This article was contributed by weddings PR expert Meghan Ely.
Buzz about your business keeps people talking and more importantly, it keeps you relevant in the marketplace. The challenge, however, is finding the opportunity to put yourself “out there” where it counts. Below are just a few ways you can start promoting your wedding business more prominently as you begin integrating public relations into your wedding marketing campaign:
1. Decide what’s newsworthy: The biggest mistake wedding professionals make when it comes to creating buzz about their business is assuming that no one wants to hear about it. Journalists are constantly on a deadline and are typically seeking fresh and inspiring stories that are still timely in the eyes of their readers, and while the New York Times may not be knocking on your door when you launch a new branch of your business, that doesn’t mean it’s completely irrelevant either.
The key is to match your news with the appropriate media channel. Do you have a new storefront? Pitch the news at the local level, perhaps with business section of your city newspaper. Did you win an industry award? Then now is the time to reconnect with your respective alumni publication to share it.
2. Consider the Features route: The fact is, not everything a company does is newsworthy, yet there are still other public relations opportunities to be had in the form of feature articles. Features about topics of special interest (including weddings!) continue to become more popular in the media.
The key is to regularly research and read your targeted media outlets, create topics that may be of interest to said publications and find the right person to propose it to, all while focusing on how you can serve as an integral resource for the article itself. Think one of the local publications would benefit from a feature on holiday tablescapes that include your linens? Well now is the time to make it happen, before anyone else does.
3. Pitch yourself as an Authority in your Field: Not everyone knows everything there is to know about the wedding world, especially when it comes to mainstream publications. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the appropriate journalists and introduce yourself as a resource, should they find themselves in a position where they need to interview a wedding expert. Keep it concise, keep it friendly and keep in touch. When the time comes for a quote, you’ll be the first on their list.
4. Share your Expertise: A successful press mention can take a great deal of effort and resources so in the meantime, you’ll want to find other ways to stay relevant in the eyes of your intended publics.
This is the opportune time for you to leverage your talents by sharing your wedding related expertise. Are you a strong writer? Pitch guest articles to well researched publications and web sites. Is public speaking more your cup of tea? Then perhaps it’s time to develop fresh industry content and submit your topics to a handful of associations and conferences.
Far too many people assume that public relations is simply relegated to traditional media mentions but now is the time to remain open minded to the idea of sharing your wedding knowledge in new and creative ways.
5. Promote, Promote, Promote: Your press will only live as long as you let it and if you’re simply posting it on your Facebook page and calling it a day, then you’re just not doing enough. In addition to promoting on social media, be sure to add any PR success stories to your press page on your website, as well as to your company bio and web site copy, as appropriate.
For your top press mentions, add it to your email signature, as well as share with prospective brides. In certain situations, such as real wedding features, you’ll also want to spread the good news with participating vendors, who will also be in a position to promote it alongside you. And just remember- there is such a thing as overdoing it. If you find that most of your sentences begin with “Yeah it’s like that time I was featured on,” then it’s time to scale back a bit on the bragging.
Creating buzz for your business extends far beyond the occasional press release. Whether you have news to share, or can be the go-to expert in your area, now is the time to act.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting, which specializes in getting wedding professionals their brides. She is a highly sought after industry speaker and serves as a Public Relations adjunct professor for Virginia Commonwealth University. (Photo Credit: Poppies & me)