ChatGPT, Media Layoffs & The State of the Industry with Freelance Journalist with Alice Dubin – Podcast Transcript
ChatGPT, Media Layoffs & The State of the Industry with Freelance Journalist with Alice Dubin…
Have you ever opened up the latest copy of your favorite magazine and been confronted with a slight eye twitch and rush of anger as you realize that yet ANOTHER product – less amazing than yours – has landed a full-page spread?
Or have you ever felt defeated when you google an upcoming holiday gift guide and see a round-up of other people’s products, but once again, not yours?
Ever internally (or externally) find yourself screaming the question, “How are these other product-based businesses getting press?!”
If so, listen up! Because I’m going to go over 6 PR tips for product based businesses looking to land press.
1. Invest in High Quality Photos
If you are a product based business looking to get press coverage, you need high quality images, period. According to Muck Rack’s 2021 State of Journalism Survey, 64% of journalists say that having access to high-quality images deem a story or article more shareable. (Want to learn more about shareability? Check out Episode 12 of the Pitchin’ and Sippin’ Podcast with Sports Illustrated Journalist Bri Amaranthus.)
To get specific, you should have a variety of vertical and horizontal options – web resolution and high resolution – of both product-only and action/lifestyle shots. If you really want to play on the A-team, make sure you have a collection of product images with a white or blank background available to press.
It’s also worth noting that 94% of the media report looking at a company’s social media accounts when deciding whether or not to cover them. For photo-centric platforms, such as Instagram, photos can make or break a feed.
So to recap, if you’re looking to get press for your product, it’s time to invest in high quality photos.
2. Set Aside Inventory for Press Gifting
It’s common practice for members of the media to want to use or experience a product before writing about it or promoting it to their audience. Therefore, before you begin the pitching process, set aside a predetermined amount of inventory that you were willing to gift or giveaway to the press, for free. However, also be prepared that even if you gift the media your product, that doesn’t guarantee placement. Thus, allow yourself to be selective with who you do give product to – you’re allowed to say no!
Now, if you’re a luxury good – let’s say you sell earrings at $10,000 a pop – gifting product is a little less realistic. In this scenario, you can arrange an in person meet-and-greet to show them the product, you can lend the earrings out for a photoshoot, or offer them videos and imagery, etc.
Ultimately, if you’re pursuing press for your product, budget and prep gifting inventory accordingly.
3. Go for Gift Guides and Round Ups
One of the easiest ways to land press for your product is by pitching gift guides and round ups. For example, “Top 20 best cover ups for your backyard” or “Top 10 Mother’s Day gifts for this season”. Think about categories where your product could be both complementary and shine amongst a line up of many. One quick and easy way to find out about upcoming gift guides or round up topics is by subscribing to HARO. To learn more about how to rock HARO, check out this video.
4. Lead with Story First
If you’re not finding much luck pitching your product for an exclusive feature or review, try leading with “the why” or “story behind” the product first. For example, did you invent a sun-protective clothing line because you survived a battle with skin cancer and were unimpressed with the current market offerings in the space? Or perhaps you invented a non-alcoholic wine brand so you could still enjoy a wine happy hour with girlfriends while pregnant. This strategy will ultimately have your product receive exposure as a byproduct of the primary story angle.
Please oh please optimize your website. If your intention of getting press is to increase online sales, you want to make the buying experience on your website as simple and easy as possible. If it’s not, you risk getting an influx of traffic that doesn’t convert. Wop Wop. Furthermore, make sure that your site is connected to systems that can handle an increase of traffic and that your inventory count is updated and accurate. While it can be very hard to predict how much product will sell from any given press placement, one pro tip is to consider setting up an email capture waitlist in the event you sell out.
6. Promote Your Win Like Crazy
My final tip happens once a given press placement goes live. When your product is featured in an article, make sure you are sharing that article like crazy. Share your win across social media, send it your email list, update your wholesale accounts, your investors, etc. If it’s an online article specifically, the more shares the article receives, the better the article’s SEO will be. The better its SEO, the larger likelihood the generic public will find the article and thus be exposed to your product. Sharing press is a win-win for everyone involved.
One Last Sentiment…
…before we wrap things up. It’s crowded out there. Journalists receive dozens of pitches daily. Thus, do not get discouraged if you’re new in your PR journey and haven’t yet won the coveted feature of your dreams. You got this!
If you’d help in your pursuit of press, I invite you to book a discovery call with yours truly.