Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Three Ways to Get Your Client Written About

On average, I get about 50 emails a day from PR firms and individuals inviting me to events, pitching me their products and asking me to take a closer look at whatever it is they are doing for editorial consideration.  I can only imagine what editors for D Magazine or PaperCity must receive. Yowza.  So, how do you get a blogger or Editor to not only open your e-mail but act on the message?  Let me shortcut this for you and give you some pretty easy guidelines to follow that will help increase your chances for success.

Cynthia's Top Three Tips for an Effective Press Release:

1)  Have interesting and topic specific copy in the Subject line of your e-mail.  

I recently read where an editor received an email with a subject line that read, "I'm dying" and when she opened the message, it went on to say, "...dying to meet you that is!" Ba dum dum.  Okay, that's not funny. That's stupid and I've just placed you in the douchebag category.  Any future emails from you will probably go straight to my SPAM or TRASH folder.

If you are inviting me to an event, the message should say "Save the date for XXX" or "Invitation to Dress 4 Yellow Included". I know what this is before I ever open it and it will help me prioritize the urgency in which I need to respond.

2)  Send an image with your press release

Readers are visual. They want to see an image to help them get a feel for what your event will be about. So, whether it's an event logo or a photograph from last year's event - send something! If you are pitching me a product, don't you think it would be helpful for me to SEE the product you are trying to describe in your 4 paragraphs of copy?!

You should know from your own personal use of the web that in order to upload anything to a blog, Facebook, Pinterest or the like, that I will need a .jpg file. Don't send me a .pdf file! Now I'm irritated that I have to open it up and convert it.  Help me, help you. Send me what I need. Don't make me work for it.

3)  Have a targeted pitch

For example, my blog is about Dallas and why I think it's an amazing city. I profile the events, people, places and things that make it an incredible place to live and work.   Yet, I receive at least 5 pitches every day from PR firms wanting me to interview a designer in NYC or talk about a new clothing line out of LA. Clearly, they got my name from a list somewhere and are just blasting their request out around the online universe hoping if they throw enough spaghetti on the wall, something will stick.

You will have much greater success if you send me a direct email (not one where I'm blind copied so I know it went out to a billion other people) and tell me why you think your pitch would be of interest to my readers.

For instance, it could say, "Hey Cynthia! I know you love to talk about fashion and all things Dallas!  Did you know that Dallas designer, Cathy Williamson, just launched a new line of raincoats called She Reigns? With the rainy season approaching, I thought this would be a great story for your readers..."  Aim and fire. The target has been hit.

Follow these 3 rules, and I assure you, you will see an increase in the number of responses you get to your emails which will more than likely correlate to the number of actual posts and articles you end up receiving.  I look forward to your new and improved e-mails.

Love you!  Mean it!  ~ Cynthia