3 Tips To Becoming A (Reliable & Trustworthy) Expert Source For An Editor

Do you want to know how to work more effectively with editors? We get lots of questions from the community about press coverage - how to get it and if there’s a secret that only PR pros are privy to. And I’m here to tell you, there isn’t.

With a few essential tips, you can enhance the experience you have working with an editor, while establishing yourself as a trustworthy and knowledgable go-to source.

it’s important to understand some of the pressures an editor is under. They are one of many on a staff, or could be freelancing for a number of different media outlets. They are under a number of constraints from higher ups and really just want to deliver great content for their readers. This means that timely, relevant and NEW insights will not only help them get their story filed quickly but will show them your professionalism long-term. 

The most preferred method of pitching among journalists is email. The vast majority of editors will be heads down writing or in team meetings between 11 and 3 pm. If an editor has given you a deadline, try to beat it by a few hours or even a day in advance. They will so appreciate the promptness and be able to ask you any questions for clarity without feeling the pressure of a looming deadline. 

Your comment should be clear, concise and unique. If an editor taps you for insight on why non-traditional spaces make for a great wedding venue, do a bit of research on Google and see what’s been published out there. And then, develop a comment based on your expertise that offers a fresh perspective. Remember, their goal is to excite and inspire their readers. So, adopt that mindset when you craft your comment. Try and limit your comment to 5-7 sentences. This will be plenty for them to cherry pick thoughts. If they want more from you, they’ll ask. This saves you time but also helps focus your response effectively.

If possible, offer a few photos that reflect your insights alongside your commentary will always be a delightful bonus. They may not use them (again - creative direction may be led by someone else), but the editor will always appreciate that forward-thinking attitude. 

Finally, always include a short one sentence bio that links to your website for proper crediting. If you have included photos, make sure to note the photographer’s name in the email body and the title of the photo. 

Essentially, the more heavy lifting you can do for an editor, the more likely he or she will hit you up again in the future. All these tips will help you curate the perfect press package.

Want more? You’re in luck. We dive so much deeper into this process in The Essential PR & Marketing Field Guide, which launches this Fall. It is an expert-led online course for wedding, events, and hospitality brands who are eager to accelerate their PR & Marketing strategy and become better marketers. Subscribe to our Marketing Memo and you’ll be the first to get more details.

Media and Marketing in the Modern Age

As the digital era continues to evolve, print media has adapted to our modern lifestyle - there’s no doubt. History has proven the resiliency of new technology, and we’re currently walking a tightrope between print and digital media.

Over the LAST decade, our appetite for content has skyrocketed thanks to blogging and social media, which will only continue to grow.

Today, we’re taking a moment to contemplate their roles for the wedding industry and how creatives can take advantage of these new opportunities for long-term marketing success.

There have been a few remarkable shifts for many mainstream media; like Martha Stewart Weddings, a brand who will continue primarily as a digital platform, with a single print issue annually. In the Fall, XO Group, whose flagship brand is The Knot, merged with WeddingWire. These changes, among others, reveal widespread executive-level changes happening at outlets around the country. From the perspective of a media liaison, our team can attest to changes felt by our editorial friends and the priorities they’ve been tasked with from a content standpoint.

A recent AdAge article spotlights Troy Young, who previously led Hearst’s digital operations but now oversees both digital and print for a collection of the Hearst name brands. "Mediums don't die, but their use cases shift as new mediums put pressure on them…” says Young. “The nature of magazines change when a consumer gets their news in the moment from their phone. It makes you think differently about the role of the magazine. It still plays an important role, but it's different." Read more here - it’s fantastic

Rather than focusing on the consolidation or ‘shrinkage’ that may be happening with print, consider how you may be able to effectively diversify your efforts in a way that generates new business.

Traditional ‘media relations’ is still effective, but even more so with a blended approach to social media, content development and creative marketing campaigns working in tandem. Here’s an example: we don’t send static press releases (and never will). Why not? It’s tired, lackluster and mechanical. Instead, we opt for creative visual graphics along with proactive pitch angles that are tailor-made for an editor’s precise audience. It’s just one of the ways we have reinvented traditional practices to serve our clients. So, how will you do it for yourself?

Embrace emerging outlets

Consider newer or niche outlets like podcasts and blogs to showcase your work and expertise. Read and listen to them often, and gain a sense of trust in their content. While they may have smaller following than a widely distributed magazine, their audience are invested and engaged. Brand awareness will be a goal you’ll share with the editor, so maximize the impact of your feature with a mutually beneficial social campaign to increase reach across your shared networks.

Meet your audience where they are

Revisit the characteristics of your ideal client (and if you need help, we designed a helpful blog post a while back). Where are they spending their time? What are they reading or listening to? Perhaps it’s an independent quarterly design journal or a podcast on sustainable living. Could you creatively find a way to collaborate with those outlets? Or maybe, it’s just Instagram to start. Make sure that you’re engaging with the brands your clients follow, and bring value to those conversations. Seek opportunities to share curated content that resonates with your ideal client. These simple ‘hacks’ can make a significant impact.

Need more help? Our marketing consulting service is perfect for giving your brand a boost.

Maintaining an Intentional Marketing Strategy in the Busy Season

As our clients head into the busiest season of their year, we understand that marketing may take a back seat to design plans, site visits and weekend-long productions. To help, this actionable guide is designed to help you maximize your marketing efforts during the course of the next few months.

You'll continue to build a dialogue with your network, giving them an even deeper understanding of your work that will sustain you long past the height of wedding season.

Pre-plan Instagram

Instagram remains one of the strongest marketing channels used in the wedding industry, primarily funneling new client leads and maximizing brand awareness (despite the ever-changing algorithm - more on that here). Remembering to post continuously and often on Instagram can seem like an uphill battle, especially while juggling tastings and client meetings during the busy wedding season.

  • We suggest clients take 2-3 hours every week to pre-plan content using a scheduler like planoly or later. These platforms allow you to upload images, visualize your grid and draft captions. You can easily re-arrange the look of your Instagram grid all in one sitting, and not have to worry about continuously posting in real-time.

  • Once you schedule the post, you’ll be instantaneously reminded to post on that day and time (making it super easy to do while in the middle of a project on-site, for instance). A few platforms have also enabled automatic publishing for those who want a totally hands-off approach.

  • We still encourage clients to make an effort to engage on Instagram, liking and commenting on content from other industry creatives to help contribute to an active community.

  • Stories are a way to post real-time content quickly while on-site at a wedding, to show your audience your creative process.

Whether you set aside a block of time every week or small breaks during your day, establishing an efficient process that works with your unique schedule can help you nurture and build your audience even during your busiest season.

Reflect in real-time

Traveling affords us a bit of extra time to read those bookmarked pages of our favorite magazines and blogs - take advantage of that time and get reacquainted with the media world. Take note of tone, style and types of features being published in your favorite publications. Are there projects you’re working on that could fit in nicely? Anticipate the weddings you have coming up that you think may be exceptionally 'noteworthy.’ Consider reserving one afternoon after that celebration (or on the flight back home) to reflect on the most notable aspects, still fresh in your mind, that can be later submitted alongside a thoughtfully curated collection of photos. That simple strategy will help you shape a narrative for the editor when you finally have bandwidth to sit down and submit the entire package for editorial consideration. Keeping with the shift towards efficiency, this will save you time down the road when you may be trying to remember the small, unique details that made a celebration so special.  

Utilize your blog as a megaphone

Maintain your blog, even at a basic level. Instead of simply posting a wedding recap, focus on more observations from the field that you’re noticing while on-site, working with other partners. What are the changes in design that are developing? Are there new venues of note, and what makes them special? Are there new specialty vendors or products that may align with your style? What are new ways you’re seeing other leaders deliver a memorable experience for guests? What has been inspiring you over the course of the season - from travel and design to culinary arts and culture?  Collect your thoughts into a brief post that will take your audience along the journey with you through this wedding season. Then, share that content with a post on Instagram and Facebook or through an email newsletter (if part of your strategy) to maximize its impact.

*This post was conceptualized by Neeka Bardi, a valuable member of the In Good Company team

Our consulting service helps brands gain clarity on marketing objectives and establish a strong strategy for growth. Contact us if you are looking for that perfect partner.

Finding the Right Wedding PR Firm For Your Business

Perhaps you’ve been curious about how your competitors are landing such great media coverage in the magazines and blogs you read everyday. Or, maybe, you’re working on some great projects this wedding season, but are ready to attract a more distinguished clientele.

A strong public relations strategy can help you achieve your greater marketing goals and lead to new and exciting opportunities for growth.

Considering when the right time is to hire a publicist is equally as important as who you bring on board - both have a heavy impact on your success. We’re here to help you navigate that process by sharing some of our insights working with creative wedding professionals and lifestyle brands, to give you the tools needed to feel confident during your search for the perfect PR partner.

Partner up once your brand is at its best. PR should enhance your overall business strategy, rather than be used a mechanism for reinvention. Meaning, if you’re considering a rebrand or an expansion of your services, make sure it’s done before bringing on a PR partner. Understanding your story, what makes you distinctly unique from your competitors and how you contribute to the industry in a creative way is essential; it will provide the framework for a well-designed and informed PR strategy.

Understand the media landscape (even just a little). Familiarize yourself with the publications you envision your name and your work being published in. What types of Real Weddings are they sharing? How are industry experts highlighted in their content? What type of stories do you connect with? Especially in the wedding and lifestyle industry, mainstream blogs and magazines lead with a strong identity, supported by a community of readers who crave their content. Those readers may very well represent the clientele you’d like to work with. Thus, it’s important to have a sense of what publications you feel most inspired by - we call it a client’s ‘wish list.’ It’s what keeps us focused and guides our approach for each unique public relations program.

Know your goals and build your assets. Understand what your ultimate goals are and what a successful PR partnership looks like for you. Perhaps it’s to build awareness locally ahead of a launch or special event, or to increase your position as a national leader within the wedding industry, recognized for your creative vision and design capabilities. Appreciating the difference between the two approaches, and what type of coverage will benefit your bottom-line most.

Likewise, the most prosperous press campaigns are those that can sustain themselves, with a steady cadence of media and blog coverage. That’s only possible if you’re bringing a strong set of ‘newsworthy’ assets to the table (for instance, a strong and varied collection of wedding work, unique expertise and commentary on design trends, notable work / company projects that relate to the larger industry, etc…) Your PR partner will work with you to develop some of these elements as your engagement continues, but it’s always a great way to kick off a press push by having some content buttoned up and ready to offer the media.

Trust your PR partner and contribute to the pursuit of your goals. No one knows your business as intimately as you do. You’re the founder, the visionary, the backbone of your brand.

A great PR partner will enhance those virtues you’ve established and communicate them to the right people, bringing new opportunities for growth. Be open to fortifying a trustworthy relationship, built on constant communication and collaboration between your teams to discuss new developments, campaign ideas and initiatives.

Regardless of whether you’re working with a large agency with multiple team members or a small boutique firm with just a few consultants, your PR partner should be committed to adopting your mission and voice, acting as a natural extension of your brand. But managing inbound requests with ease, and providing useful marketing strategy is just the start. Your PR team should be proactively pitching your unique story and expertise on a regular basis, with customized angles for each editor at the outlets you’ve identified together as your key targets.

Eventually, you may come to think of your PR partner more like an internal team member, rather than an outsourced firm - the kind of relationship we strive for in our practice.

Interested in learning more about working with In Good Company Public Relations? Email us today

Wedding Industry Marketing: SEO Strategy

You want to secure qualified client inquiries from clients who appreciate your vision, style and industry experience.

The answer? Market to YOUR IDEAL CLIENTELE with a layered approach; combining social media, press coverage and digital marketing.

This strategy ensures that your brand’s name will extend far beyond your immediate network of connections. One way to naturally strengthen your reach is to optimize your website. Implementing a few key SEO tactics will help your wedding brand rank competitively on Google, increase traffic to your website and generate qualified leads from the types of clients you want to attract.

Leverage Language: More words on your website certainly do not mean better. The key is to focus on quality. Be as detailed as possible in the headlines of your blog posts, image file names and website page content - including location, venue, industry keywords. Manipulate the search process a bit by using the key terms that are being searched for, and match that appropriately with the messaging you typically use to represent your brand. It’s also important to speak the language of your audience. For instance, if you’re a wedding photographer, avoid leading with too technical of a summary. While it may make perfect sense to an industry vendor, it may cause a potential client to lose attention.

Especially for wedding photographers who use their website as a digital portfolio, using Alternative text for your images is critical. The purpose of alternative text is to describe each photo in detail to search engines. This feature can be found in the HTML code of each image, and can be edited to a description that is more SEO friendly.

Rinse, wash + repeat. Over time, that steady cadence of rich keywords, highlighted throughout your website will push your rank number up higher, moving your website closer to the first page on a Google web search. Likewise, integrating more description into your social media posts and Instagram captions can attract new followers, encourage engagement and help further establish you as an expert.

Favorite tool: Google’s Keyword Planner - the beginning step to Google Adword campaigns, this will help you identify keywords related to those you already know you’d like to rank highly for, and other related key terms that may offer you the opportunity to rise above your competitors. Take a peek at a few of our other favorite small business marketing tools.

Give Love to Links: First, improve your anchor text (the words you highlight for a link).  by making that selected text more descriptive. Many of us would say “To learn more about our wedding planning services, click here to get in touch.” Try linking the first part of that call-to-action, instead. It’s not only a great way to improve SEO but also to keep visitors engaged and on your website, navigating from page to page with ease. Likewise, you can use descriptive links to link to your services page from within a blog post, when it’s appropriate and natural to do so. Helping your visitors along the acquisition channel may mean a few tiny adjustments to your website, but will be well worth the effort.

As with every marketing effort, it’s always great to pause and make time to analyze changes through Google Analytics. You’ll be able to see how receptive your website visitors are to these content changes and understand larger areas of opportunity to build and improve your SEO.

Interested in strengthening your small business marketing strategy? We can't wait to hear from you.