A good PR firm is worth its weight in gold, naturally, but what many people don’t know is that if you have the time and know-how, there are specific things you can do to secure some great coverage yourself.
Having been in Beauty PR for over 10 years in both California and London as a PR agency owner, I know first-hand how profoundly the right media coverage can affect a business. Just the right article written by the right editor at the right time can mean a peak in sales and immediate recognition for your salon. Most beauty businesses know this, but many shun the high PR fees and the uncertainty that can arise from taking on a PR firm. A good PR firm is worth its weight in gold, naturally, but what many people don’t know is that if you have the time and know-how, there are specific things you can do to secure some great coverage yourself. Let me share my tips with you.
1. Establish yourself as an expert. Establishing yourself as a nail expert can be a fantastic way of standing out to editors and encouraging them to come to you for expertise when needed. Highlight what you are particularly good at, and let people know. Are you an expert in intricate nail art? Perhaps you offer an excellent hand care package that others can’t rival? Do you have a few celebrity clients on your books? Find your niche and use it to your advantage. Editors, particularly local editors, want to make their lives easier, and if they know your niche, they WILL come to you if you are a fit for what they are currently working on.
2. Keep an eye on daily stories and trends. Editors are always jumping on stories that are current — stories that are in the news today, or this week. You should always be keeping an eye on what’s happening in the news, and see how you and your salon can fit into current news stories. Perhaps a new shape of nail has just emerged on a celebrity and you are able to emulate this? Perhaps a celebrity is snapped with unkempt nails and you want to highlight the importance of well-groomed hands? The key here is to be creative, keep up with current events, and see where you can be of value in terms of a media story.
3. Make your press releases eye-catching, descriptive, and punchy. Press releases need to stand out and make the editor take notice. The title you use should therefore be interesting and not drab; if it refers to something that’s currently in the news, all the better. Make sure that your grammar and punctuation is on point, and make good use of images where appropriate so that the editor can get a good feel for what you are pitching. Make your descriptions interesting; the more descriptive your language, the more interesting your press release. Also, avoid using the same words over and over; find a thesaurus and use a variety of words instead. Lastly, keep your press release to just a page if you can; don’t be tempted to make it too long as editors don’t have a lot of time and can become bored quickly. When e-mailing the press release, make sure that the e-mail title gives them a good idea of what you are sending them, otherwise they may not even open it. [Editor’s note: For more detailed advice on writing press releases, go to www.nailsmag.com/pressrelease.]
4. Offer something for free. A great way to get local editors on your side is to offer them something for free. If you have a new product, why not send your local beauty editor a sample with a nice hand-written note? When they come to write about something that ties in, you will be at the forefront of their mind. Similarly, if you have a new salon, or are offering a new treatment, why not invite your local beauty editor to the salon for a complimentary treatment and the chance to meet you face to face? It will always be of benefit to get to know your local media personally.
5. Be ready if the answer is yes. Once an editor gives you the green light, be ready! When running an article editors will ask for high-res images (at least 300 dpi — ask your photographer what this means), they will need any quotes required from you, and they will need them quickly as they are often on deadline. Therefore, make sure that you have up-to-date images and make sure that you provide the editor with what they have asked for in a timely manner.
Cleo Anderson is the CEO and founder of The Anderson Media Group, a California- and London-based award-winning PR agency within fashion, beauty, health and lifestyle. Anderson has worked on many high-profile campaigns, as well as smaller campaigns for businesses that are new to PR. The agency is able to undertake not only traditional PR campaigns but social media campaigns, celebrity endorsement, special events and media days. For more information visit www.theandersonmediagroup.com.