online coverage. If you have achieved a particularly impressive score, why not use it to support your next marketing campaign.

Good luck!

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  • About the Author

    I was the first official employee of the business in 2005. I work across a number of clients, implementing their PR plans and working hard to ensure they ride the news wave whenever a big story hits. My first foray into PR began promoting local rock bands and I never looked back. Before education and my short stint in music PR, I worked as a security cleared civil servant in the Hong Kong government but if I tell you anything about that – well, you know how the line goes. When not at work, I am invariably singing. I am the vocal half of an acoustic duo and love to get out gigging.

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