Let’s not forget what’s driving the PR, advertising, and marketing industry as a whole, its metrics and data. More people want to know why, they want to identify trends, they want proof that what they’re doing is working. So of course you keep a beautiful portfolio of all your fantastic editorials, but what about all the outreach in between for all the products or catalogs mailed out to your media contacts.
Today’s sample management problems sum up to Lost Items, unreturned samples, damaged goods, or products not accounted for properly before being sent out. All of these result in missed press opportunities, which you don’t want or should make a strong attempt to minimize. While it’s hard to blame yourself for items lost by your editors or their interns, I’m sure it would be beneficial if you could gather a total of all your lost samples and the publications/editors that they were last sent to before declaring your precious samples missing.
Proper sample management can easily provide you with this deep insight and much more
By managing your samples better you can get details on your most popular, requested samples, and get to know which editors requests actually get you placements. This comes in handy in the ever so common dilemma of choosing which magazine you should send your one of kind sample to.
Your monthly reports will sing. Let’s face it, lots of talking and many things are involved in PR. It’s easy to forget little details. Accurate logging of information provides not only a brief recap, but exact details on where you sent your samples to, who they were sent to, details of the shoot, the photographer’s name, etc. Your loan log should include consistent information to ensure that all details are tracked.
Standard Information includes the following:
-Publication / Media Outlet
-Contact Name, Email, Phone Number
-Address of Photoshoot
-Expected Return Date
-Your company information (phone, address, email)
-Address, Contact Name, Phone Number, and Email for -Returned Samples
-Detailed Itemized List of all samples loaned with images whenever possible.
Sample Management will help you call in special favors. We have all this data on where we send our samples to, how else can you use this to your advantage? Be sure to keep track of your gifting. There’s a special reason why companies and designers allocate a specific budget for gifting, use your sample management to get a return on your investment. There’s usually a limited budget for this, depending on the company size of course, and it’s important to send to your best and most beneficial relations to continue the momentum in your ongoing relationship.
Last but not least, proper sample trafficking will help you reduce lost and unreturned samples. Effective management will let you see immediately who to contact when items aren’t returned and if you follow the standard information guideline listed above, you’ll have all the right contact information to request your unreturned items.