PR for Crafters

Lesson 5/19 - A Word About Press Releases


PR for Crafters


Lesson Info

A Word About Press Releases

So now let's talk a little bit about press releases because I know I mentioned it before that this is how really I started after being really naive and thinking, oh, I could just send an email and get my my products mentioned, but press releases are effective in uncertain situation. So what is the press release? I know we're all familiar with it, but basically a press release is a statement that you issue to the price that announces a product or something that's new and noteworthy that the press needs to know about. So this is really great. This is the way that publicity was done for years and years, and then the internet came along and something else happened, and what happened is over going to talk about for the rest of the day, but press releases are great and they work when an editor request more information from me. So I've had a lot of magazine editors I make my initial page sending my email, and they'll say, I'm really interested in this. Can you send me a press release with mor...

e information? So in that case, you do need to have a press release handy. To send it to them when they actually requested because they'll read it and oftentimes it's easier for them to read through a press release than it is for them tio maybe read all of the content on your website so it just makes it easier for them so some of them will request the press release so you do need to have it ready is just not about sending it out to them as the first thing that you do when you want to get your product mention they also worked when you really have something that's truly newsworthy so maybe you have a product that has ingredients that maybe are brand new to the market or you've invented something amazing that really could make headlines in the news that is ok to send the press release if that's the case but if you're launching a new jewelry line or a new skin care line that's not really news or it's not something that would make headlines right? How often do we see a headline in the new york times about a new jewelry line that just launched right not that off and so unless you have something that's truly newsworthy whether it's a new ingredient or a new manufacturing process or something that really could have a lot of media attention than anything you do in your business is not officially newsworthy from this angle but that doesn't mean that you can get your product in the news and in the media because you still can press releases are also great for ceo so if you use one of those press releases released distribution services especially if you pay the upgrade fee they will give you a link from their website back to your website so the more links you have out there on the internet the more likely google is going to think that your site is important and they're going to be showing your website and the top search results when people search for the types of product so you offer so they are really great when you are trying to get more links back to your website obviously only work with the reputable pr distribution services and not because you don't just want a ton of links you really want quality links here so that's one press releases are really great but what they're not so good for is when you email them to the media hoping to get news coverage so I get pitched all the time because I have a block and I write about entrepreneurs and different things and people pitch me all the time just with the body of a press release and sometimes I look at that and I first of all I never read them because they're so long and it's just too much information but then second of all they don't really tell me why they're sending me that press release right? If they said something like hi, andrea, I know you write about entrepreneurs. My client just launched a really amazing jewelry line, and she was able to get it into five hundred stores within the first two months. Would you like to have her on your podcast so she can share her experience? Here is the press release for her company, that's one thing, because she's telling me exactly what she wants from me and why she's reaching out and she showed me that she's familiar with what I do, which we're going to talk about later today and how important that is, but if someone just sends me a press release, I'm not sure what to do with it. Do they want me to posted on my block? Do they want me to share it on social media? Do they want me to interview their client, write a story, have them on my podcast there so many things that I could d'oh for their client, but I'm just not really sure what they're looking for. So we're going to talk about how you could let an editor no exactly what you're looking for and not make them confused, because if you're just sending out a press release, yes, maybe to the fashion accessories editor al awlaki magazine, and you have a fashion accessory. But what story are you hoping to be pitched for or to pitch your products for? What issue do you want to be in? What part of the magazine do you want to be in dry? So all of those are things that you really need to think about when you are reaching out to the press, so press releases don't work when you're just sending them out. Would nothing else other than the press release elizabeth via the different parts of the magazine have different editors, or they usually all the same editor they do, and we're definitely going to talk about that today as well. So we're going to talk about how to know or how you could know who to pitch at a magazine and how magazines work. So definitely good question, yes, ah, yes, you mentioned the pr database and the distribution services. Is that something you're going to go for later as well? Um, I'll mention that that's, how that's, one way that you can get p r but I don't have any specific names because there's, just so many out there. And I feel like I've tried them all, but I could definitely much in a couple of them as I go over, people online were wondering about as well gems by gs as a list of pr distribution services that are reputable. And we all said a question about do you actually recommend always using that distribution services that better than doing it yourself? Okay, yes, oh, those are great questions were suffering on a touch on that, and I'll mention some names off some pr databases that I personally use and love. I feel like I've tried them all, so I know how all of them work. And then I'll in terms of sending out a press release. If you have access to media contacts through a database, you can absolutely do it on your own, and it goes directly to their in box. If you are using appear distribution service, it still goes to their inbox, but it also lives online, so there is a bit of a difference, which is why, if you use a distribution service, it stays on the web and you get links back to your website so we can definitely touch on that as it gets to that point, so great question, all right, so now let's dream really, really big here, and I wantto reach out to all of you here, and I want to get an idea of what kind of magazines do you envision your products in and why? Because you have to sort of know why you want to be featured in the magazine. So as you've been sitting here listening to my own story and thinking about it, are there any magazines that you would love to be in? And if so, why do you think you want to have your product in there so well? One magazine I read a lot of house beautiful on dh I would like to be in there a supposed to a larger magazine like architectural digest because I think it speaks a little smaller to more of our audience, which are people who, you know, have enough that they're spending money to decorate their houses and have a aesthetic that they would like our curtains and pillows in their house on dh they have a lot of features in that magazine that focus on color palettes and things like that, and I think our products really speak to that we could fit into one of their palate pages really? Well, yeah, this is awesome, and I love that you just said that because it really shows that you know who your customers are and what they're looking for and why they come to you on the buy a product and then you're also familiar with the magazines that are out there, and you know that some of them are not maybe now looking for that particular type of product. So, yes, it's really important, I'm still glad he said that, because you do have to know what your customers love, and then you have to match that with the readers of that particular magazine. So thank you so much for sharing that is that anyone else in the audience here in the studio who wants to share what sort of magazines you could envision your products? And, yeah, you have a lot of magazine, yes, and I've pitched to a lot of magazines, and I think one of the problems is my my things are handmade, so and I'm making them so I don't have ah, big, massive stuff when I've looked at magazines a ll very nice and pretty and and perfectly shaped exception on, so I find it hard to find a magazine that we'll take handmade things that are also along the lines of healing as well. And, you know, I thought about martha stewart's magazines and on oprah magazine, obviously as well, but again, I still feel that aa lot of these are not open toe to something that is such a small businesses mine, yeah, I would I tend to disagree with that specifically because I know there's a lot of focus on hand, the hand made movement right now, and a lot of magazines are actually seeking it out, so I think you're in the right place. I think maybe in the past they might have stayed away from them because they might think that, well, you can't really sold demand, but if you are confident that you can fill demand, I mean, my soaps were handmade, but yes, I hired someone else to make them it wasn't me making them and spending three hours to make one, so I know there's a bit of a difference there, but I think if you're nervous of bag, you don't necessarily have tio emphasize handmade by you, you can still say their unique they're one of a kind, and I don't think that that's going to work against you unless you've had a magazine editor. If you've ever had someone write back and say, oh, your hand, may, can you fill demand have, you know, so I've never had that either, and I've had my handmade products featured, and I know plenty of clients who have their handmade products featured in big national magazines, but having said that, if you know that it takes you three hours to make let's, say, one of your scarves and maybe pitching to martha stewart magazine wouldn't make sense unless maybe you took a month and made one hundred scarves or something like that on then you had the stock on hand so that's another way you can get around it where you could make your product ahead of time and have your products ready for when you do pitch to magazines because if you have fifty or one hundred scarves you probably are going to be okay with meeting that demand and there's times when I do have my products featured in magazines and I get maybe a few hundred dollars worth of orders but there's times when I got over ten thousand dollars worth of order so it really can range based on the actual magazine but if you have some inventory on hand and just don't wait until the last minute I think you should still feel confident and pitching and if let's say if you are to be featured on oprah magazine you probably would know that ahead of time and they will prepare you they will say ok, this is how much I think based on other products that were similar this how much I think we could you probably going to expect so in that case you know and they also the great thing about magazines is that there's a really long lead time so if you're pitching now in may, your products are not going to be feature in the magazine until in the fall so you have all of this time and usually you'll know if they like your product if you pitch them with a product, they're not going toe put it in the magazine without letting you know, so you have plenty of time to prepare and make more products ahead of time to really meet that demand so don't let the fact that it's handmade get in the way because I think they do they are start to look a lot more for handmade products and some magazines will even have have like ah handmade gifts for the holidays um and that sort of thing and I know gift shop magazine I think just did a huge spread on handmade products, so it's definitely something that magazines they're looking for, so yeah, oh yes that every time I've ordered from a magazine and always takes quite a quite a bit of time anyway, so I think people are kind of expecting it the shipping you want it to be four weeks out or so right? Especially depending on the kind of product or even if it's a custom product if you like people know on your website and this actually happened with myself because I had my badge of three thousand selves I for sure thought there's no way I'm going to sell more than three thousand and three thousand is plenty and my soap sold out it was november, and I still had a ton of magazines that were going to be featuring my products in december, so I just put a note on my website and I still left on my products up for sale, and I just said, this product is currently out of stock, but it will be back in stock in two weeks, and we'll ship it to you as soon as they get it, and I still got plenty of orders. I know some people as long as they get their gifts in before the holidays, before they actually have to give it to someone. They're sort of ok with waiting, but you just have to let them know and communicate with them that you are. Maybe you need a little bit of time, or you could even say due to our featured in allure magazine, the reef response has been overwhelming. We're making a new batch, or we're making new products, and this is the new estimated ship time, so those are a couple of ways you could get around that a great conversation going on in a chat room right now, people sharing all of their magazines if you're not in their jump in, share the magazines that you want to be featured in scarlett, which wants to be in dwell magazine, willow says. Fitness and self magazines because their jewelry is geared towards active, lively and modern women, danny press wants to be in frankie magazine. Darling magazine and nylon are the top three. Joel says riel weddings magazine because they love detail photos and my hand painted wedding shoes would be a wonderful fit green work, handmade wants to be in country living. And martha stewart geo wants to be an oprah shape lucky and vogue and beth says, my items are for the kitchen entertaining industry. So rachel ray, better homes and gardens, even a wedding magazine would be great for my products. We also had a comment here that I'd love to get your feedback on. This comes from dana who's in the chat room and says, I had someone from anthropologie get in touch and request a sample for an issue of their magazine. Then it was cut and they never sent my product back. How do you deal with something like that when you feel like you have that initial contact, but then it doesn't work out well, yeah, that's a great question, and that might happen once in a while and usually what I know. I work with a lot of jewelry designers who have really expensive jewelry on dh if you do decide to send it out to a magazine. Make sure that you set it up ahead of time to get your products return, so instead of just assuming that they're going to return it, most of them will not return it until or unless you actually ask for your product to be returned and usually would set that up ahead of time. And then I know off some magazines that it's their policy to not return any samples and if that's the case, then you would already know that ahead of time because you've communicated with them that you want your samples returned and then you can decide whether or not it's worth it to you to get or to pitch that magazine. For example, if it's a huge national magazine with over million readers and your jewelry's five hundred dollars, you probably going to make more than five hundred dollars, in sales from being featured in the magazine. So I would say that's a really great investment now if it's a local magazine maybe with only ten thousand leaders, it might not really be the best fit for you. And if you can get your products returned and five hundred dollars is a lot, then you probably shouldn't be pitching that magazine but it's always a good idea to know ahead of time and said that up ahead of time so you know what to expect and they know what to expect as well yes, when you're sending samples do they normally ask you for a specific a sample of one product does if you have a lot of different products I assume you're not sending them all so do you know that ahead of time what their want or do you have to guess what they might like? The best great question so oftentimes they will say, can you send me this this and that product and they have a really great idea of your products that they want to see on their pages oftentimes they'll say yes please send me a sample and usually what I do that I just send them maybe three or four of my best selling items because I'm thinking if people on my website are buying and that's my best selling item then that's probably what their readers would want to know about too so sometimes they'll be really specific other times they will just say yes please send me a sample and you've really have tio determine which one of your products would be the best for that particular magazine yeah he's going to say that I've had that a couple of times where I have sent out um uh pieces and products and samples tio stylist but I always include a return shipping label so it's really easy for them to just slap it on and and send it back and they also have them sign a contract ahead of time yes and that's a great practice that if you do want your products return if you give them a self addressed stamped envelope that they could just put back with a note and they're reminding them please send the sample back here's a prepaid shipping envelope it just makes their job so much easier and the love you for it the easier you could make their job the more happy they're going to be and the more likely they are to actually work with you in the future as well so great great example yes if it happens where they don't send it back can you write it off is the marketing expense absolutely yes even all of your pr cost even your shipping costs everything can be written off absolutely so does anyone else want to share what magazines you khun dream really big and have your product feature them yes our business we sell both to photographers and to end users so it be two different categories but one of the magazines would be click magazine and it's more for female photographers is that it seems like their target market on dh so that would be one that would focus more on the wholesale side of our business that I think would be nice great and I'm so glad you brought that out because you might have a totally different markets for the press that you want to get so if you sell wholesale teo photographers there's a market for that and if you sell retail to customers, there is a market for that as well and there's magazines for both of those markets. So when you are doing your pr definitely think outside the box and sent teo the magazines that the retailers read and the industry reads and then also send your products with the magazines that you're un consumers are going to read as well. So I'm really glad you brought that up. Yeah, yeah. You think you get more leverage with paper magazines and you do with online magazines? I think it depends on their circulation. So so yes, there are with paper magazines I have seen a much more, I guess substantial return on my investment and more sales, although there are some digital magazines that get a lot of readership as well, and some magazines have both they'll have a digital online edition, especially some of the local magazines, and then they have the print edition as well. But then if you look at some blog's right, some bloggers have huge audiences, so I know not all of them have digital magazines, obviously. But if you get featured on a block that has a lot of circulate or a lot of readership and monthly visitors, you can get more from a block than you could or more sales from a block if it's really relevant then if you were to have your product in a magazine sometimes and I've seen that as well yeah little kind of along the same lines a little off but just because the product that we offer is a service yes and so I am visions, success magazine or entrepreneur are those types of magazine? Is there a different protocol when doing a pitch? Two magazines of that nature? Yes great question there it is slightly different because when you're pitching your services you're going to be pitching yourself as an expert rather than your product as something that their readers would love. So I'll give you an example of that I was recently featured in woman's world magazine and they were doing a story on on crafters and how they could get get paid to sell the products that they make and they featured me as an expert giving tips and strategies along with a few other experts on how they're crafters can make a living basically doing what they love. So when I pitched for that I I knew they were working on that story and I said I've been working with crafters for you know, x number of years these are some tips that I think would be really useful for for your article if you need more information, please you know please let me know which said these are great can can I interview you so then she called me so I pitched my expertise and tips as opposed to a particular product and women's world magazine they also have products that they feature, but this was just a bit of a different angle because you're pitching you and what do you know as a as a resource for their article as opposed to your products as like a product featured in their editorial pages? So yes, there is a slight of of a difference there, and I'm that same question how did you know that they were? We're going to be writing a story I thought this one was an easy one. I won't lie a friend of mine emailed me on dh, she said, I just spoke with this editor and she just interviewed me I recommended you, I think you'd be great you should email her as well so that one was a super easy one for someone who was looking out for me. So then I e mailed her and I said, my friend just told me about this I would also love to be a resource for your mag, but if you if I didn't know that there are still other ways that you could know and those are in the editorial calendars, which we're going to talk about in the next next session as well but I sometimes and that's really awesome cause sometimes let's say a magazine or maybe elizabeth you're pitching a magazine and they're saying, oh, we're not looking for this right now but if you know any jewelry designers, please let me know and then you can go to your jewelry designer friends and let them on that happens to me all the time or they're you know they'll write back and say I'm not looking for this but do you know anyone who does that so that's just what that situation was with with my woman's world magazine again, it kind of comes back to make their job easy yeah, so exactly, yeah, yeah, it really is all about making their job easier because I didn't wait for her to reach out to me. I knew sheehan yes, I hadn't in on this particular one, but I knew she was looking for that, so I emailed her I gave her some quote some statistics, some tips, some of my tips that I would recommend and she really didn't even have to contact me she could have just taken some of my tips and printed them, but she you know, she wanted more and she wanted to talk to me so yeah, I made it super easy and I didn't even say all my friend emailed me if you're interested here's my phone number please call me I said my friend emailed me here's what I would love to contribute if you need anything else please call me so there's a bit of a difference there and how you could excuse me deal with that as well online questions that came in and this one was actually are most voted on question for this segment so if you didn't know click that little blue arrow to vote on the questions that you want to answer and we will get to the most voted on questions so this one we had a couple of people vote and they want to know what about artists who create one of a kind jewelry with no mass selling or stores or not trying to reach out to the wholesalers but does pr have a value for these people? We're kind of on small scale creating one ofthe howto how did those people take what we're learning here and apply it to their business? Yeah that's a great question and this is the course the title of this course is pr for crafters and I know a lot of crafters are in that situation so one way you could do that is you can simply not approach the big magazines if you feel like ok you know fitness magazine readers they don't really buy my kind of product anyway then that's something that probably shouldn't be pitching your products to begin with and there are plenty of more niche magazines that have a much smaller readership but their audience could be exactly who your customers are. A swell. And you don't have to always be pitching like the magazines that are appear. You couldn't be pitching your local magazines, the smaller, really like niche, crafty or there's. So many of those that don't have millions of readers, maybe to have ten thousand or twenty thousand. And when something like that happens, then you know, you can probably meet demand. And, like we were talking about before, just preparing the head of time. So you're always going to know whether or not you're going to be featured in a magazine. They'll tell you they know better than to just sort of spring get up on you. And now that you know, so you have a bit of time to prepare ahead of time and maybe just stock up on your inventory for a little bit, until your magazine feature gets published.

Class Description

Doing your own PR can be really intimidating. It is easy to feel like you don’t have the right connections or budget to get featured in the media. And what happens when you don’t have enough product to meet the demand of a huge press mention? Andreea Ayers knows exactly how that feels and in PR for Crafters she’ll help you develop a complete action plan for getting and managing press.

No matter how big or small your handmade operation is, Andreea will help you set up the PR plan that is right for you and the way you do business. She’ll help you identify the types of stories editors are looking for and how to pitch them what you sell. You’ll learn how to:

  • Find out what magazine editors are working on and who to contact
  • Tailor pitches to magazines, bloggers, and other media outlets
  • Increase sales after you get a press mention

Andreea will help set up a PR plan that doesn’t overwhelm your schedule but is in alignment with your target outlet’s editorial calendars. You’ll master the art of making your work more compelling to editors and more likely to be picked up.

Andreea has started and sold three companies in the last five years and that success has been bolstered by her DIY approach to getting press. In PR for Crafters she’ll take you step-by-step through her process and offer lots of tips on making it your own.

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