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Simple PR: Pitch Your Product

Lesson 9 of 10

Write Your Media Bio

Brigitte Lyons

Simple PR: Pitch Your Product

Brigitte Lyons

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Lesson Info

9. Write Your Media Bio

Lesson Info

Write Your Media Bio

Now we're going to go on and talk about your media ready, bio. And I wanted to include this in this program because I know that writing about ourselves can really trip us up. You know, we've already talked about how do you sell your products with your photography in your language? But this is more about how do you sell yourself? And how do you talk about yourself and so terrible? Right? Let's just be real here. It's so uncomfortable. Um, so really, though what we want for when you're sending to pitch, to be really short and snappy. You know, this isn't the place to tell your entire story about how you came up with your designs. You put that on the about page of your website and we want to see it there. You know, I want to hear it. We want to see it. Customers want to see it. But this is a place where you could give a very quick overview about you know who you are. Why you do the work that you dio Um, if there's anything about your technique or skills, you know, that can go here. So tha...

t's usually not gonna go in your media coverage on this, you're doing some kind of like crazy. I went and studied with the monks or something, you know, like, really human interest kind of story. But you know that you do see that an artist profiles, you'll see, maybe you know where a person studied or where they've learned, or if you're blending technique. So anything that really stands out about how you do your work or how you learned to do your work can go into your immediate bio. So your media bio, really, Just like we said, it gives your credentials. You want to make sure you have a name and a link back to your company. It shares your brag worthy accomplishments. So by regular the accomplishments, if you've gotten any awards, you know you want to include that in your bio. Um, maybe not as relevant for product, but, you know, if you if you've given any speeches, if you're doing any trainings, anything that you feel like really proud about that, it's pretty impressive you wanna put in here and then you will also want Teoh provide a brief glimpse into you know why it is you're creating so maybe not a full artist statement or design statement. But just, you know, why is it that you do the work you dio? So how do we get into it? So I know this is really hard, and I know we don't have our white board anymore, but I thought what we might do is actually work with somebody on putting together a media ready bio. Because I know that 10 these tend to be too long when really they need to be generally around 100 words. So I would love to bring somebody up and dio ah, hot seat again. Where we can actually write one of these media bios on a fly and practice putting them together. Come on up. Awesome. Thank you. So what we're gonna do is you know, we're gonna introduce you were gonna share your accomplishments and give that brief glimpse into why you create. So why don't you just kind of share that with us? A narrative form and I'll take down a couple of notes while you're talking of the things that I would probably put in the bio. Okay. Oh, my gosh. Um, start with your name and your website. My name is Melissa Dinwiddie. My website is melissa Dunwoody dot com m e l a s s a d I n w I d d I e. Say that again d I n w I d d e I have you leaving connected for so long, and I have always wanted to know how to pronounce her name. Oh, there you go. So you can also get their living a creative life dot com, which is a little easier to remember. Um, so I'm an artist and creativity instigator, So I paint. And I'm also on a mission to empower people to feed their own creative hungers. And the painting that I'm doing now is, um, basically a product of my own being blocked for like, 15 years while I was making my living as a different kind of artists doing a lot of work on commission for private clients, mostly Jewish marriage contracts and other wedding and lifecycle event related documents. Um, and I got so blocked that I had to find my way, my way out of it, and I figured out how to get past my own blocks. And now I I play in the creative sandbox every day. I have a metaphor of the creative sandbox I like to imagine, like I'm my four year old nephew and just exploring and playing and making messes and mucking about. And so that's where my art comes from. Now the painting that I'm doing now it's abstract. I have a background as a calligrapher. So my sort of entry into art as an adult was through lettering and calligraphy. Does that comment here, art. Now, um, some of the art that I do what I'm working on right at this moment? Yeah. Doesn't tend to have letters in it, Okay? It's abstract in its it's kind of Ah, people have told me that it reminds them of a cross between Dr Seuss and some other artists who I don't know. So it's kind of winds of colon. Very cool. Okay, Yeah, I'm what might help is to actually think about pulling up a product and thinking about what we're gonna pitch it to, because you're illustrating a great point, which there So much interest in your background and what we want to do is really make it support what we're selling. The story that we're sharing And so if we can pick out like, All right, so we're gonna look at your new art. That's abstract. It's a little whimsical. Um, And where where might you be pitching that? So this is where I'm a little unsure, because right now I just have originals to celebrate, and I have I'm I'm digitizing them so that I will have products sure to create from them, But I don't have any products right now. Okay. Aside from the original paintings, yeah. Yeah. So the originals, I mean, you could do like, a local. Would you be interested in that? Like, a local your newspaper? Something coverage of your original? Yeah, sure. Okay, great. Well, let's start with what you've got. So we're gonna do a local newspaper, And let's say then that we're really going to do is kind of like a local artist profile where they're gonna, you know, take a painting of yours they're gonna talk about you. Might be a little lifestyle blurb were in a hard market in San Francisco, but we're gonna roll with it. It's a little harder, but it's doable. And maybe they have a, you know, relevant magazine. Actually, when I start started as an artist back in 1995 or 94 or something. I was in a few artists profiles like, right off the bat. Boom, boom in local paper, San Jose Mercury and the Palo Alto Weekly. Perfect. So alright. Hadn't occurred to me. Oh, I could You could go back. Go back. You absolutely could go back. Okay, that's fabulous. So thinking about getting a local profile and what you bring up here, too, is if you live in a major media market like San Francisco L. A or New York, it can be kind of hard to break into those profiles because they might not do as much, I like to say, like hometown girl or hometown boy does good kind of thing. You know, A lot of the smaller markets love to focus on what people in their community are doing, But a major market might have more like hard news and investigative reporting and less space for that. But we're talking about is if you're in an outlying area just a little bit, those papers are more likely to cover it. So, you know, if you're in New York or in the L. A. Or in a major market. Definitely. Don't wipe those off your list. Just know that like we talked about, it's a numbers game. So he might have to pitch it a couple times or find, you know, a couple of different angles to go back to them with before you're able to get in. But here, this is great. I mean, thinking about the San Jose market is supposed to Maybe San Francisco. So we're gonna do local newspaper. We're going to do artist profile, um, of your abstract work. Eso this. Would this This is a great case to because this is something that would focus a little bit more on you than your traditional product pitch, which might just have a one liner. Okay, perfect. So your abstract work you have now, um who is it for? Let's think about that a little bit, too. And why do they love it? Um, buys it. Women. Okay, uh, in there, thirties to sixties, probably like women who are ready to invest in Smart, right. Imagine there and will, because I have an audience as creativity. Instigator. There's a lot of overlap. So a lot of people who by my art or people who come to me for coaching and programs soon away. For them, it's like a touch point. Yes, exactly. Yeah. So your art is a separator? That an inspiration to follow their own creative. Right? Perfect. We found that we found that we found the link here. Okay, so we're starting out here, you know, you're gonna give your name, and when you're upset, you've already pitched. So we've already, you know, we've already going back to her pitch, which we don't have in front of us for a pitch template. You know, you'll have your headline that will talk about, you know, that this is our that will remind you to feed your creative hungers for something like this. Local art artists reminds you to feed your hunger is or something. Something there, you know? And then you have the dear you're gonna have, Probably like, um, there might actually be an art and design editor, assistant editor or something like that. Or there could be a byline of somebody who does this profiles. So you're gonna dress, dear Mary, you know, um and then you're gonna interest start by introducing your abstract work you know, I've been creating these paintings. They're very popular with women who are looking to bring back creativity in their life. You know, I work. You want to talk about your where you work and your process a little bit more off the bat than we normally would in a pitch, Because it's a profile. Okay, so you're gonna start by kind of describing that art there in linking to your media kit that will have images that they can take a look at. So then when we get into your bio section, you really do want to talk about, um you know, what's your background paying? So are you self taught or or did you take classes like That's the kind of thing that can also, like, help credential you? Um, I'm well, I haven't gone to art school. Yeah, so I've taken lots of glasses. Did very, you know, private classes locally and stuff. Okay, I guess. I don't know. So a member of the Bay Area artist community, right? And sure, right. That's what I would say there. So that you're you know, you're an active member of the vibrant Bay Area artist community. Um what about your art. Where has it been? Has have been displayed anywhere or any shows or anything, like not a very long time. Okay, I'm like looking at the credentials. Like we're gonna brag about who has been called with that. What? You know, you could do that, too. Be a name that would be you could talk about. Well, I can say that I've been collected by hundreds of people around the world, but that's for not for the art that I'm making now. Okay, But it's true. I okay with that, Actually, Thea other way you could spin this to, though, is just, you know, it's okay to be like up and coming in the Sikh, you know, an up and coming artists because you've had this creative transformation. So you could talk about how many people have collected your work over time. But you could, on the flip side, also talk about you know, I've been an artist for a long time. I felt really, though stifled creativity creatively, and I've broken out with these abstract paintings and they're really hitting a chord and talk about a way. We'll talk about it that way, but But that's about it. You get, like, three or four sentence for, um, so I would definitely the work into You know, that you're a member of this bear community. A local paper is gonna want to have that local angle. They're gonna want to know you're there. If you were doing a profile to if you were gonna have an event, I would try to send it out around that timeframe. So if you had anything in the local area, that would be another way to get credit. And how far in advance would you for for a local newspaper? A couple weeks. Month, Couple weeks. Okay, Maybe I want to give yourself time to follow up, but they can move pretty quickly. Don't. Yeah, This is very exciting because it because it never occurred to me that I could pitch. Yeah, it's ideas that just never occurred to me. Yeah, it's always just falling in my lap before and so this is really cool. I work with so many people who who hired us, my agency because they said press keeps coming to me, and I don't know how to go out and get it and, uh, you know, it's no tar, I know, but But it is a kind of eye opening when you realize that you could go out and tell these stories for yourself. So that's exactly what I would do here. You know, you you have your pitch and then share a little bit about you. So for you, the credentialing, I think, is really that because it's a local newspaper. That's the credential they care about. Is that your local right? That's whether they gonna care about. And then if you can talk about how you're part of the community or inspiring other local people to tap into their creativity with your work, and then you can share them an image of a painting that really is evocative of that, Um, it's gonna be a nice story. Your pitching like local and national. Would you have media kits that are, since it's a hidden page on your website, would you have a media kit that tells that story slightly differently for your media bio for those two markets, you know, I might not I might I might do more customization within the pitch and then, like eso one way you could do this in your media page is like somebody nationally isn't gonna be turned off by the fact that you're a member of a local community. But then, you know, that might be a place where maybe you want to talk about that. You've been collected by people in the world. And so maybe I would. That's a good point, like in the in your email, because, you know, in your email you want to have a bio too short in your email. I might play up this like what local people are doing and then on the website. Just make it a little bit more like, you know, I'm in this member of the activator community. My work has been collected by hundreds of people around the world, have recently made this transition into these abstract paintings. They're inspiring both me and the people who buy from them to feed their creative hungers. Boom. Okay, that's so helpful. And it's also sparking all these ideas for, because I'm also a singer songwriter and I do a lot of other things to suddenly Oh my gosh, there's all these ways that I could be pitching. So yeah, and there's a thing in storytelling to or like you want to get to the climax of the story, right? Whenever you're doing storytelling and think about your bio. Is that opportunity? Two. It's one of our tendencies is to want to tell her history. So, like using my something example. You know, I've been working in public relations for 13 years. I started doing an agency work and public affairs. I did. I helped influence legislation and regulations, and then I went into the trade nonprofit like I could give you my whole resume, right? But that's not really what they're looking for. They're looking for the segment of it that's most relevant to the product that you're sent is sending to them. So you want to make sure that that's where you're honing in. And that's what I was thinking. Like for my music, I can create a pitch that's specific for that and for painting. I could make it a totally different pitch. Two different media outlets specific to that angry Make your question. That's where I would recommend having a couple different media kits. So if you have very different brands or product lines or something like that, that is a great place where maybe you wanna have a media kit that supports the different ones, and you're not muddying it up too much. Any other questions? Oh, this is so helpful. Thank you. Okay, Awesome. Great. Well, thank you so much for being our guinea pig. How is really lovely. So you can see really how simple this could be to kind of hone in on and to put together, But it's really important just to make it really a short and snappy and to the point and supporting what it is that you're pitching right now. So that's what I want you to do right now is just think about what are some of those accomplishments that you will include in your media bio. What are the things that you brag about? What are the credentials that you have that are really going to be impressing an editor or blogger and that they, you know, really catch their eyes? So I'd love to hear any ideas on that we can sketch out. What are you gonna be including in your media, Vaio? I've been jotting down notes. Yeah, um, so part of it was kind of getting on that local spin my studio spaces, located in warehouse for 16 which is part of the Oakland Heart murmur. And so it's sort of that whole community there and then moving into that, my jewelry sold in boutiques and museums nationwide. That's great. So talking about the distribution, which goes back to that question that some media outlets might have, so weaving that into your bio is a great idea. What about rewards to be of anybody with awards under their belt that they convention about this design? Yeah, I was in a top 50 out of like 1000 people in Little Rogers illustration. These competitions dio I went absolutely include that media bio, And I know I said not to include, like other media that's referenced you. But if you do have something like, you know, you're on the Forbes list of top blog's for women to follow or something, you know, we worked with Daniela Port, who talks about that all the time in her media bio. So if you've been included in a list like that, um, that would be enough. Another brag worthy. Another way to credential yourself to could be like somebody who you could quote your client or your customer. So something that your customers say about you all the time. Um, who customers say is there? Go to designer when they need that customers call. Or something like that can also be a brag worthy accomplishment. Any other quick pits for the what about, like publications? Like my pictures. My sports photography is which is not with my family photography, but it's been published on sports worlds dot com, which is, you know, website of sports all over the Bay area. Yeah, I think I think you could. I mean, if you're going to be pitching your sports photography, that might be a little more. Yeah. You really wanted to be on point. Yeah, I'm point as much as possible. Okay. Is it worth mentioning eso coast dramatic came from a grad school project. That and now it's a company. So kind of talking about that. Like what that qualification is. Do you hear what he held it so that something actually noticed. You know, one of the things I like to do is actually test my messaging. Um, in real time. So, you know, people talk about this a lot when you hear people talking about their elevator speech. You know, how do I introduce me myself? But you could do this with your bio and your credentials. And how you talk about your product is like what you just did there, like everybody here was like, Oh, cool, that sounds so great. So when you get that reaction, it's the thing to go back and don't know that. Note that because it's all a usually a digital format now it's easy to update. Could update in five minutes could be an evolving document.

Class Description

Getting your product featured in the press is a great way to generate interest in your work and increase sales. In Simple PR: Pitch Your Product, veteran PR expert Brigitte Lyons will detail the process you can use to get press mentions for your work, again and again.

Brigitte is a PR professional with more than 10 years in the field. In this class, she’ll help you develop a plan for getting your product covered in blogs, podcasts, magazines, on TV, and elsewhere. You’ll uncover the range of PR opportunities for promotion without relying on a professional PR service to help you do it. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Connect with the bloggers and editors who most want to hear from you
  • Write headline-worthy product descriptions
  • Craft a pitch-perfect email submission
  • Research and track the media you want to reach

Brigitte will also offer tips on how to produce a digital media kit, write a short and snappy media bio, and take better photos of your products.

Simple PR: Pitch Your Product will help you develop a foundation for pitching to media you can use again and again.

Class Materials

bonus material

Brigitte Lyons - Blogger Outreach Bootcamp.pdf

Brigitte Lyons - Brigittes Fave Free Media Resources.pdf

Brigitte Lyons - Magazine Contact Cheat Sheet.pdf

Brigitte Lyons - Pitches That Worked.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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NAtalie CArlson

This class is SO HELPFUL! How can there not be other reviews? Very clear and specific insights for marketing and media kits. This was done in 2015 - would be great to bring her back and do a 2021 version, although this info seems timeless and still worth watching. Merci, Bridgitte!