Would you like to know how to get your work featured in more newspapers and magazines? Do you look at all the craft sellers and designers featured in glossy gift guides and wonder how they got spotted? Folksy shop owner Kat Dibbet a former journalist and PR officer explains how to get started in this guest post.
HEY you! Yes you, in the sunglasses! Are you thinking about Christmas press coverage yet?
Well if not, you should be. It may seem early, but believe it or not, many magazines are already hard at work on their Christmas gift guides that will hit the shelves on November. However, that means a little bit of forward planning now could reap you big sales rewards come December.
How to get more Press Coverage for your Handmade Goods
First things first – do your research! Create a list of which magazines you’d like to be included in and read each one carefully – if your photography style, price range etc matches their usual features you have more chance of being included. Then look at who compiles the guides or writes the features – a little bit of Googling should produce an email address for you to add into your mailing list.
If you just do one thing, make sure you have great photography – you won’t be included without it (and while you’re at it, you might as well take some Valentine-themed photos now as well, as prep for those gift guides will start in the next couple of months!)
Look at the sorts of backgrounds the titles you want to be featured in use – are they plain white, or styled with accessories? Can you show your item as it would be used? Make sure the resulting images are high enough resolution for magazines (300 dpi) and photo file names are clear with the name of your shop and item RRP.
How to Pitch to the Press
Ready? It’s time to do the scary part – getting in touch with journalists.
Few people are more precious about their time than a hack on deadline. That means email, don’t ring. Keep it short and snappy. Editors don’t have the time to read a 500-word spiel about you, and are more likely to hit delete than read to the end.
A couple of lines about your shop’s unique selling point and your contact details should they want more information is plenty.
As well as the consumer magazines, befriend your local newspaper. The fact that you’re local and have your own business and you’re on their patch will make you “newsworthy”. A short pitch to the news or features editor with a release about you attached will likely reap rewards.
Tweet and blog about your items – no-one is going to come and find you if you’re sitting quietly in the corner. An insider tip is the #journorequest hashtag on Twitter. This is where PRs send out their ideas, and journalists put requests for help with stories they are working on at the moment. Use the tag in your own tweets about your products for the former, and monitor what others are saying to pick up opportunities to be featured.
Another good plan is to email the editorial assistants on the magazines you’d like to be included in and ask if you can be added to call in lists. These are lists of upcoming features that section editors will be looking for images for.
Online Magazines and Newspapers
If you do find you’ve left it too late, don’t forget about online versions of titles – they have shorter lead times – and if you are included, make sure to ask for a link in the article to your shop.
Once you have been featured, use it to create even more buzz about your brand. Add a press cuttings section to your blog, and share any online links via social media.
Kat Dibbits is a jewellery maker (www.madewithlove.folksy.com) and former journalist-turned-PR officer. Her Folksy shop has been featured by Mirror Online, Country Living, the BBC, Lancashire Life, the Manchester Evening News and others.
Featured Image – Newspaper Print Earrings by Blureco on Folksy
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