Timing is everything: pitching for the holidays

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October is always the time of year when we, as consumers, start thinking about the holidays coming in the next few months. Fall has finally arrived, temperatures are dropping, and the leaves are changing color. As the excitement for the upcoming season fills our mind, we often forget that now is the most important time to get focused, and get critical work done in order to reap the rewards in the upcoming holiday season. 

You’re still in luck: digital is normally more widely read, and it’s not too late to be considered for any online gift guides. 

Why should I pitch during the holidays at all? 

Consumers start looking for their gifts as early as mid-summer and 53% of them research before making a purchase. Your media exposure and visibility becomes very important in the months that they’re looking and narrowing down their decisions because they’re open and receptive to trying new products and brands. Features lend to the legitimacy they are looking for in the pages of the content they consume, in both print and digital. While it’s too late to pitch for print, you’re still in luck: digital is normally more widely read, and it’s not too late to be considered for any online gift guides. 

Why should I pitch editors now when the holidays are still two-three months away? 

We have said this many times here at FACTEUR, but timing is so very critical to success. If you don’t start now, you are going to be too late in most cases. 

Editors for large publications, especially publications with print editions, begin work on their holiday edition in July. Work slows down for them in December, and their work is finalized way before then. So, if you’re sending your press mailers to editors in November, they probably already gave your spot to someone someone who sent theirs now – in early October. 

Editors are getting hundreds of pitches, what will make me stand out, and ultimately get featured in their holiday content?

A good thing to keep in mind when pitching is that you have something that editors need or want (or don’t know they need or want yet). Their sites have to be full of the best or most interesting products and services, and they’re working extra hard to bring the most relevant and best of the best to their audience. Sounds a lot like what you’ve got, doesn't it?! 

We recently discussed in the office that it is more effective to come to the editor with a solution rather than a question when pitching. If you have the perfect fit for that one very specific gift for that one very specific person- let them know! Consider adding phrases like “this would be perfect to include in a gift guide for your boss,” rather than “would this fit into any of your gift guides?” You may spark even more ideas for their coverage, making them more likely to include you, rather than just sifting through another bland pitch. 

The most important thing to remember is that it is better to be early than anything else, and fashionably late only applies to socialites arriving at a party. As much as we love a good party, as publicists and editors we have to be on top of the game for the best results. 

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Five key components to include in your 2020 marketing plan

Marketing Plan Template 2020

If you’re a business owner or an entrepreneur, chances are you want sales and recognition year round – and therefore, you’re going to want to be marketing your business year round, as well. If instead you treat your campaigns like a quick fix solution to a problem, that’s all you’re going to get. But if you’re looking to build, sustain, or elevate your brand over time, grow your business genuinely, attract customers who will buy, and increase your revenue, then you need to develop a plan.

A plan sets us up for success first and foremost by establishing and managing expectations for the year ahead and eliminates distraction. It turns ideas into action and helps us be proactive with the work we are doing. And research has shown that when we have a plan, we are more likely to achieve our goals.

Here are five key areas your marketing plan must include:

1. A vision

The first thing we need to consider when putting our plan together is the mission of our brand, business, or organization. The mission states why your brand exists. It’s usually surrounding the ways you serve your audience. Your vision, on the other hand, is your higher purpose. What do you want to ultimately be or strive for?

The goal of our plan is to make our vision a reality. To do this, we need a strategy that articulates when and where we’ll utilize our resources to meet our goals, and the tactics are the actual how-tos when it comes to seeing your strategy through.

2. A summary of who is your target audience

If you’re speaking to everyone, you’re speaking to no one. Drill down to the specifics of who this marketing plan is going to be targeted towards. If you don’t know, then start with a survey of your e-mail newsletter list, your social media audience, and past customers or clients.

3. Goals + Objectives

You can pull this list from your business plan if you have one. If not, don’t worry. Take some time to think - where do you want your business to be a year from now? Two years? Five? 10? It’s so important to have your goals down on paper. Make them real and make them specific. For example, are your goals budget or sales related? Write them down. Is one of your goals to build your e-mail subscriber list or garner press coverage? (It should be!) Write that down, too.

4. Strategies and tactics

Our strategies should answer the question of how will we achieve our goals and objectives this year. Think about various campaigns you can launch, events you can produce, or services you might want to provide.

Tactics support these strategies. If you’re launching a campaign, you’re likely going to want to pitch the news to certain publications with enough time to maximize timing to garner attention and sell tickets, for example. You could also be your own media and develop guest blog posts and video and photo content.

5. Budget considerations

A plan should conclude with a page for the various resources you might need to budget. A few common ones for marketing and PR you’ll need to consider include photo shoots, mailing product, hiring any consultants, and so forth. Laying out this wish list will help you for your planning for the year ahead.

Are you ready to get started on your 2020 marketing plan?

Well guess what – we’ve made it easier with our ready-to-go template! In our 33-page file, you'll receive an organized, presentation-ready template for you to document your plan strategically and chronologically through the year. In addition to analysis exercises to nail down your goals and objectives – and what you need to do to achieve them – this template also includes space for a yearlong strategies summary and month-to-month plan. Specific sections of this template are customizable and include a summary, situation analysis, target audiences, goals & objectives, strategies, accompanying tactics, measurement milestones, and budget considerations.

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? (We kinda do!) 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 2: 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!

PIN THIS!

PIN THIS!

Five reasons The DIY PR Project might be right for you

If you follow FACTEUR PR on social media, you’ve probably seen us posting about The DIY PR Project, a digital public relations workshop for the small business owner on a budget. Have you considered enrolling but felt hesitant about whether or not it’s the right fit? Here are five reasons why The DIY PR Project might be perfect for you.

You’re on a tight budget (or have nearly no budget to devote to media relations efforts).

Let’s face it — while you’re establishing your brand, every dollar you put toward your business matters. It’s easy to have a rigid filter on what you spend your money on, so we want to make this course as financially accessible as possible! The five-part course, complete with workshop modules, workbooks, 24-hour response time from our team and more, costs $397 total. If you register before July 31, you can take $100.00 off your package as an early bird member. With the discount, that comes to $59.40 a week, where you have access to rapid accountability and motivation that will help you stay on track and on budget. The cost of hiring a publicist will land you anywhere from $50-$250 an hour.

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You’re a solopreneur.

Doing this alone can be a challenge! Thankfully, the project includes videos created by Reena S. Goodwin, the founder of FACTEUR PR. After working in the field for more than a decade, you can feel confident that you’re in good hands when it comes to learning from a reputable source. When you sign up for the course, you also gain access to a private Facebook group with other members of the project. You’ll have a safe space to ask and answer questions while forming a community in the meantime.

You’re in charge of marketing for a brand and want to learn PR, too.

We love that you’re interested in expanding your knowledge! While a job in marketing lends itself well to understanding public relations, there are definitely differences between the concentrations, and we’re here to help break them down. With our week-by-week set-up, you’ll get public-relations-centered content delivered to you every seven days, allowing you to take your time downloading information and putting it to action in each corresponding workbook. This intentional setup allows time to review the content at your own pace and establish any questions you may have. Coming from a marketing background, we’re sure you’ll bring valuable and unique insight to our group of DIY PR Project students!

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You’re interested in outsourcing PR, but first want to get an idea of how it all works.

There’s no better way to understand something than having hands-on experience. Through our informative and illustrative videos, you’ll get a first-hand look at the ins and outs of public relations work from an experienced professional who has landed coverage for clients in national media outlets like Elle, Forbes, and Refinery29. This workshop will show you how, helping you gain a valuable perspective of the practice of public relations and how the media works, with explanations delivered in simple and accessible format. After learning about the process, you can feel confident making decisions when it comes to next steps for the brand you represent.

You’ve tried to land publicity for your brand in the past and didn’t see results.

It’s challenging to spend lots of time on outreach and feel as if you’ve come up short. And while The DIY PR Project can’t guarantee results (because hey - you still need to do the work and build those relationships!), we can guarantee you’ll learn things you didn’t know before and feel educated and empowered to pitch your brand to the right editors. If you sign up for the optional Pitch Pack Review, we’ll spend time reviewing your workbooks and offer you written, from-the-heart feedback about where to make improvements and go next. And whether your media results are immediate or gradual, you will forever have access to our course materials and updates, with the ability to review them any time and pitch onward!

Interested in learning more and signing up?

The DIY PR Project officially launches on Thursday, August 1. Register by July 31 at save $100 on the course (plus, take $100 off the optional Pitch Pack Review with the code PITCH100 through July 31, too). Cold feet still? You can still sign up anytime after August 1, but just keep in mind the prices will increase at that point.



Here's how having a strong brand helps your marketing

Whether you’ve owned a business or are thinking about starting one, branding that is true to your business identity is a crucial component of attracting your ideal clients. You can have the most extravagant marketing budget, but if your branding falls flat, appears outdated, or just doesn’t live up to the quality of products or services you provide, you might find yourself in a tough position when it comes to selling yourself. When it comes to marketing your brand, your story – verbal, written, and visual – need to be positioned and communicated clearly. While a communications professional can certainly help with messaging and storytelling, your creative assets must line up, too. 

photo: Annie Spratt

photo: Annie Spratt

CONSISTENCY:

In such a visual culture, recognizability really is key, particularly when standing out among your competitors. By drawing client and consumer eyes to a familiar look, you’re bound to have them more easily engaged than if your feed or website was made up of shots of varying quality or appearance. One way to ensure this is by selecting a photographer whose work represents the mood and style of your company. If you’re creating the photos in-house, you can achieve a similar idea by scouting out presets that embody the spirit of your brand. Google works wonders for finding these! The majority of presets will cost money to download, but considering the work a photographer put into creating them and the frequency with which you’ll use them, they’re well worth the investment.

RELIABILITY:

No matter what you’re promoting, beautiful photography will establish a deeper trust in potential consumers. They’ll be able to tell you care about your product — enough to have it captured in its best light by a talented professional. Audiences may be skeptical at first glance, and it’ll help if there is accuracy in how your company is portrayed. More and more, businesses are simplifying their marketing, assuring customers that what they see is what they get. Remember: consumers are increasingly attracted to brands that inspire or support a lifestyle, not just sell a product or service. By creating and sharing content that they can relate to you, your brand is not only attractive but attainable.

AESTHETICISM:

Social media and your website will be a driving force in how your brand is viewed. And let’s be honest, we want it to be gorgeous! The best way to achieve this visually is photography that is not only beautiful to look at, but tells a story and invokes a feeling in the viewer — it might not be apparent right away, but this method will inevitably top the noise of flashy advertisements at the end of the day. The best art directors and photographer know how to communicate clearly without adding unnecessary information their shot.

Above: Herbivore Botanicals is a great example of a strong brand. It not only sells beautiful products in gorgeous packaging, but also celebrates a lifestyle.

COMMUNITY:

Besides the obvious of wanting your brand to look its best, contracting a visual artist, whether a photographer or stylist, will only build your connection to community. They’ll likely be eager to post the work they did for you on their sharing platforms, all the while tagging your company and bringing you extra recognition. In the meantime, you now have a wealth of images you can share for several weeks or months, creating a cohesive feel to your branding while also sharing the photographer’s work to a wider audience. The payoff is twofold, and it will also increase your chances of working with them in the future. By forming a relationship with creatives in your community, you are entrusting someone to know your brand. The more readily they familiarize themselves with it, the better chance they will give it credit.

As a photographer and a marketer, I’ve progressively found it easier to identify someone’s photography without glancing at their username — but you’d be surprised how quickly your clients will be able to do this as well, visual background or not. Brand recognition is totally key! Have fun with the process, instituting a theme of sorts from the start, without letting it box you in. After you have a vision in mind, explaining your hopes to a professional will help solidify your grip on your product or service, while also identifying any holes you might not have noticed prior to your conversation. So: what’re you waiting for? If it’s time to kick start your business, or for a brand refresh, we hope we’ve offered some good reasons why!

 

The DIY PR Project launches August 1

DIY PR

Launches August 1

This summer, 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 access to the community so you can receive thoughtful feedback and answers to questions along the way.

Each week's lesson, 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 week along with the corresponding workbook of the week.

At the end of the five weeks, you’ll walk away with your Brand Pitch Pack, ready with the tools necessary to pitch your brand to the media and a feeling of empowerment that you can secure earned media coverage for your business!

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 nearly three years 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. 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. 

Interested? Here are some important dates to put into your calendar:

May 1: DIY-PR.com goes live with information about the workshop
July 8:
Registration opens
July 31:
Last day to register and save $100
August 1:
The DIY PR Project officially launches. Registrants receive lesson #1.

Ready to learn more? Hop over to DIY-PR.com to sign up for our e-mail list for more information.

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 12: 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 $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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Save this post to pinterest

How a background in journalism can give you an edge in PR and Marketing

Ever since I was a little girl, you could say I’ve loved writing and photography — it started out with my first disposable camera, ramped up with joining a scrapbooking club and culminated in creating “The Powell Times,” my version of our family’s very own newspaper with details about birthdays, field trips and visits to our grandparents’ house. It was the start of being in touch with media, and although I can cite slightly more impressive bylines now, I’ll never forget the smaller-scale creative projects I came up with.

It only made sense to attend Kent State University to get a journalism degree, so in the fall of 2014, I moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio to pursue a career in magazine journalism. Momentarily I considered switching majors, but in my heart, I always knew that reporting, editing and content-creating were the things I was best at. Having one year in post-grad under my belt, it’s wild to see how my eyes have been opened to even more possibilities as a result of this diploma.

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As my relatives would say, journalism is evolving — and I would have to agree. Structurally, media people have to think on their feet to present the news in new ways. Our society, specifically my generation, might respond to online content with more enthusiasm than they would a print publication. Although a sweeping generalization, we have to recognize that information can take on many different forms: an email newsletter, a longform article, a tweet, an Instagram caption, a press release, a broadcast story, a piece of citizen journalism captured on an iPhone. The media landscape is becoming wider and longer and deeper. And so it goes with the job market for those in communications-related fields.

When I graduated college, I never imagined sitting in FACTEUR PR, a PR and marketing studio in Ohio City nine months later, whose founder also has a journalism background. I didn’t think journalism and public relations were polar opposites, but I also wasn’t sure what aligning the two looked like. Today, I can say with confidence I do now! Studying and working with the art of fact for so long (since the days of the high school news magazine) has given me a deeper understanding and appreciation for the public relations “side” of this line of work. Here’s how:

Story ideation:

In almost every writing-intensive class I took, story ideas were the first step to a healthy semester. Some would use whiteboard brainstorming sessions, others would use prompts and others would assign beats to each student. It was always our responsibility to establish the “why,” narrow the “what” and find the “who” willing to help us craft an authentic, fair piece. This was a challenging process! A grade would depend on someone in authority getting back to you with a phone call, email or text, approving your request to meet with them and setting up a time within their oftentimes busy schedule.

I believe in the integrity of this system — it has produced some of the most wonderful stories I have had the pleasure of reporting. But as a trained journalist and an emerging public relations person, I see there’s no harm in letting public relations help guide your pitches. If you’re a journalist who receives an email from a communications person, it’s easy to be wary of their motives: are they selling me something? Are they persuading me to do something? Is this ethical?

If the public relations person is doing their job in a truthful way, they will present you with only the facts, operating as a messenger to inform the journalist about something engaging going on. They will act as an ambassador for a brand, event or organization to not only inform you, but to assist with art, logistics and communication. They act as a liaison from one busy person to another busy person, syncing up calendars, details and email addresses.

I used to get nervous when a public relations person would set up a conference call with me and my subject — now I welcome it! They are there to help things run smoothly, especially in something as complex as a phone conversation, where timing and intonation are key in asking questions and expressing the right message.

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Social Media:

In my photojournalism minor, I was taught photography primarily from the perspective that it would later be joined with an in-print or online news article. While this type of straight-out-of-the-camera photography is essential to the market, there’s something to be said about planned shoots. They serve different purposes, but their heart is the same: to notify you!

Social media, particularly Instagram and all of its mechanisms, has become a great short form way to tell people what’s going on — whether from your publication’s headquarters or on-the-go. There should be no shame in using this platform as a way to get your message across.

What’s phenomenal about social accounts is the adaptability they offer. If the demographic for your product, event or message is the baby boomer generation, it may be more wise to utilize a Facebook post to get the word out. If you’re looking to engage with millennials, Twitter or Instagram might be the preferable route to take. One realization I’ve had since working with trained public relations people is that this practice is not manipulation — it’s communication, and it’s a two-way street. The correct distribution of information is simply important in reaching the greatest number of people with your message you’ve worked hard to put together.

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Messaging:

Timing is everything! Whether you’re a journalist or a public relations professional, it’s important to set and meet deadlines. And when you’re a public relations professional, those deadlines should be created with the journalist in mind.

If you’re pitching to a newspaper journalist, it might be easier to notify them in a more last-minute fashion. Employees of newsrooms are well aware that our communities are constantly telling stories, and their job is to be on high alert for emerging details that will better serve their readers.

However, if you’re interested in pitching to a magazine journalist, a message well in advance will be appreciated. I never knew how real this was until I began working for Ohio Magazine. The Cleveland-based publication, which covers all things Buckeye State, operates on a month-ahead deadline schedule, often researching and writing stories for about two weeks, then fact-checking and finishing stories for the next two. I remember being assigned a piece about holiday lights shows across the state — I was calling people near the beginning of November for information. I felt like it was Christmas time for about two months.

Larger scale publications work even further in advance to create their lookbooks, articles, Q&As and round-ups. If you take a look at the editorial calendars for Better Homes & Gardens, Woman’s Day and Town & Country, you’ll find deadlines for June occur in mid-March. It’s helpful to take a look at these pages, typically available on brands’ websites, to get a better understanding of their pace.

For every single journalist, there are six PR professionals who are at the ready to help guide a story. Having experience now on both sides has definitely offers an edge: insight into how to best collaborate together. We’re excited we get to do that each day at FACTEUR PR.

Are press releases outdated?

are press releases outdated

So much of the work we do as PR professionals is preparation. Long before any media outreach, we are compiling fact sheets, photography, video, biographies, and so forth so that when it's time to pitch, we're prepared with the assets that we know journalists will want to help them with their editorial decisions, researching for an interview, and developing the story itself.

A press release – and moreso a press kit – is often part of this preparatory step. The purpose of the press release is to communicate the details of a special announcement from the source. Press releases are therefore valuable in sharing that information in a quick and concise manner. 

However, the practice of press release distribution can be considered outdated. There are six publicists for every journalist, and each of those journalists is receiving an abundance of sterile press releases to their inboxes every day. Rather than relying on mass distribution to get the word out, we suggest (and practice!) focusing more on personalized pitches to a journalist we know covers the beat. It's absolutely more time consuming, but because relationships are so important in this business, investing the time to build those relationships is of the most importance. Including a link to a press release or an EPK in that personal pitch to learn more makes sure your bases are covered: you've taken the time to develop and suggest a great story angle to the journalist as well as did some of that homework for them by supplying a press release and supplementary information should they need it.

If your end-goal is a story about your business and not just a news brief, I would suggest pitching a journalist a story idea – not just about the brand itself – instead of crafting and disseminating a press release. If you want to create an announcement and share it, use it as part of your pitch; or, create a video announcement and include it in your pitch. That strategy is two-fold: you'll be able to float at the top of an ocean of "For Immediate Release" emails, and you can also use that media on your owned channels, such as your blog, social media, and e-newsletter. 

Want to learn more about how our personal approach to PR can help your earn your brand recognition? Contact us!

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!