PR = Patience Required

Reena-DIYPR4.jpg

There’s a saying saying that goes, "don't compare your Chapter 1 to someone else's Chapter 20."

Whichever way you define success, it's always so important to remember that it does NOT happen overnight. The same thing can be said about publicity. We often hear from potential clients that they are ready to commit to PR and looking for "quick wins." While it's true, news can spread overnight thanks to the Internet and particularly social media, embarking on a PR campaign does not automatically guarantee fast results; in fact, you're technically not guaranteed anything. The ONLY guaranteed method of appearing in the media is through advertising or a sponsored spend. Earned media, just as it's called, is up to editorial decision-making. It's the job of your publicist to counsel you on how to create the best chance for that decision to be a yes. And chances are, he or she is going to have to ask more than once. It comes down to story ideas, budget, relationships, timing, branding, creative assets available, and so much more. That's why we often say patience is an important ingredient of a successful publicity campaign, along with persistence and hard work.

When building a brand, the value of earned media is significantly greater than any other type of media for long lasting awareness and reputation. So while it may take months or even years to land a positive feature story in the New York Times, for example, the payoff is this: you will ALWAYS be able to say "Featured in the New York Times" for as long as you and your business shall live. This is infinitely more valuable than "Featured in an Influencer's Instagram Post" or "Banner Ad Once Seen on the Internet." Yes, influencer relationships and banner ads do have their place in an overall marketing strategy. It’s important to diversify! But remember that if your story is documented, that press is permanent. For anything to live on as long as it does, it's going to take time to get there. But we promise you it's worth it.

How beauty brands can make the most of PR and social media

Photo: beautyheaven.com.au

Photo: beautyheaven.com.au

The world of beauty PR and promotion has changed so rapidly in the last decade. More than ever, social media is as important as all other marketing efforts, and if you aren’t engaging in some form of PR, you are definitely missing out.

So how do you make the most of the opportunities for promotion in the beauty industry?

Where beauty brands once had to be in the glossy pages of a magazine to be considered successful and get noticed, brands are now more eager to create buzz on social media in order to increase their image and brand awareness before anything else. Oftentimes, features in publications and other print media will stem from a good social media strategy.

Creating a Brand Voice and Story

Regardless of where your media coverage is coming from, all of your promotional efforts should fall under the same brand voice and story. As it is for every brand, even outside of the beauty industry, continuity and evidence of thoughtfulness are what will truly legitimize your efforts.

Brands may find it helpful to write down exactly what their mission is, what tone they want to adopt, and a create a definitive mission statement. What makes your product more worthy than the thousands of other beauty products that have the same function? Create a story that will make editors want to cover your product over another. If necessary, create your own new category of beauty, focused on a unique aspect of your product.

Instagram Scrolling Doubles as Research

When you find yourself inevitably scrolling through Instagram during a slump in the middle of the day (we’ve all been there!) take notice of what is trending and on the rise in the beauty industry. Trends and ‘the next big thing’ change nearly every few days, so stay on top of what’s hot and what’s not. Brands may also find it helpful to follow MUAs (makeup artists), influential and indie magazine editors, and more traditional influencers who dabble in beauty.

You may be thinking, yes, scrolling through instagram is fun, but how is that helping me get the word out about my brand? The answer is simply because you’re staying well informed! Half of the heavy lifting we do in publicity is in the preparation. As soon as you see a trending topic that fits your brand while scrolling, you can send a story idea, products, and offer yourself up as a source for editors, influencers, or celebs before it’s published. The time and relevance of your efforts can lead to landing a coveted spot in their publication or on their social channels!

Make use of Advocacy

As a beauty brand, you can’t miss out on advocacy if you want to differentiate your brand to stand out in the extremely over-saturated market.

Photo: Kaymeenmcadams, instagram

Photo: Kaymeenmcadams, instagram

Advocacy comes in all different forms, especially in the beauty industry. Advocates don't necessarily have to be an ‘influencer’ that you would find on Instagram, although those aren’t a bad choice. Send your products to industry insiders, like MUAs, who will include your product in their kit and use it on their clients. Editors of magazines might be getting married, or always post about their puffy eye struggles (which, you will know about because of your Instagram research!). If you have a product that fits their needs, send it! If it works, they will usually share it with their coworkers and friends, and at the best, share it on their social media channels.

You may also find it beneficial to partner with someone to be your advocate, such as a MUA or hair stylist. Some artists will sign partnerships with beauty brands and agree to exclusively use their products on clients. This is a good way to get the word out, ensure user-generated content, and have more control over your coverage.

Many brands already make use of this fun and effective strategy. Makeup artist Kaylee McAdams frequently partners with many makeup brands around award season. She executes a full face makeup look using only the products from her sponsored brand and then shares some of the behind the scenes process to her 52K followers. Her sponsorship with Chanel created a buzzworthy pink glow on actress Sadie Sink for the 2018 Golden Globes.

Regardless of whether it’s in your budget to pay for advocacy, ensuring it is as organic as possible is key! Beauty is an investment, and people place immense value in their products, so try to let advocacy happen as authentically as possible, even when money is calling the shots.

Create Buzz

In the modern beauty industry, creating significant buzz around products is ultimately what will get you the best PR. Product launches and announcements have become essential, creative, and highly-anticipated social media campaigns with every aspect planned out beforehand. If you want to capture that traditional media coverage, creating anticipation and hosting experiences that will make journalists want to write about you can be your ticket to perfectly captivating content.

Photo: blushlondon.co.uk

Photo: blushlondon.co.uk

In 2015, famed ‘mother’ of makeup, Pat McGrath sent models down the Prada SS16 runway with startlingly bright gold lips that instantly created an online frenzy in the beauty world. After creating plenty of buzz about the gold looks by sharing images of her work on her social channels, McGrath announced that the gold pigment was to be her first official product in what is now the billion dollar company, Pat McGrath Labs. Just days later, she partnered with Instagram to record her launch event for Gold 001 in Paris. The feeling of FOMO was very real for anyone who wasn’t reporting about it, and the event gathered so much media attention and coverage that the Gold 001 sold out in just days.

Your brand might not be able to send models down a haute couture runway wearing your products as a covert and masterful unveiling, but the sentiment and motivation are the same for any beauty brand. Anticipation and good social media planning, as well as creativity, are essential to creating that buzz, and obtaining the best PR for your brand.

ROI, ROI, and more ROI

At the end of the day what ultimately matters is ROI (return on investment, for those who don’t know!). If you’re spending more on your marketing budget than you end up with in sales, you probably aren’t hitting the right beauty niche for your brand, and are most likely losing out on other, more valuable opportunities. If you find yourself in this situation, re-evaluate your mission, and the unique aspects of your product. Try to find what tactics will make you stand out amongst the competition, and get creative!

FACTEUR PR is proud to partner with a number of beauty, health, and wellness brands on everything social media and PR, having secured earned media coverage from a number of top industry publications, such as Allure, Refinery29, PopSugar and more. Interested in learning about how we can help? Contact us!

March content calendar: ideas for social media and PR

Who can believe it's almost March already? While you're gearing up for spring, don't overlook this important month, chock full 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.

March is...

  • Women's History Month

  • National Nutrition Month

  • National Peanut Month

  • National Craft Month

  • Music in Our Schools Month

Daily opportunities include...

March 1: Peanut Butter Lover's Day
March 3: National Day of Unplugging
March 7: National Cereal Day
March 8: International Women's Day
March 11: Daylight Savings Time Begins
March 13: National Napping Day
March 17: St. Patrick's Day
March 20: First Day of Spring
March 21: National French Bread Day
March 23: National Puppy Day
March 23: National Chia Day
March 26: National Spinach Day
March 28: Singer Lady Gaga's birthday (had to throw that one in!)

Want more content ideas for the year? 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 Downloads 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 less than $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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FACTEUR PR welcomes Kelly Powell to its team

Kelly Powell FACTEUR

We are so excited to welcome our new Communications Assistant, Kelly Powell, to the FACTEUR PR team! Kelly Powell is a journalist and photographer located in Kent, Ohio. Alongside her position at FACTEUR PR, she works part-time as the editorial assistant for Ohio Magazine and is a freelance wedding, engagement and portrait photographer. She is a lover of all things media- and graphic-related and is probably signed up for more email newsletters than most.

A graduate of Kent State University’s Magazine Journalism and Photojournalism programs, she loves spending time between Kent and Cleveland for their access to coffee shops, restaurants, art museums and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Kelly is excited to work at FACTEUR in the heart of Ohio City and looks forward to supporting its clients both at home and from afar.

Kelly will join Reena and Hannah on all day-to-day client relations and efforts with a focus on public relations, social media, and content creation. Please join us in welcoming her to the team! Leave a comment below, and feel free to send her an email. Plus, stay tuned for some blogs and other great content from Kelly throughout the coming months here on the FACTEUR blog! 

How to know if your business is ready for PR

Photo: Marina Claire Photography

Photo: Marina Claire Photography

"How do you know if you're ready for PR?" This is a question we often hear from potential clients. They know they want to gain exposure for their brand, but what does it take? I addressed this very question with Modern CLE on Sunday’s Behind the Story event at the FACTEUR PR office, and wanted to share the insight with our readers here, too.

The fact of the matter is, you always need PR. You always want people saying great things about your brand, so you need to initiate that by being a voice for your brand. PR is more than just media relations. It’s events, it’s customer service, it’s managing how you interact with people when they walk through your door, it’s the messaging and imaging you deliver through social media. Now the question of when to know if you need to hire a PR pro to increase your exposure boils down to a couple things. 

1. Do you have a strong brand? If the look and feel is consistent, your mission and values are apparent, you know exactly who your audience is, the tone and voice of your content is in line with who you are as a brand, and the business itself is operating as it should, you’re going to be ready for communicate all of that clearly.

2. Can you afford it? When you’re hiring a PR person, you are paying for their time, not for a media placement like in advertising. To give an example, a full-page ad in Martha Stewart Living is $233,000. An article will only cost you the time of the publicist, which includes everything from researching the opportunity, creating and compiling creative assets, putting together a press kit or materials, story ideation, sending samples, pitching, securing, follow-up, interview coordination, reporting, and so forth. However, the important thing to note is that editorial coverage is never a guarantee and not always on your schedule like advertising, but arguably its value is higher because you have a reputable third party endorsing or covering your brand. 

3. Can you handle increased recognition? It’s not always an immediate correlation that PR leads to revenue. Rather, PR elevates reputation, which can absolutely lead to greater revenue. So make sure your business can scale to meet the demands.

At FACTEUR PR, we offer scalable public relations services, from coaching to committed engagements. If you have any questions at all, drop a comment below or contact us!

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.

FACTEUR PR welcomes Emily Kopchak to its team

Emily Kopchak FACTEUR Intern

We are so excited to welcome our fall intern, Emily Kopchak to the FACTEUR PR team! Emily is a senior Fashion Merchandising major at Kent State University with minors in Fashion Media and Visual Communication Design. Through her education, she has had the opportunity to complete a summer semester in NYC and a fall semester abroad in Florence, Italy. At Kent State, she is also an honors student and the Chief Administrative Officer of the National Retail Federation Student Association chapter on campus. Emily is interested in the creative processes fashion and non-fashion brands utilize to connect with their consumers. Her other passions include exploring in nature and finding the best doughnuts in the world.

Emily will join Hannah Krisinski through December - please join us in welcoming her to the team! Leave a comment below, and feel free to send her an email. Plus, stay tuned for some blogs and other great content from Emily and Hannah throughout the coming months here on the FACTEUR blog! 

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.

 

Social media and content ideas for the month of March

Who can believe it's almost March already? While you're gearing up for spring, don't overlook this important month, chock full 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.

March is...

  • Women's History Month

  • National Nutrition Month

  • National Peanut Month

  • National Craft Month

  • Music in Our Schools Month

Daily opportunities include...

March 1: Peanut Butter Lover's Day
March 3: National Day of Unplugging
March 7: National Cereal Day
March 8: International Women's Day
March 11: Daylight Savings Time Begins
March 13: National Napping Day
March 17: St. Patrick's Day
March 20: First Day of Spring
March 21: National French Bread Day
March 23: National Puppy Day
March 23: National Chia Day
March 26: National Spinach Day
March 28: Singer Lady Gaga's birthday (had to throw that one in!)

Want more content ideas for the year? 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 Downloads 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 less than $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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How to pitch an event to local media

how to pitch an event to local media.jpg

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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