How To Craft A Story The Press Will Care About

217112_LindseyIG_03a_800x800_042318 (1).jpg

Okay so you’ve decided to take the leap! You are ready to take your brand to the next level and activate a press campaign. You have a popping website, your Instagram looks clean and you know that you provide an amazing product for your client.  Now, it’s time to reach out to the media and get featured!

You’ve seen a million people get featured on podcasts, magazines,etc. It can’t be that hard, right? WRONG. Public relations is all about RELATIONSHIP BUILDING, being an asset to journalists, writers, producers, etc. In order for you to be an asset/valuable resource, you have to develop a story that the press will care about.  Here’s how:

  1. Pay attention to what they write about- Just because someone writes for Essence, that doesn’t mean that they will write about YOU! Each editor/writer has their own beat/industry that they cover. Someone that is a beauty writer is not going to care about your new tech app unless it is beauty related. So before you press send on that email, be sure that you are paying attention to the writer and the stories they’ve featured in the past. Ask yourself the following questions,

Have they covered this before?

Does this seem like something that they would be interested in?

Why would it be interesting to them?

How am I positioning myself as a thought leader and asset by providing them with this story line.


2. It’s all about New News-  No one wants to continuously talk about the same old thing. After a while, it gets boring right? It’s the same thing with crafting your brand story. Sure, your competition may have just been featured for a similar product, but perhaps you have a different viewpoint. Here’s the thing, there is nothing new under the sun. It is all about how you position yourself. So for instance, if I am a makeup artist that just created a new vegan eyeshadow pallette, as I am preparing to pitch myself to the media, I am going to focus on reasons why I created my palette (for the sake of this example, let’s say I suffered from rashes using MAC/Sephora make up) and it being a timely story, (my pallette will be released Summer 2018) This will be of interest to the press because


  1. You are pitching to editors, writers who cover similar stories

  2. Your product is new/has just been released

  3. You are providing them with information that their audience needs


3. If at first you don’t succeed, try again- Let’s face it, you may not always get it right on the first try. Pitching to the press is about relationships and also trial and error. Sometimes in order to figure out what people will care about, you have to figure out what they don’t care about first. And this takes time. You may want to start with one set of outlets first ie podcasts, bloggers, etc and work your way up. This way, you have time to build upon your story, create and maximize current press opportunities and connect with bigger outlets all at the same time. Following up is key when it comes to creating rapport, getting featured in the press and establishing yourself in your industry


3 Things Google Won't Tell You About Press Campaigns

217112_LindseyIG_01_800x800_042018.jpg

A press campaign is a series of activities that are strategically planned to help a company and/business increase awareness and exposure. Sure, you can research Google about the components that are involved like press releases, media pitches, sponsorship decks, etc. It will even let you know that you need to identify your audience, decide on press angles and learn how to evaluate your success metrics. While all of this is important information, there are a few other things that you need to when making the decision to implement a press campaign for your brand.


  1. How To Prepare for The Pressure- Getting featured in the media is an amazing privilege; it helps to position your brand in the marketplace, increase your influence in your industry and aligns you among other thought leaders. While all of these things are key to growing your business, landing major interviews in various publications, television shows, etc can definitely add pressure (in a good way of course). Here’s what I mean- when you are preparing to pitch the media, you are not in control of the responses that you receive and when you receive them. For instance, when we work with clients, the goal is to get them 1-3 placements per week, which at minimum means that the client will have at minimum 4 press opportunities. This all sounds fun until you’ve forgotten to clear your schedule, you misread emails and are not prepared for the interview even after you’ve been given the talking points. As an entrepreneur, you must remember to take time out and get organized within your business. That means learning how to juggle a team, your own clients/customers and also being prepared for the unexpected to come while taking it all in stride.

  2. Press Campaigns Are Subject To Change Direction At Any Time- You may have developed certain press angles for your brand and you may have identified the various products/services that you want to highlight, but that does not mean that they are the end all be all for your campaign. Once you start pitching, you may find that you need to switch up the angles because no one is responding to your emails and/or they are deciding to pass on the story. If you are just starting out with little to no press, you may need to switch up your efforts from media pitching to creating content and activities that will capture attention. You have to give the media something to talk about and that may mean coordinating a launch event for your product, collaborating with a competitor, etc. There is not a one fits all approach when it comes to Press Campaigns. What worked for one person may not work for you.

  3. How Daunting The Tasks Are- Press campaigns are not always full of glitz and glam. To execute a successful PR campaign, it takes a ton of research, compiling lists, revising pitches and press releases, connecting with journalists, and follow up. Sometimes opportunities are given last minute and sometimes interviews, stories, etc are pulled. It takes hard work, knowing the ends and outs of the PR industry, and a true passion to secure results for your business and brand. Last but not least, it takes time! Be realistic with the goals that you and/or your publicist set.

Love, A PR Girl: Milan Mobley- U Management PR

Milan Mobley.PNG


When did you decide that the PR industry was for you?

My freshmen year in college, I became the public relations coordinator for the freshmen class executive board. After successfully working on a few PR campaigns and events I fell in love.

What inspired you to start your agency?

After applying to over 100 jobs pre and post graduation from undergrad I was fed up. Needing to meet drastic criteria such as 10 years of work experience and a masters degree, which I was entering into in the fall but the work experience I didn't have I had just finished school. So instead of being depressed or feeling sorry for myself, I started my agency. Granted I had the government job that I had been at for years, but it wasn't my passion, it wasn't what I received my degree or getting ready to receive my master's degree in. I always knew I wanted to start my own agency, but not as early as 21, I imagined 25; but God had different plans.

Give us a glimpse of your day to day life as a publicist?

Normally I'll have about 4-5 discovery calls a day, my work day starts at 10 am and ends at 7 pm. Throughout the day I work on different client assignments. They can vary from social media clean-up, pitching to the media, securing media placements and sponsorships. I can also have meetings outside of phone calls, events to attend. On even better days, I can be taking flights to clients for one-day meetings or I can be in another state for a big event for a client to ensure red carpet management is going smoothly. The life of a publicist you never know!

What is some of the best advice you have been given?

I have given a lot of advice to Public Relations students, clients, and aspiring publicist. I always tell them to meet their consumers at the door, don't waste your time where your consumer is not.


Gain a lot of experience through internships in the industry you want to work under, don't waste your time hopping from job to job and internship to internships that will not help you overall.  Lastly, go out and network, never wait for the opportunity to come to you.

Name your top 3 PR campaigns to date?

Former NFL Wide Recieve Youth Camp securing local media and over eleven top-tier sponsorships.

Achieving several top-tier Brand ambassador deals and securing a spot as a model in the top BET Award Weekend Fashion show for a client.

Helping increase a client's sales by turning their followers into consumers through new innovative social media strategies.

Words every publicist should live by?

"Pitching is a habit"


3 Mistakes People Make When Media Pitching

4 ways to connect withjournalists.png

As we’ve stated before, media pitching is both an art and a science. It’s about being positioned at the right place and the right time for maximum exposure for your brand, (or your client’s brand). Whether you are a newbie publicist or trying to DIY, there are a few things you must know when it comes to media pitching.


1. Pitching to the WRONG Editor-  Public relations and securing placement is all about being strategic. Different editors, writers, reporter, etc cover different beats. Some focus on business/corportations, some focus on entrepreneurship/lifestyle brands. Prior to outreach, you must determine the category/beat that your brand is a fit for. Keep in mind your story angle to help you figure out which editor/writer would be best to reach out. If you are still unsure, send them a quick note asking them if they would be interested in covering your story. More than likely, they will introduce you to the appropriate contact.

2. Your Subject Line is TOO BORING- In order to capture the media’s attention, you must have an attention grabbing subject line! It has to excite the editor enough to make them want to open your email. For instance, if you are pitching a hair extension company, think about what makes the company different from their competition. If they have a special gala for Breast Cancer every year, your subject line may be: How This Beauty Brand Is Making A Difference For Women Battling Breast Cancer. It gives them an idea of what the story is about and intrigues them to learn more.

3. You don’t FOLLOW UP ENOUGH- In pitching the media, just like all things business wise, the key is in the follow up. As a rule of thumb, follow up with editors three times max. So you may pitch them on January 1st for an upcoming Valentine’s Day story; if you don’t get a response, follow up on the January 15th and again on the 20th. Each time you follow up, give the editors NEW INFORMATION. Ask them if they are interested in doing a review or product feature. Be sure to research the current stories they have written about. That way, you can tie in your product/service and they know you are familiar with their work.

The next time you activate a PR campaign, keep these tips in mind for media outreach.


4 Ways To Connect With Journalists

connect with journalists.PNG

Public relations is all about building and maintaining relationships. At the end of the day, editors, writers and reporters are (or at least they should be),  every PR girls best friend. In order to get your clients featured in a magazine, podcast or on television, you must identify the appropiate angle/segment and the right editor.


One of the biggest reasons you may not be receiving a response on your media pitch is because you are not talking to the right person. As I have said before, we are now in a digital age. That means that information is available to us with the click of a button. Researching and compiling a media list of potential outlets that may be interested in your clients story gets you one step closer to being featured.


Here are 4 ways you can connect with journalists:

  1. Email Introduction- Pay attention to your PR friends and their social media. See what bloggers and editors are covering their clients. Ask them to send an email introduction with you and the prospective person. Never be afraid to use your resources.

   2. Get Engaged- Follow them on social media. Take note of what they tweet about, take note of the stories that they share on Instagram. Don’t try to pitch them right away, but engage in conversation. Figure out what you have in common. Remember, the goal is to build a RELATIONSHIP.


3. Set A Date- Once you have established a semi-rapport, reach out to them directly. Invite them to your client’s upcoming event- not to cover/pitch, but to simply attend. This will give them a taste of what it’s like to attend an event coordinated by your firm/business. Or simply invite them to their favorite restaurant (on you of course) for a quick chat. Once the date is set, don’t forget to bring them a small token of appreciate for their time including but not limited to a journal, a book written by their favorite author, gift card, etc. You don’t have to break the bank on this but you definitely need to ensure that you value their time and willingness to join you.


4. Meet & Greet- Is their blog/publication having an event? If so, this is your time to show up and show out! Put on your best dress for the occasion and get ready to make an impression. Attending industry events are always great ways for you to expand your network, press rolodex and meet prospective clients. Face to face interaction gives them the opportunity to see that you are more than a name behind a computer screen and will give a human touch to your work.

Did you enjoy these tips? Comment down below and tell us some of your favorite ways to connect with journalists.


How To Identify Your Why + Develop Press Angles

In order to create and execute an effective PR campaign, you must understand the fundamentals i.e. how to identify your why, develop key messages a media pitch, etc.

Creating the ultimate PR plan requires you to think outside of the box, be creative and focus on the important aspects of your brand. Before you can begin to craft a media pitch or develop your media list. You must first identify your why in business.

Think about why a media outlet would be interested in featuring you? What do you have going on that's relevant? Why would they be interested in your story?

So, you want to focus on what inspired you to start and your target audience.  Think about why you are attracting the target audience that you have and you what it is you have to offer them. Identifying your why gives a clear angle of exactly what you are going to pitch to  various media outlets and how you are going to pitch it to them.


Think about what problem you help your core audience solve? Why do they need you?  Even if you feel like you haven’t had that much success in business,YOU ARE STILL NEEDED!

People need your products and services and creating your PR plan will help bring visibility to your business (which equals more awareness and potential customers).

For example, let’s say you're just starting out with your lip-gloss company and you have started it because your daughter had an allergic reaction to some lip balm she purchased from the drugstore. That’s your why and apart of your brand story! So when you develop your media pitch, one press angle you could use is: 9 Year Old Starts Lip Gloss Company After Suffering Allergic Reaction.


And from there, you can expand your angles depending on the publications that you are pitching. But remember, it all starts with identifying your why and researching what messages resonate with your audience.


5 Things You Can Do While Waiting On Your Next Media Interview

5 things you can do while waiting on your next press hit.png

Like we always say, pitching is both an art and a science. It takes time to craft the right pitch, for the right person at the right time. So when you land an interview or feature, the excitement is through the roof, right? Getting featured in print and sometimes online publications have a lead  time of 3-4 months. For example, if you want to be featured in Essence’s March Issue, you will need to pitch them in December, no later than around January 15th or so. This means that if you secure 3-5 print press opportunities for your client (or yourself), then you will have to wait 2-3 months for the story to hit stands.

While you are waiting on your press hits, here are a few things you can do to continue to increase visibility and brand awareness.

  1. Assess Your Press Goals- Think about your press goals now that you have secured a few of them.  Are your key messages the same? What are the next steps to garnering more press? Are you creating a new product/service? What outlets are you still wanting to target? Assessing your PR goals will help set the tone for the next phase of your campaign.

  2. Pitch Other Publications- Don’t get too comfortable with the features that you have previously secured. Remember, you are only as good as your latest interview. You must be consistent in your publicity efforts. Reach out to other publications that you think may be interested in your brand.

  3. Update Your Press Kit + Brand Materials- Your media kit is key to building relationships with potential sponsors and investors. While you are waiting on your next press clippings, be sure to update your media kit. It needs to include all of your interviews and featured and reflect the latest look of your brand. Also, make sure your visuals ie photos, social media platforms and websites are updated with your press/media coverage.

  4. Collaborate With Influencers- If you have a beauty brand, you can collaborate with influencers by having a specific YouTuber or Instagram create their own cosmetics line under your name. Or if you have a book, you can reach out to various influencers who are well known thought leaders in your industry to do virtual book tours, reviews, etc.

  5. Host An Event- Events are always great ways to bring together key players and potential customers. Take some time and plan out your next event, whether it is a pop up shop, or a panel discussion, an event for your brand is another way for you to leverage press, invite bloggers/local media and add to your media kit

How To Secure A Brand Ambassador For Your Business

secure brand ambassador.PNG

So you’ve created the hottest cosmetics line, your packaging is on point and your website is absolutely stunning. Sure, you’ve even gotten a few press hits, but in order to take to the next level, increase your brand awareness and visibiliity, you know it’s time for a Brand Ambassador. But, what’s the first step? Who should you choose?

Here are 4 tips to help you secure a Brand Ambassador For Your Business:

  1. Focus on YOU- Think about your mission. What celebrity or influencer really embodies your core values? Don’t just pick someone because they have a huge following because that doesn’t mean that their following will translate into potential customers and/or sales. You want to choose someone who: a.) isn’t already working with your competition or someone similar to your industry, b.) is open to collaboration opportunities and can commit your Brand Ambassador Requirements. Create a list of 15-35 potential ambassadors and create a pitch for outreach.

2. Create Your Brand Ambassador Deck- This deck can be created in Canva. It should be around 5-7 pages. In the deck, you will include information about your company, founder, demographics and last but not least, the Brand Ambassador benefits. You need to decide what you are giving your Ambassador in exchange for collaborating with you. For example, you can give them free product every month + a percentage of affiliate sales using a special code.  Depending on who you are reaching out to, you may need to adjust the benefits according tho their needs and best interest.


3. Be Persistent- The outreach process can be daunting but you must be persistent. Again, depending on who you are reaching out to and their schedule, it could be awhile before you get a response. Think strategically. It may be best to start with your local radio/television personality and once you have run a solid campaign with them as your Brand Ambassador, you can use it as a case study to book a bigger celeb/influencer

   4. Protect Yourself + Keep Your Word- Once you secure your first Brand Ambassador, be sure to send a contract outlining all the details, dates they will receive product, how many times you want them to post on social media, etc. Last but certainly not least, make sure you are honoring your end of the deal. Each time you send product, provide them with a tracking number, require signature, etc. Make sure you provide them with all social media handles as this will assist in growing your following as well.

How To Develop Your Press Plan

HOW TODEVELOP YOURPRESS PLAN.png

So as a business owner, it’s your goal to increase, revenue, impact and brand awareness, right? Well how do you expect to do that if know one knows you exist?

One of the best ways to market and go your brand is to: GET IN THE PRESS. Before you get all excited about the outlets that you want to get featured in, you MUST develop your press plan! It is your road map to S. media success.

Here are a few tips below to help DIY + activate a PR Campaign:

  1. Think about your objective- What is the overall goal you want to accomplish? Are you starting a PR campaign to garner sales for a book launch? Do you want to invite influencers to your event? Once you determine your objective, that will help you figure out who you need to target and what outlets are a fit for your campaign.

  2. Figure out your strategy- What methods are you going to use in order to fufill your objective? Are you going to pitch to the local press and bloggers only? Do you need to connect with social media influencers and print journalists? Write out 3-5 strategies that will help you accomplish your goals. These strategies could include: developing a press release, creating a media list, researching the top 10 people within your industry and their methods, etc.

  3. Describe the people that you want to reach during your campaign- Who is in your target audience? What age are they, where do they like to hang out? Why are they a fit for your product/service? These are all questions that you must think about prior to beginning outreach. You have to be CRYSTAL CLEAR on who your core audience is for this particular campaign. Depending on what you are offering, your target audience will be different for outlets and influencers. Ex: a female owned beauty app has at least 3 target audience: tech, beauty and women owned companies.

  4. Who can help you share your story?- Write out the targeted outlets that are a fit for your brand. Identify the top 20-35 outlets and create a media list with contact information, including email addresses, phone numbers and the office address.  We will share more on this next week

HOW TO GET THE MEDIA TO SAY YES TO YOUR MEDIA PITCH

So, you’ve created your PR Plan, have all of the visuals/photos created and the website is perfect. You have your media list developed and now you are ready to pitch. But, wait! Before you press the SEND button on that email, let’s review a few things first.

Keep in mind that pitching to the media is an art. It takes time, good energy and a strategic approach.

Here are 4 ways to get the media to say Yes To Your Pitch:

  1. Personalize Each Pitch According To The Writer/Editor- Writers/Editors are EXTREMELY busy. They have deadlines to meet, events to attend and of course, news, to report. No matter what the beat is, every industry is constantly buzzing with new trends, celebrity tie-ins, updated reports and more. If you want to  secure press in a timely manner, it is crucial for you show that you’ve done your homework- the very first time you pitch. It’s not enough to say: “Hi Marianne” and then go into your pitch. Compliment the writer on their latest pitch, ask what they are currently working on and let them know how your client is a fit. Make sure it’s CLEAR that you know who they are, what they like to cover and what they are interested in.

2. Ask For What You Want- Focus on your overall goal for outreach. Do you want a feature or interview? Do you want to be featured on their online news segment? When you are pitching, let the writer know how you’d like to work with them and the publication. Again, it’s important to be specific and do your research. Before you pitch and ask for the feature, make their job EASY. For example, if you are pitching for a local TV segment, include the name of the segment, 3-5 talking points, why the audience would be interested and you/your client’s reel.  Editors/writers have enough on their plates, you want to be a valuable resource/liaison, show them that you are an asset to their job. Have all materials including the press kit, photos, bio, etc on hand, stay ready so you don’t have to scramble and get ready.


3.) Following Up Is Key- Most times, you won’t get the yes you are looking for the first time you pitch, so it is important for you to follow up with the key outlets you want to reach. Do not follow up with the same pitch. Instead, ask if it is something that they are interested in. Pay attention to the stories that they have written during the time that you pitched them and follow up with how your business/client is a fit and/or how you can add a different perspective to the story line.

    4.) Check The Submission Guidelines- This may seem like a simple step, but it is one that people often overlook. Every outlet, especially those that are digital have certain guidelines on how to pitch them. You must also look at the editorial calendar to assist you in developing press angles that are in alignment with the outlet themes, media coverage and more. You can also create a press calendar for your business/client(s) based on the editorial calendar as well.