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  • Karla Trippe

It’s All About the Launch!

I can’t even count the number of launch plans I’ve written or launches I’ve managed over the years but I can say that each is unique and rarely do they run smoothly.


As I prepare for the upcoming launch of my first book, “Scenes from the Valley,” I can’t help but think about the launch I write about in Scene 11. This was for the client who set a PR goal for my team to get the cover of Time magazine. I still laugh about that. My response was to ask the client whether Bill Gates or Steve Jobs was endorsing the product.

A great launch plan begins with a smart strategy for creating a market for a product or service desired or needed by a consumer or business customer. And that strategy should show that some research, preferably primary, was conducted to support this assumption. From there the positioning is created that clearly differentiates this product from the competition (and there is always competition whether in the present or future) along with messaging that highlights the two or three reasons to buy this product rather than another one or nothing at all. It has an urgency and excitement. Then a brand personality is designed to wrap around the product to make it memorable in the mind of the consumer. And lastly, the launch plan uses every relevant marketing and communication tactic to make this product launch stand out from all the others.

Consumers have lots of things to buy. Like a book. Why mine versus another? My readers get the truth about the Silicon Valley of the 90s and what happened to people, particularly women, climbing the ladder along with current, relevant guidance about overcoming barriers to building a successful career.

When I think back to what was most memorable about this particular technology client in Scene 11 was that it desperately needed a reality check. They were lost in their ambition. Even worse was that the people who worked there were allowed, even encouraged to be abusive to its agencies as a method for getting the best work. I have always protected my people from bullies. No client was ever allowed to speak down to a member of my team. And, I was never afraid to fire a client for bad behavior.

With regards to generating great work, you must first be able to recognize talent and understand how to guide it. It’s not an easy thing to learn or do but great managers have this ability.

Sadly, bullying is too much a part of American society. It’s a real problem that must be dealt with and pacifism is not the way. We must always stand up to bullies and show them the door. Do not let them do damage to a child or adult. Let’s create environments that prize people who can think through a problem, come up with a viable solution and have the gumption to put it in place. Reward the people who work hard and play fair Our companies and our country will be better off for it.

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