If you have consistently been sending press releases to the media on your salon, eventually an item will get published. When a newspaper or magazine actually runs a story on you, it can sometimes carry greater weight and credibility than even an ad can.
When your clients or potential new customers sit down with their morning coffee and local paper to read what’s new in the neighborhood, an item about your salon could be what they see. If you have consistently been sending press releases to the media on your salon, eventually an item will get published. When a newspaper or magazine actually runs a story on you, it can sometimes carry greater weight and credibility than even an ad can.
A newspaper is like a department store: They both have areas where they group items that are similar or of interest to a particular group. You have to know what department is likely to be interested in your story. If you hold a charity event, for example, a report on it could appear on the society page or lifestyle section. If you are adding a new wellness service, the health and beauty section would be the best people to send your press release to. Your story is more likely to get picked up if you know how to format your press release and know whom to send it to, find out the name of the editor and reporter for that section before you make your first contact.
Be familiar with the publication you intend to submit news items to. As a member of the professional community, it’s just good business to spend at least a few minutes per day scanning the contents of the local paper, but as a contributor, it’s even more important to pick up on the publication’s style and the kind of events that make headlines.
Find out what the deadline for publication is and make sure your press release is received on time. An editor may receive hundreds of press releases per week, so it’s important that yours is carefully written and formatted correctly. Here are some tips to help your press release get attention.
1) Use your letterhead and good quality paper and printer for communicating with the press. Include your logo and full address and phone of fax numbers. Avoid cute graphics, as they undermine your professionalism, as well as how seriously the editors will perceive your press release.
2) Give the date your information can be released if it is an upcoming event or write “for Immediate Release” if it has already happened. (However, don’t expect immediate results.)
3) Provide a contact person (usually you) and phone number on the upper right-hand side of the release.
4) A good headline will catch the eye of an editor and let her quickly see the subject of the release.
5) The first paragraph of the press release should summarize the story. Stick to the facts and information that can be documented.
6) Most articles include a direct quote or two, so have a statement from you or the salon manager that points out why your information is relevant. This gives the editor a better understanding of the significance of your event.
7) How does this news impact the community? The greater the issue, the more readers will be interested so make sure you make that clear. Think of topics that will appeal to a wide range of people.
8) Give a brief background sketch of your business. It probably won’t get printed, but the editor or writer will want the information. Again, include just the facts, not a sales pitch.
If you are submitting a photo, it should be a good quality black-and-white photo if possible, with subjects up close and personal, Check the publication to see what gets printed.
Press releases and the resulting articles are powerful marketing tools. Post copies of published articles in the salon or in a notebook. Use copies of them as handouts, in your press kits, and as “hooks” to reach bigger media fish like magazines and local television stations. Check the list of possible topics for a press release and use them often.
There’s one final benefit to getting your nail business in print. As an industry, we garner a lot of bad press about sanitation standards, nail disorders, and nail enhancement problems, so when we are able to counteract that with positive stories, our image as an industry improves as well.
Paula Gilmore is a salon owner and nail industry consultant. Her company is Tips Nails Industry Solutions and she specializes in nail salon business issues. She is a former manufacturer’s educator, international nail competition champion, and video artist, and she currently speaks at nail industry functions. She is also a certified color and image consultant.