By Meghan Ely
This post was sponsored by OFD Consulting and OFD Collective.
You’re great at what you do, but not enough people know it, I guarantee it.
Tired of competing on price? Anxious about the influx of new wedding pros with shiny web sites?
It’s time to make wedding PR a priority.
Publicity is a key component to increasing your bookings this year. Publicity places your brand in front of your target audience – the type of couples couples that you love to book!
Better yet, it gives you that coveted third party credibility- now you have editors singing your praises by showcasing your work and using you as an expert in stories.
So how do you accelerate your press portfolio during the busy wedding season in twenty minutes or less?
Introduce yourself to your local editors. (5 minutes)
Before wedding season ramps up, consider reaching out to your top 3-5 local mainstream media outlets.
Briefly run a search on their respective sites with the word “wedding” and then “bride” to see if the occasional wedding story pops up. (Hint: broader media outlets typically cover wedding topics in the first quarter of the year to coincide with engagement season.)
Identify the writer of the most recent wedding-related story and send them an email along the lines of:
I hope this finds you well! I recently came across your article TITLE and just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. I am NAME, TITLE of COMPANY and my background is X.
I thought it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to introduce myself in case you need a wedding expert for future articles. If I can’t be of assistance, I’d be happy to connect you to friends and colleagues in the region who can.
Thanks for your consideration- have a great week!
Remember- the media is often on the hunt for great content, so pitching yourself as a source can take you to the next level – expert status.
Sign up for HARO (2 minutes)
Help a Reporter Out is one of the very best ways to practice media pitching.
It’s a brilliant concept- you sign up for free emails that come to your inbox three times daily and when you see an article you can help with, you simply click on the email and briefly tell the journalist how you can help.
It takes the guesswork out of searching for the media- let them come to you!
Organize your Local Wedding Feature Deadlines (10 minutes)
You won’t believe this but I hear it time and time again- editors, especially at the regional level, are hungry for gorgeous weddings and oftentimes, they aren’t receiving as many submissions as you may think.
One of the biggest keys to getting published is staying organized, so visit the sites of all of your local magazine and blogs and identify their submission guidelines as well as any upcoming deadlines.
Think there may be a deadline but it’s not listed on their site? Drop the editorial team a brief email to inquire; they’ll appreciate the effort.
From there, mark your calendar with the deadline, a reminder one month prior to the deadline and a reminder one week before the deadline to ensure you are on top of things.
At the end of the day, successful real wedding features are the result of wedding pros who prioritizing staying on top of their deadlines.
Offer to Guest Blog for a Friend (3 minutes)
Do you have aspirations of one day being a wedding columnist?
Then it’s time to email a few trusted wedding friendors with active blogs and pitch them guest blog ideas.
Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t just start out as a WeddingWire Education Expert, Catersource columnist and ongoing contributor to Special Events, Wedding Business Magazine and Wedding Planner Magazine. At the beginning, my efforts were at the grassroots level writing for friends and colleagues.
It was a win-win; I gave them great content and they became the writing samples I leveraged to larger outlets.
So where do we go from here?
Lucky for you, we are offering an exclusive offer on the OFD Collective that is for Book More Brides readers only!
Special Offer: The Get Free Press Pitch Pack
You’ll get my “special sauce” press pitch templates including:
- HARO Pitch Template & 2 Sample Pitches – HARO is a treasure trove of media requests from journalists looking for experts like you! Just fill in the details to craft a pitch that stands out from the crowd and will have them clamoring to feature your business.
- Media Pitch Template – Customize this template and use the exact wording the wedding PR expert uses to get her clients featured in the most popular wedding magazines, blogs and news sites.
- Two Sample National Media Pitches – Model the success of these two wedding businesses who snagged national press attention with the exact pitches that did the job.
- Pitch Tracking Spreadsheet – Stay on top of your wedding PR efforts by keeping your media pitches, contacts, follow up dates and responses all in one place. You’ll save hours of time and make sure you don’t miss one publicity opportunity!
And remember, this is just the starting point. Understandably, these tactics can take time, so it’s important to take the time to promote your business the way you deserve to be.
For those who can’t spare an extra minute or simply just want the guidance of a professional, we have just the answer for you. We launched the OFD Collective with busy professionals in mind, in an effort to marry education with action. With three tiers of service, there is something to meet the needs of every wedding pro, whether you simply want to learn the tricks of the trade or you’d like us to take all of those beautiful yet time-consuming wedding submissions off your plate.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive Wedding PR Education Expert for WeddingWire and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry.