Any PR / Journos? I would love some advice!

(20 Posts)
Saffra Sat 16-Nov-13 13:01:22

I have an online bridal accessories boutique and, to date, I have had some success with getting products in magazines (for using in shoots and product mentions). Other than the odd press release, it's mainly been based on press contacting me.

But, I'm now looking to step it up a gear, and want to send out a monthly email to target press (wedding titles). In the absence of newsworthy stories to make into a regular press release, what should I be emailing them?

Can it be a simple story (e.g. 'how to get this look') with product images, plus a link back to a longer version on the website? Maybe with a quote from me positioned as an expert?

Or, is that not interesting or substantial enough?

I will be outsourcing the work to a writer, but don't have enough budget for her to create multiple stories.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

ICameOnTheJitney Sat 16-Nov-13 14:48:58

I'm a writer and often have to come up with non-news pieces just for the purpose of advertising the business I'm writing about. I work with trade publications and also online....if possible in your situation and with what you're selling, I would link the press releases to current fashion news or fads....if a star is spotted in a specific style, I'd do "Lilly Allen's Bias Cut Gown...how to replicate it perfectly"

Or I'd simply do a blaggy email which shows one or two items "Classic Tiaras for Winter Wonderland Weddings" type of thing.

Saffra Sat 16-Nov-13 15:12:57

Thanks for the reply!

Do your clients achieve a good response rate with these types of non-news pieces??

With these emails, rather than simply being about press mentions of individual products (which has no real longevity or much brand value, as we're not the designer), I want to start positioning my business as the go-to for all things bridal accessories-related. So, this is what I'm hoping I'll achieve with these emails... (well, having these emails as the starting point in any case!)... and keep top of mind when the editor next needs something that I can potentially provide...

Should I include quotes too?

ICameOnTheJitney Sat 16-Nov-13 15:19:22

I think they do...they keep coming back for more anyway! grin

What you want then is to let these editors know that you are there to provide items for shoots etc...then tell them that....how often do you get new stock in? If it's regularly then let them know with an email that you've got some stunning new things and they're at their disposal for shoots.

Are you on Twitter and Facebook?

Saffra Sat 16-Nov-13 15:32:24

Well, that's the main thing! :-)

Yes, definitely want them to do one of the following:
- request images for press use
- request samples to shoot
- come to me about something else when the opportunity arises

I don't particularly have set times of the year for new collections. Lines are continually added to and restocked etc.

Yes, I'm on Twitter and Facebook, but hate how much of a time-sucker they are...!

Punkatheart Sun 17-Nov-13 10:31:36

As a journalist and copywriter who pitches to magazines and newspaper - I would ask if you already have relationships with any of the wedding titles you intend to target?

Angle is all important - something relevant 'sexy' (in news terms - not suspenders and a smile). But editors are overstretched and they get numerous emails, much of which they ignore. I am a good journalist with a good portfolio and prizes under my belt - and I struggle at the moment.

I would suggest you make phone contact in the first place and then contact them via email.

Also - as tedious as it may seem, social media is vital, even if you employ someone to Twitter for you. You need to engage, get a following and get your brand out there.

Saffra Sun 17-Nov-13 21:34:26

Hi Punkatheart, yes I do have some relationships already, but guess I could contact the ones that I haven't spoken to before and introduce myself etc. Certainly do-able.

I've made some industry contacts via Twitter but Tbh, mainly pre-DD when I had the luxury of lots of free time to work! I find I need to be really ruthless these days...

Punkatheart Sun 17-Nov-13 23:14:30

I am evangelical about Twitter. Agents have contacted me (re a novel) and it's just a great place to put yourself into the world.

Sometimes it feels like you have to constantly tap dance and say 'ta da'! The modern world is all about spin and image. Very tiring!

FriendlyLadybird Tue 19-Nov-13 13:39:16

So your objective is to position yourself as the go-to person for bridal accessories for photo shoots and advice about accessories?

In that case, I wouldn't send an email that looks as if it's a press release or story aiming for press coverage. You'll be competing with a lot of other PR 'noise' and you'll get lost.

I would be really direct and to the point and send photographs of ranges, making it clear that you're offering them for use. e.g. (in the subject) 'Great Gatsby-style tiaras -- available for photoshoots'.

You can also create a photo gallery on your website from which they can download hi-res images, as long as a proper credit is given. This also is something worth alerting them to.

Saffra Tue 19-Nov-13 20:53:26

Friendlyladybird, not sure if we're talking at cross-purposes...
I was thinking that the email idea would incorporate all of that anyway - I.e. Call to action to download images or contact for loan samples - with the hook being a fresh angle each time. (I.e. Specific trend, celeb style, occasion... Whatever!).

FriendlyLadybird Wed 20-Nov-13 21:33:37

Sorry Saffra -- what I was trying to get across was: don't dress it up as a 'story' or a newsletter. The editor will just file it under 'not another non-story press release'. Even if you think of it as a 'call to action' you're likely to come across as too sales-y. Just think of it in terms of the fact that you're making them aware of a resource that they can use, which means that they'll file it away for future reference.

I have to say that I haven't done consumer PR for years and years. But this sort of approach is how I get my clients on the radar of national newspapers to provide expert comment.

Saffra Wed 20-Nov-13 23:00:10

But there's only so many times I can say: here's some images.... Don't you think?

FourFlapjacksPlease Wed 20-Nov-13 23:10:27

You need to provide easy to access hi-res images. Mags no longer have the budget to shoot still life pics so it is a great way of getting your product in with very little effort.

Can they drag hires pics off your site? Alternatively you could create a password protected area for press to download from (lots of smaller companies do this)

Check out prshots.com too - might be worth trialling their service as its the first place press will look for pics. Bipo is another one to look at.

Agree that press releases just get lost. You get so many that they rarely get looked at. Making samples and pics easy to access is the key to coverage I would say. Good luck!

Saffra Wed 20-Nov-13 23:14:14

Will check prshots pricing again...

If the email isn't a great idea, should I save my press communications for when I have a proper press release - maybe twice a year?!

Saffra Wed 20-Nov-13 23:15:19

Thank you btw!

FourFlapjacksPlease Wed 20-Nov-13 23:18:27

I think a quick email every 2 weeks or so is fine but I'd keep it really simple, so maybe 6 key buys from the site or something with a link to download the images. Fashion press don't need telling what the trends are etc, they just need a lazy way to fill their pages!

Saffra Wed 20-Nov-13 23:46:08

Ok, thanks... Every 2 weeks, do you think? Seems very frequent - don't want to annoy anyone!

FourFlapjacksPlease Thu 21-Nov-13 00:34:31

Lots of pr's email daily!!!! Drives me mental and I just tend to delete.

If 2 weeks feels too frequent just do a monthly mail out with the best buys for the month maybe?

Saffra Thu 21-Nov-13 07:17:31

I bet it does drive you mental!

Ok, I've taken note of all the advice. Interesting that some think an angle is best but others say keep it simple... I think I'll try the simple approach first and use something like prshots.com for convenience.

Obviously this approach is aimed at getting images out there. But what about building up the company profile in other ways? Is there a best method for that?

Thanks so much everyone.

Matildaandthematches Thu 19-Dec-13 21:54:03

I'm a journalist. Have just gone freelance, but thinking about when I was in house, the best thing you could do is make an appointment to see the fashion editors of the wedding titles to 'show your wares'. Just ask if you can pop in for a ten-minute chat t show them some new stuff, make sure you take cake, or better still, a really good freebie! You'll get a chance to meet them in the office, be a face they recognise and I think that will make you much more likely to be their go-to person for accessories etc for shoots.

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