A guest blog from...
Having your products featured in the press is a powerful way of raising your brand’s profile. It has the ability to increase awareness, boost your credibility, reach a wider customer base and drive sales. As a brand owner it can seem overwhelming trying to get your product featured, however, it is not as tricky as you think it might be. Here we take you through 5 crucial steps to help you achieve press success.
First impressions matter
How people perceive your brand is perhaps the most important factor in whether they do business with you or purchase from you. That is why having a strong and well thought out branding in place is so imperative. This includes your logo, brand colours and fonts across your website, social media, marketing and visuals. Having a consistent and recognisable brand will help reinforce your identity, drive positive sentiment and enable you to build a loyal customer base.
From imagery to look books, assets refer to everything you need to have in place in order to approach press and to be featured in a publication. The most important asset is your imagery and beautifully shot photography should be your main priority (aside from a great and well-functioning website and social media). The two types of relevant imagery for press usage are cut out and lifestyle images. Cut outs (shot on a completely white or clear background are the images featured on shopping pages and similar features. Lifestyle images are when your products are used within a styled shoot - either on a model or as part of a stylised shoot with brand relevant props. These are normally used for spaces that offer a brand write-up to accompany the image(s) featured. Other important assets include press release/press kit and line sheets.
perfecting your pitch
We know that the thought of contacting press can seem daunting, especially when it’s your first time: What do I say? When shall I email? How many times can I contact the same editor? However, don’t worry. The art of pitching is much easier than you think it is (we promise) and you don’t need to be a strong writer to be able to put together a carefully crafted email. The key is to keep your emails informal, friendly and concise. Show that you’ve done your homework by referring to the specific feature/space that the editor is compiling when pitching your product. Attach the image(s), include the relevant details and credits, and add a hyperlink where possible (your website, product etc). Another key tip is to include easily searchable keywords for the editors to refer back to. You basically want to include all the relevant details in the first email to make the editor’s life as easy as possible and increase the chances of your brand being featured.
persistence is key
Editors are busy people with a full inbox and generally speaking, they’ll only get back to you if they need something from you at that particular moment. If you don't get a response, even after following up, keep trying. Once you’ve sent your first pitch email, follow up a week or two later. If nothing comes from your first email and follow-up, leave it for a bit, then go back with a different product or angle. While it may feel a bit disheartening not hearing back from an editor straight away (or at all), try not to let it disencourage you. Timing is everything when it comes to PR and sometimes is just boils down to pure luck. Once you’ve built a good relationship with an editor, it is so much easier going back to the contact suggesting new and different products. We also know that time is precious when running your own business, and PR is one of those things that can easily slip to the bottom of the to-do-list. With PR, the more time you put in, the more results you’ll get. A couple of hours a week is a great and manageable starting point.
the press wants to hear from you
Never feel like you’re ‘pestering’ or ‘bothering’ an editor or an assistant. It’s a two-way relationship; you need the press and the press need you. Plus, editors love discovering great new brands, and by suggesting relevant and interesting products, you’re doing them a massive favour. It’s a win-win situation.
PR is a long-term investment and can help elevate your brand and grow your customer base. Got a product-based brand and is ready to approach press? Here at PR Dispatch, we help brands pitch their products to print and online publications. We give our members press contacts, workshops, a community of like-minded brands and support from PR experts for just £59 p/m.
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