How to get press for your Brand
There’s no denying that good publicity is a business boost. But if you’re a small business owner, retainer PR may not be the solution for your press needs. That’s why this week’s guest, veteran publicist Nora Wolf, created Wolf Craft, the à la carte PR shop for creative business that aims to arm entrepreneurs with the tools and resources needed to cultivate their own media-ready content.
If you’ve been wondering how to get featured in your favorite publications for free, then tune in as Phoebe and Nora unpack why earned press matters for small businesses, what editors are looking for, what you need to do to make your offerings pitch-worthy, and how to do your own research to identify the right niche for you.
Without good pictures, there’s not a design editor in the world who’s going to publish your work…If you don’t have photography that supports the visual or aesthetic goals of your product, you’re dead in the water.
[03:34] WHAT IS PR + HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM MARKETING?
PR (public relations) is anything public-facing that potential consumers, clients, or editors would assess to develop a better understanding of a business. It can come in the form of print or digital placements, podcast features, or influencer endorsements. Unlike marketing, where you pay for feature placements, publicity from PR is typically earned by merit or noteworthiness.
[05:43] WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING EARNED PRESS?
Nora notes that having a good PR practice directly reflects a good business practice. For example, if a business doesn’t have refined branding, the media will have a hard time distinguishing it from its competitors. Good press also legitimizes businesses and validates a brand via an external source, which is not possible via self-promotion.
[11:45] WHERE SHOULD PEOPLE LOOK TO UNDERSTAND INDUSTRY STANDARDS?
It’s best to turn to relevant media outlets and publications to assess the standards for your particular industry. However, Nora cautions listeners to identify which outlets are realistic and suitable for a business and which are too aspirational.
[16:09] WHAT IS “DESIGN THINKING”?
Design thinking is a methodology for figuring out design solutions, with an emphasis on research, empathy, and iteration. In terms of PR, it entails putting something out to the public, integrating the feedback received into the PR strategy, and putting it back out to the public again.
You could spend all day researching. It’s very important to develop boundaries.
[17:52] WHAT ARE SOME STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PITCH YOUR BUSINESS TO PRESS?
Nora encourages all business owners to do extensive research before they begin their pitching process. This includes being mindful of lead-time for print versus digital publications, understanding the target editor and what they write about, and determining what about their offering will be of service to that editor.
[20:10] HOW DO YOU FIND EDITORS TO REACH OUT TO?
When doing your own PR, it’s most effective to look at the press your competitors are getting and to target those editors. It’s also potentially worthwhile to get a subscription to a magazine cache service (such as Readly) in order to comb through archives of multiple publications to see what editors historically cover.
[21:55] CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT WOLF PR + WOLF CRAFT?
Wolf PR is a full-service retainer PR firm which continually represents clients to the media for long periods of time. Clients pay a monthly “retainer” for the PR services. Since this is not always accessible or suitable for small businesses, Wolf Craft evolved as a solution aimed at giving small business owners the tools to do their own PR.
[31:16] WHAT IS THE TIMELINE FOR HOLIDAY PITCHING?
Nora suggests starting initial outreach for long-lead, print national publications at the end of July, and at the end of September for digital publications. Since this timeline may vary per publication, she encourages listeners to look when they published their gift guides the previous year.
[33:00] WHAT ARE SOME PR GOALS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES JUST STARTING OUT?
For product-based businesses, Nora suggests keeping an eye on trade shows where media goes for scouting and trend forecasting. She encourages listeners to track the media timelines and cycles in their industry, and to start building relationships with editors. In order to make this sustainable, she emphasizes the importance of boundaries when doing research, since there are seemingly unlimited publication possibilities.