By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting
I’ll never forget my first weekend as a wedding reception planner. I had three weddings, uncomfortable shoes (hello, newbie mistake!) and a clipboard filled with minute details, all of which had to be executed just so. Intimidating doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Thankfully, after a few successful events under my belt, as well as a new pair of comfy flats, my confidence grew, as did my legion of happy brides.
It’s not much different in the world of wedding PR. Media pitches, the foundation for anyone seeking press, can be a daunting task when you first decide to take the public relations leap.
Are you hoping to see your name in lights but aren’t sure where to start? Keep in mind the following tips and tricks before putting the finishing touches on your first media pitch:
1) Take a good hard look your goals
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of press and simply begin pitching to anyone you can think of, but in order to target your efforts for maximum effort, it’s crucial that you properly outline your reasons for taking this step. Are you hoping to increase brand awareness in your region or introduce yourself to a broader market? Who are the publics you’re trying to reach and why? Are you capturing the attention of brides or fellow wedding professionals? By asking yourself the hard question up front, you are in a much better position to give yourself focus.
2) Create a strategy
Want to know how to get on an editor’s bad side? Keep sending along generic pitches that do not match their readership, and you’ll quickly see how ineffective your efforts will be. Instead, take the time to research your intended media outlets, seeking out the best point of contact, upcoming editorial deadlines and the type of content they tend to publish. The key is to offer an angle that is fresh, but still in line with the needs of their readership.
3) Ask yourself- WWLLD (What would Lois Lane Do)
Over the years, I’ve been in the unique position of working on both sides of the fence- as a wedding PR representative and a writer for a number of publications. These experiences have given me further insight into world of the media. For those who may not have the same opportunity, remember this- reporters are always up against deadlines so they appreciate quick and to the point pitches. They are inundated with pitches day in and day out so they’ll best appreciate those that are fresh, exclusive and relevant to their audience. And never, ever, call them by the wrong name.
4) Don’t be a chatty Cathy
Reporters have just but a few seconds at any given time to review a pitch. Answer the who, what, when, where and why in the first sentence or two, and then follow with only the most important supporting information. If they think you’re a fit, they’ll reach out for more information.
5) Measure your success
We all fall in the trap of being anecdotal about our wins and losses. Oftentimes, we say something worked simply “because.” The fact is, there are only 24 hours in the day and if you want to be sure you’re making the best use of your time, you need to be able to truly measure the success of your efforts.
You can evaluate your pitches rather quickly by how often you are picked up, as well as the quality of the feature. Additionally, be sure to install an analytical program (such as Google Analytics) on your web site to track whether online press mentions leads readers back to your site. It’s also key to ask each and every prospective client “how did you hear about us,” to see if any of your press mentions send business your way.
A well thought out strategy is a significant factor when it comes to getting noticed by the media, so keep in mind the above guidelines when crafting your next media pitch. And it wouldn’t hurt to wear comfortable shoes as well.
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. OFD Consulting recently launched kits designed for Wedding Pros to help with your PR and real wedding submissions and more. Get more details here!