By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting
A great feature can do wonders for your business, so if you’re looking to boost your public relations efforts, getting published is a major step in the right direction. While the bulk of the work falls on the killer content that you’ve produced, there are a handful of things that you can do to expedite the process and push your pitch to the top of the pile.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
There’s no use putting yourself out there until you know exactly what you want out of your PR efforts. You should be going into the process with goals so that you can determine what media outlets best fit your target audience. Once you have a good idea of where you want to be featured, you’ll need to do your due diligence to ensure your pitch ends up in the right hands (or inbox). Find out who your point of contact should be and whether there’s an editorial calendar that can help guide your submission. By doing your research in advance, you’ll come across as a genuine and valuable resource, rather than someone who canvassed the media with a generic pitch.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PR TOOLS
Nowadays technology has changed the world of PR, making it an accessible feat even for those who can’t afford to outsource the efforts. From building your media list to finding the right opportunities for your brand, there’s surely an app or program out there to simplify the process! One of my personal favorites is HARO, a free-to- use program that sends journalists’ inquiries straight to your inbox, giving you the opportunity to help with (and be quoted in!) their articles. If real wedding submissions are more your thing, Two Bright Lights is an invaluable tool for streamlining the submission process and is well worth the investment.
KEEP IT BRIEF
Fun fact: For every journalist, there are at least six pitches coming in to their inbox. If you can imagine how many emails they must sort through to get to the good stuff, you’ll understand why it’s essential to keep it brief and straight to the point. Chances are the journalist you’re trying to reach will only have few minutes, if not seconds, to look at your pitch. Introduce yourself, share your idea and offer any resources that can help them with the piece. The key is to be succinct, but friendly.
This goes back to doing your research and having a good idea of what kind of content a media outlet publishes before pitching to them. You wouldn’t submit a local wedding to a destination wedding blog, so keep that rationale in mind with other publications as well. Come up with story angles that will be of use to their target audience that is both fresh and newsworthy. On the same note, keep in mind that not every pitch will be picked up. Don’t be discouraged if your great idea wasn’t a fit; instead, offer yourself as a continued resource that is open to helping out with future angles. Just because it didn’t work out once doesn’t mean it won’t in the future! Press is great for many reasons, especially if you’re looking to boost your brand recognition and build your reputation as an industry expert. With a bit of careful thought, your business will be in the limelight before you know it!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting, which specializes in getting wedding professionals their brides. She is a highly sought after industry speaker and serves as a Public Relations adjunct professor for Virginia Commonwealth University.