So you want to get your work out there and into a magazine? Journalist Tracy Ramsden of SkribeLondon shares a few tricks that will help make you newsworthy…
The first thing any journalist looking for a maker will do is a Google search. They will almost always be looking for something specific rather than a generic ‘something new’. Can you second guess what they might be looking for before they even know it? What time of year is it? What’s on-trend? What’s big in the news? How does your product tap into the current zeitgeist and why do journalists need to know about it, right now? What can you pitch them that they haven’t already been pitched before?
Featured image: Shooting Star Necklace by Ellymental
Having a strong presence on Folksy, Twitter and Instagram will help you get noticed, but the truth is journalists simply don’t have time to trawl through, waiting for something unique to jump out at them. It’s your job to let them know you exist and why they need to know about your product. Saying hello on Twitter isn’t enough: what’s your story? How does it fit into specific sections of that particular magazine? How is it different to every other product featured? Why is it relevant, right now, to the readers of that magazine, over any other title? Who are you and what can you share about yourself or your business that we haven’t read before? What’s your USP?
It’s not enough to just say ‘here I am!’ We need to know why you’re special. Sell yourself. If you can convince a journalist or editor that your product is worth shouting about, then customers will believe it’s worth it too. Emailing an editor or journalist is the easy bit, but getting them to actually read and respond to your email involves a lot of groundwork. Find your story first, then share it with the world.
How to pitch your products and your story to journalists
Here are the questions you should be asking yourself before you make that pitch…
Find your story.
Ask yourself, why/how did I come up with my business idea? What’s the funniest/most unusual thing that happened on my business journey? How have my products changed people’s lives? How has my business changed my life for the better?
Theme your products wisely.
Is your bunting only great for weddings? Or do you have a beautiful range of versions for baby showers, festivals, hen parties, Christmas, corporate events? Showcase your variety and you’ll make yourself press-worthy at multiple times of year, not just wedding season.
Make your product on-trend.
Check out the colours and prints in current catwalk collections and tap into the zeitgeist. Is floral a trend? What’s the Pantone colour of the year? Is cycling the hobby of the moment? Now, what do you have in your shop that ties in with this? There, you’re on-trend!
Read the newspapers.
What’s everyone talking about? Cats, a big new movie, the 1920s, the weather, California, the 90s revival? Do you have (or can you make) a product that fits a relevant theme or illustrates a current discussion point? Now you’re newsworthy.
It’s your job to put your USP out there for journalists to find. Perhaps a journalist is writing about the 1990s music revival, if so that would stand a seller like When The Music’s Over in good stead, or if they’re writing about feminism, a seller like Imogen George Jewellery is only a Folksy search away.
Put your hand up.
Once you’ve found your story, give yourself a head start by adding it to the seller bio on your Folksy shop or in the product description, and let Folksy know (you can either email email@example.com or send a press release to Folksy HQ) so they can recommend you when they get press requests.
Oh and one last tip…
We’ll let you into a little secret: search #journorequest on Twitter. You’ll find all sorts of bonkers requests on there but if you fit the bill, there’s your press opportunity right there.
SkribeLondon provides industry-led bespoke packages to help your business get more press. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for prices, follow SkribeLondon on Facebook for info on our pop-up events, or on Twitter for tricks and tips.