Here are 8 tips for doing your own PR to get you started
Aside from the fact that it’s an awesome feeling to see your designs on the pages of your favorite magazine or online publication, good PR has the ability to increase brand awareness, boost website traffic and sales and is one of the best ways to grow your business as an emerging fashion designer and brand.
Working with traditional PR agencies can be a big investment. As a small business owner, you may not have the budget to hire a public relations agency or an in-house PR rep to help you get press for your business. Luckily, we’ve got you covered! Here are 8 tips for doing your own PR to get you started.
Setting goals for your PR strategy is an important step that many entrepreneurs tend to overlook. As with any strategy, you create for your business you should always start with a goal. What is your goal for getting press? How does getting press mentions tie back into your overall strategy for your business?
Prep your Business. Your online presence matters and you only have one chance to make a first impression. Not only will editors look at your social media/website when deciding whether or not to feature you but, in the best case scenario, once you’re featured in the magazine of your dreams there will be an influx of people viewing your website and social media platforms. Make sure your online presence looks just as good as the product you’re selling and is updated with your current products, look book and contact information.
Have the Right Materials
A major part of getting press is being ‘press ready’ and having the right materials ready to send editors. Editors are extremely busy and are constantly working on tight deadlines. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for editors and journalists to work with you by having all needed materials ready ahead of time. Have your press kit and deliverables updated and ready to be immediately sent.
Target Publications That Fit Your Brand & Customer
Every publication, both print and digital, has a target customer or a ‘target reader’ that they appeal to. If your brand isn’t a match for their reader, you’ll most likely NOT be featured no matter how great of a pitch you send. Make a list of the publications you want to be featured in that best fit your brand AND your customer.
Pitch the Right Person
Make sure to send your pitch to the correct person. Not all editors and journalists cover the same things. Even if a magazine has two accessories editors, for instance, one may cover handbags and the other may cover jewelry. Likewise, editorial assistants generally manage the administrative tasks and aren’t typically the right person to pitch. Avoid sending an email addressed ‘to whom this may concern’ or pitching a random person that works at the magazine assuming that they’ll forward your email to the correct person. That’s one of the quickest ways to NOT receive a response.
Pitch at the Right Time
Pitching a printed publication versus a digital publication is very different. National magazines work about 3-6 months in advance while digital publications have a shorter-lead time and often publish more frequently. A magazine’s editorial calendar shows you what themes they will be covering in each printed issue for the year. This is useful information for you because it allows you to tailor your pitch to fit what the publication is currently working on AND their deadlines. You can find most magazine Editorial Calendars on their website under their media kit. If not, don’t be afraid to send them an email requesting it.
Make it interesting
Editors are looking for stories that are going to interest their readers. Stories that are going to make people view their website and/or buy their magazine. Why would their readers care about your product? What’s noteworthy or interesting about your brand/product? How does your product help their readers? How are their readers going to benefit from knowing about your product?
Don’t just send an email telling an editor that you’ve just launched a new black dress. SELL that dress. Make it interesting and share why their readers are going to LOVE it and how it’ll benefit their lives.
To say that editors receive a mass amount of emails a day is an understatement. Nikki Ogunnaike, Elle Magazine’s Senior Fashion Editor shared on Instagram Stories that in one day her inbox went from 94 emails to 468… yes, in one day! Needless to say, if you don’t hear back from an editor right away, don’t get discouraged. After about a week, send a follow-up email. If you still don’t hear back more than likely they aren’t interested. Don’t email the same person over and over about the same pitch. If you still haven’t heard back, move on to another publication on your list.
Many entrepreneurs miss out on opportunities to get publicity for their business simply because they don’t think they can do it on their own. You don’t have to be a PR pro or have connections in the media to get designs featured in top magazines. All you need is a little guidance and the courage to go out there and start pitching your brand! Want to learn more about pitching your brand to the media? Click here to learn how to do your own PR and start getting press for your business!