Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - July/August 2022

104 Marketing motivation Nicola Snell, Founder, Press Loft, explains best-practice PR strategies to get your product or brand featured in the media When you own a product-based business, you may want to appear in magazines, newspapers and blogs but have no idea where to start when it comes to PR. You might also think it’s going to be too expensive or wonder if a journalist will even want to feature you at all. However, having helped 20,000 leading lifestyle brands secure features for more than 20 years, I’m here to tell you that it can be a lot quicker, easier and more successful with a few simple tricks! The key to growing your brand’s recognition and reach in 2022 is being very particular about how you invest your time and resources; pairing back to push forwards by finding and focusing on the right publications, sites and influencers, and creating a PR strategy that is clear and comprehensive, but also deliverable. The critical elements to being successful at PR with minimum time and cost are automation, planning and good imagery. PR plan First thing’s first, you need a PR plan. A surprise feature in a magazine or viral social media share can be great for your brand, but they alone are not enough to sustain growth and recognition; consistency is so important. Journalists love to feature new products (their job is discovering the “news” – so new launches and emerging brands). However, the reality is that most brands don’t create new products every month. So to get that all-important consistency, use “hooks”. Hooks are a way of fitting your products into what the journalist is writing about now. These can be trends such as Maximalism, seasons such as Spring, or gifting periods, such as Mother’s Day, and even film releases! This is where a PR Calendar can be incredibly helpful. Start by identifying the dates that are important to your brand i.e. the launch of a new collection, a partnership or a big anniversary, and pop those in a google spreadsheet with the name and date. Next, add seasonal moments such as Christmas and the first day of spring. From here, explore other occasions that you could position your products against – a great example for this year would be The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Not only do you need to plan for the key dates for your products, but you also need to incorporate the media lead times into this. A lead time is the gap between the date the journalist starts working on an article and the date the article comes out, so, for example, some media would start working on Mother’s Day in January, so this is when you need to send out your press releases and images. So, next to each of those dates, you can plot in when you want to start promoting them. Publications’ lead times vary, but a good ballpark for anything in print is three months before it is due to be released. Press Loft has free downloadable PR