So you’ve taken the plunge to start your own creative business. Your website is ready and your social media looks consistent. You have a selection of products available to purchase online, great photographs, and a marketing strategy in place.
Now you’re at a stage where you might want to kickstart your PR and get your business the visibility that it needs and deserves.
The good news is that you don’t have to be an established business in order to do PR – the press love hearing from small and independent businesses and makers. You can do your own PR from the comfort of your home (or studio) at a pace that works for you. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Timing is key
It’s important to know the lead times of the different publications. This will help you to pitch to a magazine at the right time and ensure you don’t miss out on any great coverage opportunities.
There are three kinds of publication lead times:
Long-lead: These are print magazines that plan their editorial calendar months in advance, typically 3-5 months ahead
Short-lead: These are weekly or daily magazines that normally plan their content from around 2.5 months to a week ahead
Online publications: Digital publications’ have a very quick turn around and their lead times range from weekly to often daily
Research is crucial
Have a read through the magazines you want to be featured in and make a note of things like price points, target readership, categories etc to help narrow down the publications you want to reach out to and to help tailor your pitch.
There are a plethora of print and online publications and the key is to focus on the ones that are relevant for you – whether that’s Creative Boom, The Guardian, Mollie Makes, Refinery29, etc. Make a shortlist of the most relevant publications for your target audience and start with those.
Don’t forget about local press
It’s easy to neglect the publications in your area, however, the power of local press shouldn’t be underestimated – they are always on the lookout for local businesses and makers to feature so be sure to let them know you exist. Being featured in a local publication or newspaper means that you’ll capture the attention of potential local customers, but also other like-minded businesses to collaborate with.
Don’t be lazy with the pitch email
Editors can tell when you are being lazy with your pitch. So ensure that your emails are concise and tailored to the editor you’re pitching to.
- A descriptive and snappy subject line will make your email stand out
- Use keywords in your email so that when an editor searches for certain products for a feature your email appears
- Include a small selection of products at the bottom of your email – they should consist of low-res images, prices, and website links.
- Attach a line sheet if you’ve got one (this is only relevant for bigger product ranges)
- Ensure that your email is free of spelling errors and typos. When you are sending several pitches in a day, it’s easy to get the names of editors and publications mixed up. Make sure that you have checked everything before hitting send.
Don’t be bogged down if you have sent a number of emails but haven’t heard anything back. PR is a long game so this is completely normal. Send a follow-up email in 1-2 weeks. This will instantly increase your chances of getting a response.
When you do get a response requesting imagery or credits, provide the journalist with the details and assets promptly. This will help increase your chances of being featured and help build relationships with the press.
PR Dispatch is the UK’s first affordable PR membership platform supporting product-based businesses to DIY their own PR and gain magazine coverage themselves – from just £53 + VAT/month. Their online PR learning, a team of PR experts, pitch templates, and regularly updated press database means you have access to everything you need to get your product-based business noticed by the press.