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using press for free publicity...

(14 Posts)
gussiegrips Wed 12-Dec-12 17:23:35

So, I've got a unique, clever, entertaining and value for money method of teaching women their pelvic floor exercises. Smashing. Details on my profile, don't want to fall foul of advertising!

I've run a few parties, and am planning to run it as a show in 2013's fringe. In order to blag a good venue from the Free Fringe I need to be able to show that I'll bring in publicity. The best way to do that is to show that I've got publicity.

So, I thought I'd run a free event for journalists and see whether that generated any column inches.

But, I don't know whether it's best to send a general press release, cold call journalists, or rugby tackle one in the street?

Any ideas of the etiquette?


TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 12-Dec-12 20:26:55


Abra1d Wed 12-Dec-12 20:32:16

I would research the type of journalist might be interested, draw up a list and ring them. When I used to call journalists for a living, I tended to make these kinds of call between 10 and 11.45am because that seemed like a time when people wouldn't be rushing to finish articles for the day. Never on press day, if they were weeklies/monthlies, though. This was more for print media, though, as it was a while back.

And I practised what i needed to tell them so that I could spit it out succinctly, not blather on (I'm sure you wouldn't blather, though, OP!). Then if they were obviously not interested I just thanked them quickly and moved on. Otherwise I offered to email more details.

But Twitter is also a good tool--find a pithy way to sum up what you're offering. It sounds eye-catching, for sure!

InMySpareTime Wed 12-Dec-12 20:34:59

Start with local papers, perhaps do a freebie party for an old people's home and ask them along to cover the story. Local radio might well have you in as a guest (I did just that this morning, fantastic publicity).
Network with other local businesses to get names of editors etc. as the right name is often your foot in the door.

gussiegrips Wed 12-Dec-12 21:17:42

Oh, thanks so much, folks.

So, when you say twitter - you mean, just tweet them?

I'm finding my feet with twitter - gotten as far as realising it can be used as a training tool to remind folk to #doyerblardyexercises. And, I have 145 followers, huzzah! So only 99,000 odds to find so I can be magically given a book deal.

A dad at the school gate is a journalist, and he's been kind enough to give me a couple of names - but, I don't want to make myself look like a muppet by asking him what to do with the names...

...don't mind making myself look like a muppet here though, there's lucky.

InMySpareTime Wed 12-Dec-12 21:38:39

Email them, their email addresses are usually something like "" if you need to guess.
Say something along the lines of:
Dear mr P.Razzi,
I am an avid reader of Backwater Weekly, and as a local businesswoman I would like some press coverage for my upcoming event. I will be teaching old folks at "dusty crones" to do their blardy exercises using my amazing "gussiegrips" technique. Please could you send a reporter and photographer to the Dusty Crones old folks home on the <chosen date and time> to write an article for your amazing paper.
Please visit my website to see more of my work, and contact me at the supplied addresses.
Ms G Grips

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 12-Dec-12 23:16:22

Not a Twitter expert! You need MmeLindor for that.

But there will be people who tweet who have an interest in women's health (eg MmeL has blogged on reproductive health in Kenya) so they may be connected to the right people. Are you a mumsnet blogger? I'm sure there will be people in that group who would have ideas. Maybe you could have a workshop for bloggers as well.

Is this something that might fit within any of the mumsnet academy topics (eg you could come and give a workshop at a general health course)?

gussiegrips Wed 12-Dec-12 23:37:29

Thanks, Spare copy and pasted!

And, I've put MmeLindor's book on order - it's clear that I haven't quite got the knack...and, yep, I want mumsnet to get on board.

I'm not a mumsnet blogger - I've only just started the blog (like, I realised 3 days ago that blogging and tweeting are not the same things)

But, I have realised that in order to get mumsnet to run continence as a campaign I need to demonstrate that MNrs want it. Which means getting a bunch of twitter followers. Which means publicity. Which means tarting myself around the press.

Great ideas, thanks so much.

InMySpareTime Thu 13-Dec-12 07:25:03

Please don't send it with "backwater weekly" or "Dusty Crones" still in though!
I need to follow my own advice really, I find when I'm busy I let the media side slip a bit, I've got a quiet spell finally so I can get back on top of that now.
My business is going in an unexpected direction, something I started as a sideline is quickly becoming my main income stream. Time to rejig my website to reflect that, there's always another thing to do.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 13-Dec-12 08:36:18

Gussie, this is the F Word list of feminist tweeters by interest area:

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 13-Dec-12 08:57:08

Gussie, this is the F Word list of feminist tweeters by interest area:

gussiegrips Thu 13-Dec-12 17:06:28

Wow, Doctrine, that's amazing!

So many people! That's tonight's perusing sorted,thanks so much.

MerryLindor Mon 17-Dec-12 00:19:20

Marking place to come back later...

FriendlyLadybird Tue 08-Jan-13 16:01:02

Sorry I'm a bit late to have spotted this. If you haven't done it already, definitely telephone the journalists and actively invite them to the event. I've invited journalists to workshops before now and they've always loved it -- something especially for them.

As Abra1d said, make sure you rehearse what you're going to say first. I always recommend actually writing a press release first -- the chances are that they will ask if you've got one, but it's also a good way of making sure you really know what the story is.

Don't waste time complimenting them on the magazine, though -- get to the point, clearly and succinctly.

Contact me if you need any more help. My new service is all about helping small businesses with PR, and there's loads of free resources and advice.

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