Case Study: How this brand broke through a saturated market to earn 250 million media impressions

The project

Oak & Honey Events is an earth-friendly event planning company based in Northeast Ohio. In addition to planning weddings and nonprofit special events, the brand also produces its annual Recycled Wedding Boutique, a flea-market of sorts for couples to sell their used wedding wears and wares while alleviating some of the carbon footprints created while planning events of a large scale.

 a press kit helps tell your brand story.

a press kit helps tell your brand story.

The plan

FACTEUR PR created a yearlong integrated Public Relations plan and executed the plan through targeted media outreach over a period of six months. We created a dynamic Electronic Press Kit (above), an educational and actionable infographic, and developed thoughtful pitches to both local and national media outlets. How did our pitches stand out in a competitive field such as weddings and event planning? Our strategy heavily revolved around positioning the company’s founder as an expert in the field of sustainable event planning. 

The RESULTS (so far!)

More than 250 million media impressions across media outlets including Martha Stewart Weddings, Good Housekeeping, Brit + Co, Brides, Bridal Guide, and locally on Cleveland.com and the Akron-Beacon Journal.

What the client had to say:

“I started working with FACTEUR last year. I previously was using a national PR group that works with many vendors in the wedding industry. It was very cookie cutter and was not customized to our specialty, so I was looking to make a change. When I started working with Reena she had done her research and presented a PR packet customized to us. We have had a lot more PR coverage than previously not only locally but nationally as well. I was so happy after the first three months I signed for another three to help continue with our PR plan. I can not speak more highly of her and the team. They really go the extra step to make sure you get the bang for your buck.”   -Melanie Tindell, Oak & Honey Events


FACTEUR PR is a boutique studio devoted to public relations, social media, content marketing and digital creative services for emerging and established brands and businesses. Interested in collaborating? Contact us

Recap: DIY PR Happy Hour

Last week we hosted our first DIY PR Happy Hour! The event, which sold-out two weeks in advance of it taking place, was held on Wednesday, September 26.

We welcomed 16 local professionals to our shared studio space in Ohio City to meet and teach them how to get their hands dirty with their own PR efforts.

We opened up the night with some mingling and munchies! This was a chance for everyone to exercise that one skill we all know we need: networking. Meeting other professionals in the same or similar career areas as yourself present invaluable connections and recognition for any future collaboration. Everyone hit it off, and we can’t wait to see what future relationships blossom from this!

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After we got some food and wine in, the learning began. During our session, Reena answered the these questions:

  • What is the difference between PR and Marketing?

  • Why is PR important and how does it help build revenue?

  • What assets do I need to prepare before sending my pitch?

  • How do I find the outlets and reporters that would be interested in my brand?

  • What are some affordable resources to help me DIY PR?

DIY PR Reena

We kicked things off with some comprehensive definitions of the different aspects of PR and the differences between public relations and marketing. As most of our guests are what we like to call solopreneurs, it becomes important to distinguish what kinds of media they can get, and how. Reena outlined the importance of paid, earned, shared, and owned media and divulged how each intersects and is used to promote a brand in the press.

In addition to making the connection to press, you need to have something to offer them. Everyone at FACTEUR wholeheartedly believes in the power of prepping for publicity, and that includes building a press kit. We shared and discussed some press kits that we recently developed for clients which showed off their brand and gave background on their history and offerings. Not only does this give a reporter an easy and beautiful run-down of exactly what you’re all about, but they also are handy to have for others as well. (Think investors, advertisers, and partners.) If you want a better idea of exactly what goes into a press kit, check out our blog post on the Top 10 Things You Need in a Press Kit.

Reena then shared her 12 Steps to DIY PR, a highlight of DIY PR Happy Hour. These steps are the reason most of our attendees came out for the event, and we made it easy to understand the process of prepping for and procuring your own media coverage. The steps are a simplified version of what we do here at FACTEUR every day, and we think everyone will find them comprehensive and easy to follow, with patience and perseverance.

From one attendee: “Thank you for hosting your DIY PR Happy Hour last week. I truly did not know what to expect from this event but your presentation and the attendees truly blew me away. I've never experienced a group of people willing to create a community of professionals who were so open and willing to help others so quickly. I am still on a high of inspiration from this event.”

If you, or someone you know, want to get your hands on these steps, and/or don’t have the budget to outsource publicity services for your brand, DIY PR is for you. Keep an eye out for more events like this one hosted by FACTEUR. In the meantime, be sure not to miss our upcoming Marketing Planning Brunch on November 3!

We hope to see everyone again soon, and to see some new faces at our next event!

Photos c/o Paige Moag

Tips to ignite excitement around a product launch: what we learned from Fashion Week

It is always exciting to share new products with your consumers. Along with all of the effort put into external promotion, however, we can’t forget about creating content for our own platforms. As we always say at FACTEUR PR, “own your story to share your story!”

Want a tip for approaching your social media in a potentially different way? Treat the drop of a new item like an event! Who wouldn’t want more customer anticipation building up to the release?

The concept:

A good source of inspiration for this kind of strategy is in the fashion industry, specifically how luxury brands engage followers during the release of their collections each season at Fashion Week. An easy way to look at the shared content is in three parts: before, during, and after the event. Instagram, and particularly Instagram Stories, are becoming increasingly important and utilized for brand engagement. Here are some examples of what to look for and share.

Luxury brands are often known for being the least transparent in the industry, so any glimpse into the process is widely welcomed. The desire for transparency is growing in consumers at all market segments, so it is a good thing for small businesses to keep in mind as well!

Pre-Show:

  • Instagram Story Takeover (example: a show attendee shares the process of getting ready for the show.)

  • Small Detail Posts (example: sneak peeks of the show venue, inspirational quotes or images that contributed to the designs, and glances at the production process catch the attention of followers.)

  • Attendance List (example: if someone cool is showing up or is otherwise involved, let viewers know.)

During the Show:

  • A Garment in Motion (example: choosing a few of the strongest or most unique looks from the collection works well when shown on the model in video or photo form.)

  • The Finale Video (example: even a fraction of the moment when all of the garments can be seen at once provides the observer with a good grasp on elements of the collection.)

Post-Show:

  • Attendees’ Responses (example: a candid interview occurs to capture the emotional responses of a variety of viewers.)

  • Edited Visuals (example: the sharing of final images and/or videos of the looks occurs after they have been sorted and edited to meet the company’s level of quality and aesthetic.)

An elegantly applicable brand to observe is that of Dior, one that is often acknowledged for their extensive social media content. On September 24, the luxury fashion house showed their Spring/Summer 2019 RTW collection in Paris. Its Instagram account utilized the story feature throughout the day. Instead of following the pre-show preparation of a well-known influencer, they featured a fresh-faced model describing each part of the fashion show she experienced (shown above). Luxury brands are often known for being the least transparent in the industry, so any glimpse into the process is widely welcomed. The desire for transparency is growing in consumers at all market segments, so it is a good thing for small businesses to keep in mind as well!

How to apply it:

Each of the kinds of content described can be translated and pared down to your specific products or services before, during, and after a launch. Post a sneak peek of the cool packaging or a video talking through your sources of inspiration. After the product is released, maintain its new position in the market. Though your business likely does not have the ability to make the volume of content that a brand such as Dior has, sharing a handful of quality visuals in the following days is already a significant reminder to your audience! At FACTEUR PR, we can’t say enough about the importance of continuing on after a big brand moment has happened. Keeping up public relations both online and off is a constant endeavor, so keep it fresh and creative!

Looking for assistance with your public relations and social media strategy ahead of your brand or product launch? We can help! Head to our Contact page to get started!

Instagram Story images c/o @dior. Cover image c/o Cleo Glover.

Social media and story ideas for September

September content ideas

September is nearly here, which means summer is almost over (sadly)! But who else thinks fall is the best season? The approaching season has no shortage of great events that can serve as an inspirational source for blogging, and September is no exception. These ideas are also applicable to your social media and media relations pitches. To get you started, here are just a few opportunities this month to align your brand or business with some already note-worthy happenings online.

September is...

  • Better Breakfast Month
  • Whole Grains Month
  • Yoga Month
  • Healthy Aging Month
  • Self Improvement Month
  • Classical Music Month

Daily opportunities include...

September 3: Labor Day
September 6: National Read a Book Day
September 18: National Cheeseburger Day
September 21: International Day of Peace
September 22: First Day of Fall
September 25: One Hit Wonder Day
September 26: National Pancake Day
September 27: Women's Health & Fitness Day
September 28: Drink Beer Day
September 29: National Coffee Day
 

Want more content ideas for the year? These are just a few of the ones we've identified! We have developed four editorial content calendars specifically for the food & drink, arts & hobbies, health & wellness, and lifestyle industries. You can find them under the Instant Resources tab here on the FACTEUR website (and showcased below). We've pulled together social media, blogging, and PR opportunities based on monthly and daily holidays, hashtags, and high profile events that are related to each of those industries. Also included is a list of story ideas to get you started with developing your editorial plan, as well as space to brainstorm your own ideas. We're offering each calendar for $9, and if you buy all four with our Blogger Bundle, you basically get one free! Plus, every time we update the calendars, we'll make sure you'll get the newest iteration (at no extra charge, of course). Happy creating!

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We want to meet you (and teach you)! Join us for DIY Happy Hour on September 26

DIY PR Happy Hour Cleveland

A significant part of what I do at FACTEUR PR is work one-on-one with clients in helping them land media coverage for their brands, as well as create and execute comprehensive social media and content marketing strategies. To say I love my job is an immense understatement, and that's really because I love the clients we get to work alongside! 

That said, I certainly understand that not every one of our dream clients has the budget to be able to afford outsourcing retainer services. We often see a lot of business owners or solopreneurs manage their own marketing efforts, like social media and blogging, as best as they can. Empowered by technology, we have the ability to be our own marketers. 

However, where few entrepreneurs dare go is proactively pitching their brand to the press, be it digital, broadcast, influencer or print. And I totally get that. Media relations is an art and a science in relationship building and storytelling, and it's certainly no easy task and not for the faint at heart. That's why people hire me to do it for them! 

Publicity is often a missing critical component of driving awareness and revenue for many brands. Nevertheless, with a little perseverance and a lot of patience, it's possible to be your own publicist. Whether you’re already well-established in the marketplace, or you're an emerging small business, a creative solopreneur, or a professional who wants to up a skill set, public and media relations help tell your story to the right audiences and add credibility.

In an effort to give folks a little insight into how PR works, I'm personally hosting our first DIY PR Happy Hour on Wednesday, September 26, where I'll reveal tips and advice I personally use for prepping for and procuring publicity. This 90-minute intimate evening event will kick-off with 25 minutes of meeting and mingling, followed by a 45-minute presentation, and 20 minutes of Q&A sure to leave you feeling empowered and inspired to make publicity happen for you and your brand! 

If you've ever asked yourself...

What is the difference between PR and Marketing?

Why is PR important and how does it help build revenue?

What assets do I need to prepare before sending my pitch?

How do I find the outlets and reporters that would be interested in my brand?

What are some affordable resources to help me DIY PR?

...then this event is for you!

Oh, and we'll also have some wines, snacks + sweets, and non-alcoholic bevvies as well! 

Here's the thing: seating is limited as we are hosting this event at our shared studio space in Ohio City (2905 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH), so snagging your tickets sooner than later is strongly recommended! Tickets are $29 through September 5 and will increase to $35 from September 5-26 if they are still available. All taxes and fees are included in the ticket price listed.

Hit the button below to register now, and if you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!

I look so forward to meeting you and helping support your business development with this not-to-miss opportunity! 

Digital content and story ideas for May

May digital content ideas

Welcome to the month of May! If you're in the northern hemisphere, you are probably welcoming some consistently warmer weather, which always inspires us to create new things. May has no shortage of great events that can serve as an inspirational source for blogging. These ideas are also applicable to your social media and media relations pitches. To get you started, here are just a few opportunities this month to align your brand or business with some already note-worthy happenings online.

May is...

  • Vegan Month
  • National Peanut Butter Lovers Month
  • National Water Safety Month
  • World Stroke Month
  • National Bike Month
  • National Photograph Month
  • National Songwriting Month

Daily opportunities include...

May 2: National Lemonade Day
May 4: National Star Wars Day
May 5: Cinco De Mayo
May 5: Kentucky Derby
May 7: National Packaging Design Day
May 11: National Foam Rolling Day
May 13: Mother's Day
May 18: International Museum Day
May 20: Bike to Work Day
May 25: National Wine Day
May 27: International Jazz Day
May 28: National Hamburger Day
May 31: National Macaroon Day

Want more content ideas for the year? These are just a few of the ones we've identified! We have developed four editorial content calendars specifically for the food & drink, arts & hobbies, health & wellness, and lifestyle industries. You can find them under the Instant Resources tab here on the FACTEUR website (and showcased below). We've pulled together social media, blogging, and PR opportunities based on monthly and daily holidays, hashtags, and high profile events that are related to each of those industries. Also included is a list of story ideas to get you started with developing your editorial plan, as well as space to brainstorm your own ideas. We're offering each calendar for $10, and if you buy all four with our Blogger Bundle, you basically get one free! Plus, every time we update the calendars, we'll make sure you'll get the newest iteration (at no extra charge, of course). Happy creating!

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The DIY PR Project: Prep for and procure your own publicity

DIY PR

May 3-31, 2018

This spring FACTEUR PR is launching a new online program for small business owners, creative entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to understand how to prep for and procure their own publicity: The DIY Project: Prep For & Procure Your Own Publicity.

Over the course of five weeks, virtual attendees will have the opportunity to learn the basics of public and media relations, from identifying your target audiences and outlets, to putting together a thoughtful plan, creating a press kit, perfecting your pitch, and more!

The DIY PR Project is different than any other PR or marketing workshop online. Part class and part consulting, you'll not only have access to educational videos and helpful workbooks, but also a period of thoughtful review and feedback on your efforts so that you can complete the workshop feeling confident to move ahead and do the work! Because of this special set-up, registration will be limited so we can offer each attendee ample time to review their coursework. 

Part class and part consulting, you'll not only have access to educational videos and helpful workbooks, but also a period of thoughtful review and feedback on your efforts so that you can complete the workshop feeling confident to move ahead and do the work!

Each week's workshop, led by FACTEUR PR Founder and Director, Reena S. Goodwin, will be brought to you in the comfort of your own home or office. The links to the workshop videos are delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday in May at 6 a.m. EST along with the corresponding workbook of the week. Later that afternoon, Reena will jump online at 3:30 p.m. EST to answer your questions about the week's lesson or workbooks in the private Facebook group. Between sessions, you can network and compare notes with other course attendees, as well as ask Reena any follow-up questions you might have on the course material.

At the end of the five weeks, you'll have a week to re-watch any of the videos and complete your five workbooks, which together ultimately create your Pitch Pack. You'll submit your Pitch Pack to Reena for review, and after a 2-3 week review period, you'll receive written feedback on your Pitch Pack so that you move ahead on your own PR efforts feeling assured!

Now, you may be wondering, "is the intention of this program to eliminate the need for a publicist?" The answer is "no way!" I have been working in this field for 13 years. There is no way I can share all there is to know about PR in five weeks, because nobody knows it all. We are always still learning as this industry is always evolving. 

Nevertheless, in the 18 months since launching FACTEUR PR, we have identified a segment of business owners who either cannot currently afford a full-time or contract publicist, or want to expand the skillset of their in-house team to also handle media relations. For less than the cost of hiring a publicist for a week, we're offering the chance to obtain a comprehensive understanding and the tools to be able to succeed at PR on your own time, anytime. 

What this course will not be able to provide you with is this: relationships. That is your homework during and long after this course is complete. Building relationships with media and influencers comes with time, and while we will cover how to find the right ones to cover your brand, developing genuine relationships with those people is up to you.

Ready to learn more? Hop over to DIY-PR.com for the full schedule and to register. 

Hot off the presses: recent client news

recent client news

It's been a busy winter season here at FACTEUR - and for good reason! From USA Today to Food & Wine, we've been helping our clients land stories in national, regional, and local outlets. All together, that's 73 million eyeballs -- not counting social media hits! -- on FACTEUR client brands and businesses in one month alone. Take a look at the list below! 

Client: The Flying Fig
Industry: Food & Drink, Restaurants
Story: "50 Female Chefs in 50 States"
Outlet: USA Today
Timing: March 2018
Impressions: 1 million each day
Preview: Chef Karen Small has owned Cleveland's The Flying Fig for almost two decades, infusing sustainable agriculture from small farms and local food artisans into her menu. Read the full story.

Client: Oak & Honey Events
Industry: Weddings, Event Planning
Story: "5 Wedding Professionals Using Sustainable Practices"
Outlet: Brides.com
Timing: March 2018
Impressions: 4 million each month
Preview: Melanie Tindell, founder of Oak + Honey, is an expert in sustainable event planning practices. “I was working as an interior designer and doing some non-profit event planning on the side...During her first few years as a wedding planner, she was shocked by how much waste she was seeing. Read the full story.

Client: Heidi Robb
Industry: Food & Drink, Styling
Story: "How to Become a Food Stylist"
Outlet: Food & Wine
Timing: February 2018
Impressions: 27 million each month
Preview: According to Heidi Robb, a food stylist who got her start with Food Network star Michael Symon, food styling requires more than an eye for aesthetics. “A stylist needs to be well-versed in the manner with which food and ingredients behave in all stages, from sourcing raw ingredients to preparation techniques to how foods will hold and for how long to preserve maximum freshness and beauty,” she says. Read the full story.

Client: Oak & Honey Events
Industry: Weddings, Event Planning
Story: "25 Interactive Food Station Ideas"
Outlet: Bridal Guide
Timing: February 2018
Impressions: 4 million each month
Preview: Pretzels with dipping sauces – like mustard, nacho cheese, and caramel – are sure to delight your guests. It's also super easy to create an eye-catching display; event planner Oak & Honey Events created this simple display with plywood, copper pipes, and metal hooks. Read the full story.

Client: The Flying Fig
Industry: Food & Drink, Restaurants
Story: "Midwest Traveler: Northeast Ohio's Old and New Taste Traditions"
Outlet: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Timing: February 2018
Impressions: 3 million each month
Preview: Karen Small is the godmother of the Cleveland farm-to-table scene, using lessons learned from her Italian immigrant grandparents and the decade she spent raising sheep and cows and canning for the winter on a back-to-the-land homestead. Read the full story.

Client: Oak & Honey Events
Industry: Weddings, Event Planning
Story: "11 Creative Ways to Give Your Wedding a Personal Touch"
Outlet: Cleveland.com
Timing: February 2018
Impressions: 5 million each month
Preview: Northeast Ohio event planner Melanie Tindell wants everyone to walk away from a wedding thinking about how it perfectly encapsulates exactly what makes each couple special. As the owner of Oak and Honey Events, she’s always looking for ways to add one-of-a-kind elements to every big day. And often times, it’s the smallest details that make the biggest impact. Read the full story.

 

Friday Q&A: Your PR and marketing questions answered

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This new year is off to a busy start, but we want to make sure we take the time to give back with a bit of what we know and have learned! Every Friday on the @FACTEURPR Instagram Stories, we answer a PR or marketing question you've asked. That includes media relations, advertising, social media, influencer engagement, blogging, content marketing, planning, pitching, SEO, etc. The videos will stay live on Stories for 24 hours, and we will add the most recent ones to our Instagram page Highlights. 

To ask a question, send us an email, drop a comment below or leave a comment or DM us on Instagram.  

We look forward to connecting with you and hope you find this series valuable. And as always, we're always here to help with your specific public relations, social media, content marketing, and digital creative needs! Contact us here.

How to pitch an event to local media

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Every Friday on Instagram, we are answering your marketing and communications-related questions on Stories! That includes topics such as media relations, advertising, social media, influencer relations, blogging, content marketing, planning, pitching, SEO, and more. This week's Q&A notes are below, and be sure to follow @FACTEURPR on Instagram to see our past and present Q&As, too!

Q: What is the best way to pitch your event to local media?

A: Before you pitch your event to the media, consider these three pre-pitch points:

  • What makes my event unique?
  • Who would be interested in my event?
  • Why is this relevant right now?

From there, you'll be able to identify if there could be media interest and where to start pitching, which leads us to our first step.

1. Find the right reporters or editors at your local publications or stations who would cover an event like yours.

If you're hosting a fashion event, find the style editor. If it's a restaurant opening, find the food writer or arts and entertainment editor. Follow he or she on Twitter and Instagram, read their latest stories, engage with them online so by the time you reach out to them, it's not necessarily the first time they are hearing from you. 

2. Make contact with enough lead time.

Email is always a good way to pitch a story, but keep in mind, journalists get a boatload of email. Reach out the first time about 4-6 weeks before your event. Give your email a subject line that sounds like a headline to make it compelling enough to open. Make sure your email is as concise and to the point as possible. I always say "lead with your lead." Keep the most important information towards the beginning - it's a good idea to include the three pre-pitch points I included before step one. You can insert a press release or a JPEG of your invitation, too. I suggest an invitation because editors are very visual and will most likely want to see pictures accompanying text, which is what they will give their readers, too. 

3. Follow up once, maybe twice. 

If you don't hear back after sending two emails, you may assume the reporter is either not interested or didn't have time to write you back. If you follow-up twice with no response, cease your outreach - you don't want to come off as annoying. Depending on the event, if you did reach out to a local TV show producer and didn't hear back, try contacting the news desk and see if it can be a news segment instead of a program feature. 

4. Thank them. 

Journalists juggle a lot. Make an impression and go out of your way to send a thoughtful thank you email or better yet, a thank you card if they covered or attended your event. And there's also no better show of your appreciation than sharing the story and thanking the writer in a Tweet or Facebook post. 

5. Prepare for next time.

If you didn't receive a response or if the media wasn't interested this go-around, don't be discouraged. There could be a number of reasons- the editor didn't see a fit, the publication recently covered an event like this, resources didn't allow for coverage of the event, the timing wasn't right, etc. Be sure to take the time to evaluate the who's/what's/why's to the event you're planning (see the first point about pre-pitching). And if your first or last event was a smashing success, use that in your next pitch. Remember: media relations is an ongoing process! Good luck!

Do you have a marketing and communications related question you'd like to see answered? Share it in the comments below, send an email, or head to our Instagram page and send us a direct message!

Have additional tips to share? Leave them in the comments below!

 

Need more assistance? FACTEUR is here to help. We would love to work with you on a tailored public relations or integrated marketing and communications strategy for your brand and business. From planning to pitching, and consulting to creating, we're as hands on as you need. Learn more here.

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