publicists

How To Get More Press For Your Brand

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There’s nothing like getting featured in your favorite magazine, blog, podcast. But, it’s not enough to secure press one or two times. In order to gain visibility and maintain it, you need to consistently continue to pitch the media. Stuck on strategy? Here are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to stay in the media.

  1. Understand Media Timelines- Staying in the know is a big part of media outreach. Use editorial calendars to help you plan your product/new service launches so that they are in sync with various story ideas and publications. This helps to position you as an expert and resource to journalists, writers, etc. For example, Essence Magazine’s 2018 media kit will let you know what issue they are working on, when it will be on stands, etc. If you have a beauty product releasing in January, now is the perfect time to pitch editors, put the product on their radar and set yourself up for success with potentially getting a media hit.

2. Know Your Angles- It’s important to know your press angles as they are different for each publication that you pitch. If you are pitching business publications, you want to make sure the story idea has a business related angle, not just your personal story. If you are pitching a story to your local newspaper, etc,you need to include the local tie in as apart of your press angle. To further help with this, write down at least 3-5 potential angles and identify what publications/industries are a fit

3. Be Mindful of Your Schedule + Event Calendar-- When you are preparing to pitch the media, you must consider timing. Most times editors work under deadlines and may need you to be available within a day or two of confirming your interview slot. You must make room in your schedule for unexpected press interviews.

4. Always Follow Up- Following up can either make or break you in the media world. Journalists are often busy on deadline and depending on when you pitch them, your email may fall by the wasteside. This is why you must keep track of who you reach out to, when, and their response time. A typical rule of thumb is following up within 3-5 days of sending your initial email.

3 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Pitching

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We’ve handled publicity campaigns since 2012 and have noticed that entrepreneurs who want to get press for their businesses make 3 common but crucial mistakes that keep them going in circles. Are you guilty of any of these?

1. Pitching and reaching out to the wrong people

2. Not sharing the right story

3. Not having the proper plan in place

These mistakes could have easily been avoided if you knew just a few things.

Before you start pitching, you must get clear on your why and your story.

Publications exist  to tell stories, so you need to make sure that you have something that fits and needs to be told. If you’re wondering how to do that, simply think about why people should be care or be interested. What makes your story different from all the others?

Once you know what story you want to tell, you should create a plan around how you’re going to get the word out.  Without a strategy, it’s easy to remain stagnant and anonymous, and in business that can result in lack of sales, brand partnerships, and visibility

Once you have your strategy in place, you need to create a list of publications that are a fit for your story. Read various articles, pay attention to who the writers are, research their emails.

Then you can create your media pitch based on various industry trends and story ideas of the publications you have researched. This way, you avoid making the mistakes we mentioned earlier and you can start to increase your visibility and brand awareness.


3 Things Google Won't Tell You About Press Campaigns

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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.

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

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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

What To Do When An Editor Rejects You

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So you signed on a new client!!  You’ve spent time researching, creating their PR Plan and developing the pitch. You are now ready to begin the outreach process and book interviews/features. Your media list is in hand and you’ve spent the past week pitching your heart out!

You get excited when you FINALLY get a response from the editor, only to open an email  that says,

“Thanks for sending this over! At this time, we’re going to pass.”

By this being your first round of pitches for this PR campaign, you were really looking forward to your client being featured in this particular outlet, and now, you are CRUSHED!

What should you do now that they have rejected your pitch? Here are 5 steps.

1. Be Polite- Thank them for their time. After all, they took time out to open up and read your email! Ask them to keep you posted on new + upcoming stories in the future

2. Identify The Opportunity For Growth- Check and read over your pitch. Read it back about 2 times and put yourself in the shoes of the editor. Does it sound compelling to you? Is it too long? Is there enough information? Did you highlight all NEWSWORTHY aspects? If you need to make changes, now is the time to do so before you continue outreach to other publications

3. Find A New Angle- Think about the various ways you can pitch your client. Maybe they are a beauty app founded by an African American veteran. That’s at least 4 different angles: Beauty, App (tech), Black Owned, Business and former military personnel. With those angles, that means there are at least 8 different writers you can pitch to.

4. Timing Is Everything-  In pitching, the timing is EVERYTHING. Perhaps you initially pitched the editor at the end of summer when they had previous stories, deadlines, etc. Keep them on your radar, however, don’t continuously pitch them. Wait awhile. Pitch them again at a new quarter when your client creates a new product, launch, etc.

5. Keep The Faith- Media pitching can be a bit frustrating at times because of the passion that you have for your clients and their brand. No matter what you have to keep the faith in your client, their products and most importantly YOUR ABILITIES! You were made for this! You are an amazing publicist and you get better with time!!! Believe in yourself, continue to study your craft and know that you got this!!! Also, visualize your outcome! Make a vision board of placements and keep it on your desk while you work. Watch how things begin to manifest!


4 Must Have Tools For Every PR Girl

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In business, there are different strokes for different folks. In PR, some will argue that all you need is a laptop and a phone to get started. While this is true, living in the digital world makes things a little bit easier when it comes to sending out emails, handling social media, etc. Here are 4 Must Have Tools For Every PR Girl.

1) Right Inbox- This FREE Google Chrome is Extension makes pitching SO MUCH BETTER! It allows you to schedule emails ahead of time. You can set them for 1 hour, 4 hours, tomorrow morning and a specific time. So if you are headed on a secret vacation but still need to crank out work for clients, Right Inbox is your BFF. You can schedule them when you want to and your work for the day is half done. We definitely recommend this tool.

2) Later.com- Our FAVORITE Instagram tool!! With Later.com, all you have to do is go to the website, login with your Instagram credentials, and start scheduling content. You can schedule it on BOTH the mobile app as well as your computer so no matter where you are, posting to Instagram is super convenient. This is FREE up to 30 posts per month! We love Later.com.

3) Canva.com- Canva is BAE, hands down. Whether you use the FREE service or Canva for work, their templates will have you designing like a pro in no time! From flyers to facebook banners and book covers, Canva is your go to for creating graphics on the go, especially when you consistently need to create content and can’t afford a graphic designer. It is DIY friendly and super fun to play around with and see your designs come to life. Get in to it!

4) Zoom.com- Bye Bye Google Hangout! This is the perfect alternative! Zoom is FREE up to 50 attendees and their paid option starts at $14.99 per month. You can meet with clients, staff and host webinars! What’s not to love?


Don’t see your favorite tool listed? Comment down below!


4 Ways To Build A Profitable Brand

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As a publicist, the goal is always to service clients with excellence! Even though you provide PR services to clients and make sure that their business is in front of the masses, you cannot forget that YOUR BUSINESS IS A BRAND. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in client projects that we forget about our own. Here are 4 ways you can build a profitable brand:

  1. Have A Vision- I know you want to be a success and there’s no doubt in my mind that you will be, but the question is HOW? How are you going to be successful and what does that look like to you? Where do you see you business going in the next 90 days? These are questions that definitely need answers. You’re excited about your new business venture, as you should be, but you get over whelmed with all of the goals, demands, expectations, etc. Take a second and breathe. Now let’s start creating your next 90 days. Think about what you REALLY NEED to accomplish first. What’s priority? If you are full time, you need to figure out how you are going to bring in cash flow. Once you’ve organized your priorities and written down the goals you need to reach, create 3 Action Items for each goal. Write the vision and make it plain! It works!

   2. Get Visible- We’ve talked about this before, but TO EXPAND YOUR BRAND, YOU MUST BECOME A THOUGHT LEADER! People do business with people that they like and trust. In order for them to trust you, they have to get to know you, what you do, and how you can help them. Become a contributing writer for blogs such as Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Forbes,etc. Pitch yourself to do interviews and features, share your story about your life and business.

   3. Remain Consistent- For service based businesses, it can be hard to juggle your branding activities and handle client accounts, but you must make it a priority! Whether you decide to blog every Monday, host a Twitter Chat each Friday or get on Periscope daily, you must have a system in place and STICK TO IT! This is how you build a solid fan base, this is how people grow to love you and want to pay you for whatever it is you are selling. Figure out your schedule, make sure you are putting out amazing content and be consistent! People are counting on you to give them what they need to succeed in their businesses and lives. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there

   4. Say Goodbye To Your Competition- The number one mistake that you can make when building your brand and creating a profit, is comparing yourself to other people. It doesn’t matter what you see on Instagram or other social media platforms, everything that glitters is not gold. When you compare yourself to other people, it takes away from your greatness and potential. Entrepreneurship is not easy, no matter who runs the business. Your journey is yours and yours alone. Everyone has their own time, season and place for getting to the next level! It’s up to you to enjoy the journey and trust the process! Your gifts will make room for you!!


5 Ways To Make Money With Your PR Bestie

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There's nothing greater than linking up with your PR Besties! Building a rapport with other publicists allows you to vent, gain reassurance, learn new skills and consistently be inspired to keep moving forward in your PR journey! We absolutely love to see PR Girls link up and wanted to give you 5 Ways To Collaborate and Make Money With Your PR Besties.

1. Work On A Client PR Campaign Together- Let's say all of your clients have been in the beauty industry but you want to tap into film. You sent out the pitch and land your first movie! But now what? You've never worked on a film, have limited contacts and no clue where to start! Then you remember that your PR Bestie SLAYS film publicity campaigns. Call her, make sure she has room on her roster and outsource the campaign to her. This way you are confident in the service that will be provided to the client, you can learn a new skillset and make coins with one of your favorite people. That's what I call a WIN-WIN!

2. Referrals- It's Summer 2017 and business is BOOMING for you and your PR bestie. You just wrapped up a client campaign and are now accepting new clients.  Email or call your PR bestie and ask her if she has any potential clients that she can't take on. If this answer is yes, ask her to refer them to you and give her a percentage/referral fee of the account. Depending on how big the budget is, you may be able to send her residuals each month.

3. Write A Bio or Press Release- Your PR bestie calls you and is in panic mode. Her client needs a press release and bio, but she simply does not have time to do it.  If you know you can deliver on her deadline, start creating the content!

4. Coordinate An Event- It's awards season and your client is headed to the Stellar Awards. Both you and your bestie will be in attendance, so why not create extra cash flow and coordinate a gifting suite, press lunch, meet and greet,etc? This way, you develop a new opportunity for your client to build his/her brand and collaborate and make money in the process. Again, another win-win

5. Host A Workshop- Depending on when your slow seasons are, you may have enough time to focus on your own personal brand (which you should always do, but more on that later).  You can connect with your bestie to host a live or virutal workshop!

What are some other ways you've made money with your PR besties? Comment down below!