Thursday, March 09, 2006

How To Make Your Product Packaging Newsworthy

Recently mainstream media coverage of the packaging industry is more in-depth than usual. I see several articles about packaging every week. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the news articles deal with negative perceptions of packaging and its influence on society. In fact, dozens of articles were recently written in response to the Consumer Reports "Oyster Awards" with such titles as: “Today's Packaging Can Drive The Mild-Mannered To Rage" and "Open UP." Most of what was written in these articles did not bode well for packaging.

So how can you get your product packaging seen by the media in a more favorable light? Make sure that your packaging is connected to one of the more popular news trends. Consider what the media will be covering outside of the obvious "breaking" news. Think about your product and how it can connect with the media coverage.

A few examples of topics they will be covering in the future include:
• Anything to do with diets, weight loss or healthy eating. This topic perennially becomes newsworthy as spring break and swim suit season approaches. It also offers opportunities in other niche targeted publications too, such as woman oriented and fitness publications.

• Products that are marketed to or are designed for the 50 + generation. The "Boomers" topic is getting much media play in virtually every type publication. If you are marketing in this space, find out what they will be covering in the next issue.

I will also be speaking about this topic at The Supply Side exposition in New York this spring. The Supply Side brings together manufacturers, suppliers and decision-makers from the social stationery, giftware and graphic arts industries. Presented in conjunction with the 60th annual National Stationery Show (NSS), The Supply Side provides a forum for the more than 1,400 National Stationery Show exhibitors to source key vendors at a time and place that's both practical and convenient.
Packaging for Profit: Attracting the Baby Boomers
So if you have a packaged product that is relevant to this category please contact me with more information.

• Look for media spin on anything to do with the environment, recycled materials and bio-based packaging products. The environment is hot right now and with the upcoming "International Earth Day” on March 20.

I was contacted last week by a marketing class that was using my article "13 Packaging Trends" as a case study. Each student was required to write an expanded paper and presentation. One student, Jana, contacted me about trend # 8 "Green and Greener." I did a quick search for her and found numerous positive in mainstream media articles about the positive aspects of packaging and the environment. So this topic is definitely worth getting excited about.

As a case in point, the Timberland Company just had a big spread in "Industry Week." It focused on branding the environmental aspects of its new packaging. Read more @

Here is another example of a good use of the environmental niche.Cereplast CEO Delivers Speech at Commodity Classic 2006, the National Corn Growers Association Annual Conference -- Cereplast, Inc., reports today that the company’s CEO, Frederic Scheer, delivered a speech at this year’s Commodity Classic entitled “Displacing Petroleum-Based Plastics with Bioproducts.”

Investigate a pitch less mainstream media too. As I mentioned when I spoke at the Marketing To Women Conference recently, condom marketing has gone main stream in places like Wal-Mart. Consider a headline like this:

Condoms Mix Sex and the City; City Will Debut NYC-Themed Packaging for ProphylacticsReally! The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will be debuting unique New York-specific condom packaging designs within four to six months. The program, which is still in development, aims to promote sexual health awareness and aid in distribution tracking. “In an effort to track our continuing effort to distribute millions of condoms throughout the city, we wanted to develop condom packaging that was noticeable and memorable so that we can later track the effectiveness of our distribution,” said Sandra Mullin, communications director for the department. “We also aim to use the packaging to promote condom use and awareness.” Now that’s using the media to gain exposure (tee hee).

With packaging becoming a "hot topic" it can help counteract negative publicity about the industry such as the "Oyster Award article" which condemns the vast over packaging of many products. So, keep your eyes and nose ("Does Your Packaging, Umm Smell?') on the look out for ways and opportunities the make your product packaging newsworthy in the coming weeks.

Don't forget to keep me in the loop too. WebPackaging has just started publishing my columns which can be read @

The more I know about your product the more I can help you get the word out about your packaging.


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