Andreea's Journey with PR
Now that I've led, you know why you need publicity. I wanted to sort of walk you through my own journey with pr because it definitely was not that easy. I know I'm standing here in front of you with hundreds of media mentions behind me, but it really was a journey for me as well, and I want to share my story so you can learn from it and, um, not feel and feel like if I could do it, you can do it, too, because really, I had no connections. I knew nothing about pr, so here is my journey. So in in two thousand seven, I launched my t shirt business, and I knew nothing about selling t shirts selling online, getting publicity, selling two stores or anything, for that matter, it was all a journey. And then a few months later, I got my first pr mention, and it was a blogged about choosing happiness. So one of my most popular shirts that shoes happiness on it. So I happened to read online. And came across the block that's that have had to do with choosing happening so I emailed them right away.
I couldn't even think about it and I said, hey, you have this block about choose happiness I have a t shirt about choose happiness I think your readers might be interested in hearing about it. Would you like to feature it on your website? So they said absolutely, what a great idea. We would love to feature it. So next thing I knew, my t shirts were on their home page and people started buying my t shirts. So that gave me a kind of confidence, and I felt all right, that was super easy. What? Everyone's talking about pr as being this hard thing I got this right? I couldn't do it, no problem. So I started to dream big, and I thought, ok, what are some of the magazines that I really want to get my products featured him and oprah magazine? Was there obviously in style magazine, shape magazine, all of those top magazines with millions of readers, and I thought my t shirts could be in there. Right? I know some of you are thinking, I want to be in oprah to write everyone as the first thing that people tell me when I asked him one, magazines, do you want to be in they say oprah magazine so I totally couldn't relate I've been there I dreamt really big and I wanted to be an oprah magazine so I thought alright it's oprah magazine they probably want a press release right? I didn't know what he better at the time so I hired someone to write a press release for me and then I heard someone else to actually share that press release and distributed and they said it would go to tens of thousands of magazine editors and bloggers and newspaper editors and you're going to get so much exposure so it was about a thousand dollars to get the press release written and to get a distributed so I thought, all right a thousand dollars that's a lot of money when I just started my business not too long ago but it's worth it if I get a mention oprah magazine that could be huge I know people who have been an oprah magazine and have had over a million dollars in sales just from that one mention now I didn't think that would be me but I thought hey that there will be kind of cool if that happen so hi drunk really big scent on my press release and I waited and waited and nothing really happened with my press release no one email me back I literally sad by my email I know some of you probably have done the sewer you send out an email to someone that's really really important and you sit and wait like ok, they're going to right back did they write back now an hour later there's still my writing back right? Some of you are smiling like s so I did that with my press release I thought pens of thousands of magazine editor someone's gonna buy back and be interested in my t shirt so that didn't happen a day past two days past a week passed no magazine editors contacting me so I thought, ok, this pr think is just not really working it's now what I thought it would be and damn first pr mentioned was just a fluke it was just maybe some sort of lock that somehow it just happened so I took a few months off of doing pr and I thought ok, so what like what can I do next if I can do it on my own maybe I could hire a pr agency to actually do it for me so pr agencies are great a lot of them have really great contacts and I ended up working with an agency that had on in the fashion industry so I thought for sure this would be awesome and it was it was really great they got me quite a few mentions in the beginning but it was quiet a lot of money for me to spend so I hired them I worked with them for about three months and then I kept on asking them okay, are you pitching me like this? Are you sending it to this magazine editor can you give me a report every single day of what do you do what you're doing to pitch my products? And they said I'm so sorry we have so many clients we just can be in touch every single day with you and thought if I'm spending this much money I want I want to get an email every day from you letting me know where you've been pitching like my t shirts and where I'm going to be featured and they said we could give you a monthly report with the general sort of topics that were pitching you with and if an editor is interested will send you an email with their mailing address so you can write back to them and send them your sample. So I thought that's not really why I'm paying this much money. So after a few months I ended up firing a pr agency and I said I think I'm ready to go back and sort of do this on my own let me try it again I have sort of learned a little bit from so maybe what they were doing and I saw some of the things that we're working for them, so I really wanted to try this on my own so I started to learn as much as I could about p r I took courses I signed up for webinars I read books, I paid a ton of money to get myself ready educated on how to do my own pr and this was about a year over a year into my business, so this is quite a long journey for me. It wasn't this thing that happened overnight, so I learned how to do my own pr I got access, I bought access to a pr database and in february two thousand nine one of my dream magazines that yes, your t shirts are exactly what we're looking for for our july issue we are going to be featuring them so they kind of fact checker call me they call me they send me a feel like you all know where this is going. They sent me even a pdf of what the mighty shorts would look like on their page along with their other products. So I thought this is awesome! I finally have made it and I did it on my own. Yes, it was a ton of money and a long way to get here, but I got here and I remember this was in february, so I couldn't wait I was so excited for the july issue, I emailed all of my retailers I said I have some awesome news instyle magazine is going to feature my t shirts in july. Would you like to buy more? Stuck? Because I'm sure a lot of people are going to come to your store to buy my t shirts because I had their stores listed on my website and quite a few of them said yes, we would love to hear is in order, so I got that done. I said, ok, I am on my way. I am going to make it really big here. So july came around and I went to the store, I picked up in style magazine and I flipped through the pages and I looked and I was like, I must have looked through this too fast because I'm not seeing my t shirts in here, so I looked again and it was a really thick issue. It wasn't just like a thin one. So mike, let me sit down and take my time, some flipping through every single page and like it's, not there it's not hear it not here, and I flipped through the entire magazine and my t shirts were not and there so I said, oh my, it can't get any worse than this they showed me a pdf of the page where my t shirts were supposed to be. So I got back home after I went to the bookstore email my editor and I said, what happened? You told me my t shirts were going to be in the july issue. I told all of my retailers announce it to my customers that this was coming. What happened? And she said, I'm so sorry we had to cut it out at the last minute and we had to put something else in instead of it. So I was devastated. I thought, ok, this is just not my thing pr it's, not really what I should focus on. So I took a bit of time off, and then I decided because I had already purchased a year subscription to the pr database. I thought, ok, you've spent a ton of money on this. Let me just make the most out of it. So I kept on going and I kept on going and sending out e mails and pr mentioned started coming in. So after four years of having my business, these are just some of the magazines that my t shirts were featured. And so, yes, there is a happy ending to this really long journey with pr, but I wanted to share that with you, because that could happen with p r it really is a roller coaster, unfortunately. But you can do things along the way to make sure that right is a lot smoother for you than it was for me over those first few years so and more and four years I had more than two hundred media mentions and some really awesome magazines and I've had a time off sales every time one of these magazines would hit the newsstands or the subscriber in boxes orders would come flooding in and it was awesome and I mean it's such a great feeling any of you have had your products featured in a big magazine like this you probably know the power of publicity so I want to fast forward a few years later some it's how july two thousand thirteen and I decided to launch my soap business and I launched it strategically by this time I had a ton of experience of p r so I launched my cell business in july because I knew that in july that's when magazine editors are looking for products for their holiday gift guides and we're going to talk about that and I'll share with you the timeline but I was so strategic about it I said I am not launching unless I know I could get in magazines so sent out emails launch sort of launch my cell business with magazine mentions and yes it was in july they were going to be featuring them in december so there was this sort of along only time, but that gave me plenty of time. Tio start marketing other ways and reach out to bloggers, which was a little more immediate done waiting four to six months for their december issue. So by the time I or by the time the holidays came around, my soaps were featured and red book magazine and live happy organic spot. They even did a full page feature. I thought it was going to be just part of their gift guide by they gave me a full page talking about myself, which was really, really cool and all of these other magazines that my soaps were featured in for the holiday. So this time, my journey with p r was definitely not the rocky road that it was the few years previous to that. So what happened from all of these publicity mentioned is that my soap sold out twice and I sold almost six thousand bars of soap and jews those first few months that my business launched and it was amazing, and I realized I sort of already knew it before, but I realized that publicity I was going to be critical to my online success, and I've seen this with a lot of other entrepreneurs that I work with, so it is very, very important, yes, I asked a question about your two businesses, and when you launched your second one was there the people know that you were the person behind the t shirts or where there was there any sort of life take credibility that you used because of the t shirts, toe lunch to the press. Yeah, absolutely not. So I reached out, just like a brand new company, not mentioning anything about my t shirts. Now, I did have my t shirts on my about page on my web sites. I'm sure some of the editors went and read that story, but no, I didn't mention it in my emails or anything like that.