PR Tips & Tricks
So, what are the how's and why's of your growing company? What is your unique story? This must be carefully defined before going public in a large fashion.
Once you are ready, set your course on a calendar. You may need to revise it as you move through the year, but it will give you a structure initially to adhere to and will help you remain focused on generating news.
Your Unique Brand
Whether editors and journalists are opining on your product or you are advertising via standard media, consumers actually want to know the why (your story and brand) over the what (your product).
In today's world, poor or even average product photos can completely ruin your chances at obtaining interest from consumers and the media. Having quality product pictures is just as important in your PR strategy as anything. Whether digital or print, your product pictures must scream temptation and enticement. Your product pictures, with or without tasteful and unique props, must give insight into intended use.
Your Target Audience
Who is your target audience? Who are you trying to get in front of?
There are so many options for consumers in today's world. You must do your research and pinpoint your target audience with great accuracy. You obviously know that your industry-specific products will not be a good fit for Guns and Ammo magazine; but in the media that you know is a good fit for you, you must further your research. Find out how content is presented, both in articles and ads. Get a feel for how the publication reads, whether it is digital or print.
Oftentimes, the easiest door to walk through is finding a magazine's or blog's media kit, in which you're likely to find submission guides, ad specifications and prices, and even a calendar of themes for upcoming issues. Just select a publication or blog that you really enjoy and can see your product doing well in, and search for its media kit. For example, Google search "Oprah Magazine Media Kit" and fill out the registration form, or go to your target magazine and check their site for the media kit. Not all will be this easy, but you can nonetheless find what you are looking for by thoroughly researching as it pertains to media kits for publications and even blogs.
The masthead is a listing printed in all issues of a newspaper or magazine, usually on the editorial page, that provides the name of the publication and the editorial staff. You can usually find the masthead on websites of publications, as well. This is the key to the door you wish to open. The masthead is where you find the person or persons you need to correspond with in order to get the coverage you desire. From Editor in Chief all the way down to assistants, you have access to the names and sometimes faces of the people you need to help you. In this scenario, it is important to target the right person to talk to. The higher up the chain of editorial staff, the busier and less interested they are likely to be in you. Begin at the lower end of the hierarchy, perhaps with an editorial assistant. This person will work hard to please you, as they are also trying to please others above them. The editorial assistant's (or person with a closely related job title) job is to take your phone calls and respond appropriately.
Comparable, although not usually as complete, information can be usually be found about a blog on their "About Us" (or similar) page. Blogs that specialize in product reviews may also have a page covering how to submit products for review.
Think Like an Editor
Put your editor's cap on and think through all of the neatest and latest trends in the marketplace. What would you want in your publication? Ask yourself, "Why do my readers need to know about this product (or business)?"
Successful magazines and blogs are all about the latest and greatest. They are into what is new and fresh; therefore, your product and story must be aligned with this trend. They care about innovative story angles - after all, they want to please (and keep) their readers. Imperative in today's marketing world is that the audience cares about your business and isn't just intrigued.
What do you love? How does that fit into your business? What storyline exudes from your business, based on what you do from week to week and what do you get excited about? How does your product solve a problem?
All of these questions must be answered and then creatively themed and combined to appeal to the editor of your target publication.
Bloggers, publishers and businesses use an editorial calendar to control publication of content across different media, such as newspapers, magazines, blogs, email newsletters, and social media outlets. You can generally find them on blogs and media-based websites. They show a pattern of columns with pending months and the theme or issue content, as well as the on-sale date of that particular edition. For example, you can usually find a full page showing the 12-month issue cycle:
This is a great resource to have at your fingertips. If you know the theme of each issue, you can determine which products you currently make - or even come up with something completely new - that will match the overall premise of the issue. In order to set up your pitch with resilience and have time for some back and forth with the editor(s), it is common for businesses to pitch their product or service as much as six months in advance, especially if you are attempting to get into the publication or blog for the holiday season. If your product and pitch match the overall theme of the publication and then goes one step further to match a particular issue's topics and discussion, you will set yourself apart from the others.