PR can be a bit tricky, but if you do the research and preparation you can ‘do it yourself.’ Most mom small business owners lack a huge budget to put toward a public relations firm. However, coverage in print media, online, and on television can be invaluable to your overall business image. And, luckily for you, it is something that can be accomplished without a large budget.
There are many journalists and other writers who are actively searching for people like you to feature. If you aren’t already signed up for HARO, I suggest you quickly do so. The service emails queries and you can easily scan to see if your business or product would make a good match. Simply reply via email with your pitch. It’s like a straight shot directly to writers and other influencers.
In addition to HARO, there are many other query services and media lists that you can inspect for media placements that would be a good match for you. If there is a blog or publication that stands out to you as the perfect audience for your message, a little investigative work can usually get you their contact information. The key here is relevance. Be sure that you do your due diligence by researching the outlet so that you can approach them in a way that is complementary to their brand and not offensive.
So, now you know who you want to pitch to, how do you go about it? With pitching and press release writing coverage can never be guaranteed. However, I have put together some tips to help increase your chances of being featured.
Timing is Everything!
If you see a HARO query, you know they are still looking. Otherwise, it’s wise to pitch early. Many magazines work sixth months in advance of printing, newspapers work on average 2 months in advance and TV, radio and bloggers generally work a month or more ahead.
It's important to be ahead of the game. If your pitch has something to do with a launch, or a holiday or something else that his date specific, you can’t wait until the last minute to pitch. Take into consideration their deadlines and don’t expect them to bend over backward to rush something into publication for you. That, likely won’t happen. But rather, if you are respectful and working in advance, your chances of coverage are much better.
If you need help organizing your pitches, so you look like a pro, be sure to grab our 34-page pitching packet here! It will help you track, systemize, and streamline your efforts for maximum success!
Make sure you aren’t pitching your baby apparel to a technology publication. Save yourself the embarrassment and only pitch to relevant and appropriate outlets. Pitching something completely irrelevant is not only embarrassing to you but it’s also disrespectful and offensive to the publication. They are not going to be overly kind to someone who isn’t kind to them. It is of utmost importance to spend your energy working with outlets that are appropriate, relevant and attainable. Pay attention to the types of brands that they are featuring and see how you align. Can you offer something unique to their audience? Tell them why.
Related Content: 6 Essential Tips for Getting Your Pitch Accepted
Dust Off Your Press Kit.
Now is a perfect time to put that press kit to good use. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your company, your products and what you have to offer. It’s never a bad idea to include some high-resolution images that are ready for publication! While a press kit may seem outdated or old-school, it can be a valuable tool. Now, everything is digital and it’s much easier to deliver a full package without printing, packaging, mailing, etc. Consider creating an introduction email that features links to bios, images, product descriptions, catalogs, etc.
Related Content: Bloggers, Do You Need a Media Kit?
Make Yourself Stand Out!
If you have a celebrity endorsement, or media sighting of them in/with your product, use that in your pitch. If you are donating a portion of sales to charity, mention that! If your products have been picked up by a chain of retail stores, tell them. Make sure that your pitch illustrates why their audience would be interested in your business. In order to be featured, there needs to be a reason why you are newsworthy. This isn’t a time to be modest or humble. Instead, it’s a time to toot your own horn and draw attention to why you and your products are fabulous.
Don’t Forget to Follow Up.
Just like you would follow up after a job interview, don’t be afraid to follow up after a pitch. A friendly e-mail reminding them of what you sent could make a big difference. As always, there are no guarantees, but if you present yourself as professional and easy to work with you can’t hurt your chances. Be sure to thank them for their time and for their consideration. Offer to answer any questions they may have or send samples if appropriate. Flexibility and aiming to accommodate them is a great strategy to keep in the forefront of your mind.
Good luck and have fun with it! The passion you have for your business is sure to shine through! Market Mommy is always available to help. Feel free to contact us with your questions!
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Originally published August 14, 2012. Content updated May 21, 2019.
Dawn Berryman is the founder and owner of MarketMommy.com and Market Mommy:: The Blog, online marketing resources for mom entrepreneurs. Market Mommy shows moms how and where to market their businesses. She holds a B.A. from Indiana University in English, communications, and journalism and has worked in the marketing/communications field since 2002. She resides in rural Ohio with her husband, three children, and their Wheaten Terrier. Dawn has operated an online business since 2006 and has worked from home full-time since 2017. For more information, please see: Market Mommy.