Some people love it and some people hate it, but everyone has to nail it if they want their natural or organic product to be a success. It's the elevator pitch, and it's about to take center stage at Natural Products Expo East as thousands of manufacturers mingle with 300+ members of the press in Baltimore.
This year, those 300 media members include B2B and B2C publications, TV stations, newspapers and bloggers. From New Hope Natural Media's Delicious Living and Natural Foods Merchandiser magazines, to titles such as Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Whole Living, Natural Health, Baltimore Sun and Organic Spa, the show will be teeming with journalists looking for the latest and greatest.
At the New Products Press Expose event on Thursday, Sept. 22, open only to press, the media will get a chance to select one of 50 curated, new products to win the Best of the Press 2011 award. The products have all launched in the last six months, and may include new launches from recognizable brands or entirely new companies.
But it's not just the press getting in on the fun. Retailers will also vote throughout the show in the Product Showcase area for the best new products. These will be announced Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the Level 400 Show Floor Theater. Categories include Most Innovative, Green/Environmentally Friendly, Best Packaging, Food, Health & Beauty, and Supplements/Herbs.
With awards up for grabs and opportunities to appear in several national publications, it's best to bone up on a few basics when pitching your products to press. Heather Smith, who handles public relations for New Hope Natural Media, shares five things to keep in mind when pitching your product at Expo East.
5 tips for pitching your natural product
Be present at the show and engage with everyone.
Whether you're at a booth or are attending an education session, every person you meet is an opportunity to share your passion for your product. When you see media at events, don't be afraid to talk to them. The show floor is large and they'll appreciate your initiative.
Ask members of the press what trends they're seeing at the show to see how your brand can fit into the discussion.
"Remember, this is not the time to sell," said Smith. "Take a step back from sales. Talk about the passion behind your product and why your launch differentiates you from other brands on the market."
Keep your elevator pitch to 30 seconds.
Tell press the three most important things about your product. If they're interested, follow up by asking how you could fit into their editorial calendar. Be polite; not pushy.
Exchange business cards.
A no brainer, but make sure you don't run out.
Offer to tweet with them after the show or host a social media giveaway for their readers.
If you don't foresee a future in print right away, suggest creating some digital dialogue. Social media conversation can generate an even bigger buzz—especially giveaways!
To learn more tips on pitching press, attend the media panel "Getting Your Product Some Attention - Top Editors Share What They're Looking For" at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Level 300, Room 323.