Product sampling as a PR tactic

By August 13, 2015General

Why should you use product sampling as a PR tactic? Well, one of the best ways to get free publicity is to give samples of your product to the media. If you’re lucky, the media will find out about your product and approach you for a sample to photograph or review. If a journalist can try your product first-hand, they are more likely to write an unbiased review of it. Plus, it’s much easier to write about a product that’s already in your hands, especially if it’s relevant to your niche.

But product sampling needs activity. But you can’t rely on journalists approaching you. You need to be proactively sending out product samples yourself.

Here are some pointers for directing a product sampling campaign towards the media:

1. Be selective

Even if your product costs less than £20, it doesn’t mean you should send it to any old journalist. Do your research and make sure to get your product samples in the hands of journalists and bloggers who reach your target market. If you’ve been building up your media list, (as any good marketer should), you’ll know who these journalists are.

2. Ask first

If your product is expensive, ask if the journalist is interested in receiving a product sample before you send it. Or you’ll waste precious pounds, without an inch of media coverage to show for it.

3. Provide your best

Don’t skimp on your product samples; provide only the best of what you have to offer. This may seem obvious, but sometimes entrepreneurs try to cut corners to save money. This isn’t the occasion for that.

4. Include information

Product sampling needs context. Don’t just send your sample without any supporting information. Include:

– a list of items you’ve enclosed

– product instructions

– product information

– photos of the product

– testimonials

– your contact information

5. Be clear about returning the product

You may be happy for the reporter to keep your product sample. However, he or she may not be allowed to do so because of company policy.

It also depends on the nature of your product. If your product is too valuable to give away, such as an expensive piece of technology, you need to make it clear that you are merely loaning the item for testing and review.

6. Keep track

Keep track of the samples you send, to whom, and with what results. By monitoring your efforts and results, you’ll get a better idea of which journalists are receptive to your product and which approaches work.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on