A few years ago I taught a class on how to get press for your salon, a subject I’m quite familiar with as the editor of NAILS. Press releases come across my desk and into my e-mail box on a daily basis, so I’m confi dent about what works and what doesn’t.
From what I’ve heard, a lot of you have had to cut back on what little advertising budget you may have had. Combine that with a dwindling number of clients who are sitting in your chairs and you need to get some fresh blood in the doors. In light of all this I thought it might be a good time to share with you some of the most important points from my class.
The main idea behind publicity is that you are getting free press. And while it’s editorial coverage (which is different from paid advertising) and you have no control over it, readers tend to see it as more credible because it is coming from an unbiased party. Press is good because it builds name recognition and credibility.
And once you’ve gotten a little, you can use the momentum to keep getting more. (Editors like having a reliable source they can call for information.)
So what exactly warrants sending a press release? You need to fi nd an angle that will interest a wide number of people. Start by asking yourself: What is unique or newsworthy about my salon, a specific service, event, or product? Do you or your technicians have an unusual background? Were you a nurse before becoming a nail tech? This makes for an interesting story about the path that got you in the salon. Do you offer specifi c home nail care advice and tips that would be of general interest to the public? You should use publicity to promote your salon and your services, as well as to educate the general public about our great industry.
Here’s a short list of things you can send press releases out for:
Grand Openings/Anniversary Parties/Charity Events. Invite editors and reporters to attend or send a press release with photos after the event.
Awards. Promote your competition wins, nail art awards, salon honors, or community awards.
Celebrity-Related/Fashion/Nail Trends. You can offer up yourself as an expert on what’s hot for the fi ngers and toes each season.
Nail Art. Whether they’d wear it or not, nail art is interesting to look at.
Unique Services. Do you offer a Pink Slip Pedicure, a Beat the (Economic) Blues Manicure or another interesting signature service?
Seasonal Topics/Hints for Healthy Nail Care. Can you help them get over nail biting, care for their dry hands during the cold winter months, or get their toes summer-ready?
The key to a successful PR campaign is to target the material to the audience. If you’re sending a release to a city magazine, the angle needs to be local, for instance (it’s annoying to get a press release from someone who clearly hasn’t familiarized herself with your publication).
Whatever you decide to promote, contact the media outlet and ask how they’d like to receive the press release and who you should send it to. Be persistent (sometimes editors don’t respond right away) and understand deadlines (don’t send tips for holiday nails in December when magazines are already working on their March or April issues).
Good luck. Now go write!
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