Dear Camp Counselor,

As part of my company’s growth plan, I really want to get featured in magazines and blogs.  What do I need to know about working with the media?

-Sam

Stationery Trends Magazine Fall 2015

Dear Sam,

Media coverage is a great way to publicize your business.  Start by doing some research and selecting an outlet or two that best fits what it is you want. Focus on a publication or blog that fits with the vibe of your work.

Then, keep a few things in mind:

Tailor it. First, check out the masthead or “about” page.  Customize your message to the publication. Make sure you address it specifically to the right editor, and spell the word stationery, their name, as well as the name of their publication right. Do note in your original pitch if/when you will be following up — and this often turns out to be a smart move. If you do so in about week, this may again put your work front and center on the editor’s plate — who will then hopefully review and respond to your original message.

Know the guidelines. Query the editor or blogger on submission guidelines — everything from what they are working on in the next several issues when to what type of resolution of images they need. Publications typically have a media kit or editorial calendar.

Follow up. When you do receive press, reach out to the editor and personally thank them. This is a simple yet telling effort. An email here is good, but an actual mailed thank-you is far better. That action speaks to an authentic gratitude and, almost more importantly, supports the traditions of an industry in which we all work.

In this communication, take off your business hat and convey that you appreciate their coverage — for that reason, no need to enclose a business card, plug your line or make additional requests. He or she will remember you moving forward!

Finally, never only thank them in a social media post where you’re mainly promoting your brand. This can come off as both superficial and mercenary. In a way, it undermines the potential of an enduring relationship with the editor as an individual. That is really your main goal, since once you get press at a given outlet, it’s easier during the production of the next issue, or a few issues down the road, for the staff to circle back and give more coverage to someone they’ve worked with that left such a great impression!

— Sarah Schwartz, Stationery Trends Magazine, Gift Shop Magazine and The Paper Chronicles

 

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