Sabina Hitchen's blog


PR Etiquette: Making Sure the Press WANTS to Work With You

NEW ADDITIONS: As we created this posting we heard from our media colleagues everywhere from the Oprah Winfrey Show to Real Simple to Fabulous After Forty - so as they say in Reading Rainbow, you don't just have to take our advice for it - find the newest thoughts from the press at the bottom of the list!

Got Press - Now What?

Nearly every day we hear your stories about the great press you're getting, and after we see your great hits we are inevitably asked "what do I do now?"

In order to make this easier for you here's a handy checklist of what to do when you get press - whether it's a blog or a magazine or television.

Accessories Darling Rebecca Minkoff Tweeting Her Brand to $30 Million

I'll admit it - I'm a Minkette!  No, that isn't a version of a Mousketeer, instead I'm one of thousands worldwide who follow, carry, and are loving and living the accessories (and now fashion) brand created by Rebecca Minkoff.  WWD covered the social media savvy designer and the article was great food for thoug

Getting on & Getting prepared. A True Business Story by Trae Bodge, Founder Three Custom Color Specialists

We're thrilled to announce that member Trae Bodge of Three Custom Color Specialists is on her way to QVC this month!  Stay tuned, and read on to find out how Trae made the leap to QVC (and all the behind the scenes "need to know" stories) in her own words:

How to get on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and other Morning Shows

When talking about pitching the morning shows like the Today Show, whether you are on the publicist side of the fence or the client side, everyone knows there is a Holy Grail that many small businesses are reaching for - a Trifecta of placements for the pr side of a campaign.  Without a doubt they tend to be: Oprah, the Today Show, Good Morning Amer

Ho Ho Ho - It's Holiday Time in the PR World - Are You Ready?

Holiday 911:  Who you should be pitching now, and should you buy the "holiday list" - le't's talk!

In the spirit of the overabundant amount of "Christmas in July" sales, and the fact that publicists across the country are currently pitching their clients feverishly for holiday gift guides, I thought I'd let you in on some secrets to ensuring you have a fair go at getting yourself into a holiday gift guide.  As always, with PR there is never one right answer, one right pitch, and one right tactic because at the end of the day it's a science based on relationships, what certain editors want at certain moments, price points, how well prepared you are, and luck. 

That said, following certain key rules will help you get ahead of your competition and stay on top of pitching:

* Remember that holiday is a long lead.  The magazines will begin hitting the newsstands in November, which means they will be those magazines that are working 3-6 months ahead are working on their holiday issues right now.

* There is no solid system with magazines regarding which editors cover the gift guide. Sometimes it's several, sometimes it's an assistant, sometimes it's a get it!  Because of that the best way to find out who is covering the gift guide is to check with the editorial assistant at the magazine.  Just simply ask who is covering the gift guide, and reach out to that editor for the guides rules and regulations. 

* Be sure you have prepared a holiday pitch prior to reaching out - in pr time is of the essence and if you hesitate or wait too long after finding out who covers the gift guides you may miss your chance.  So be sure you have a pitch (that you can adjust and spin to different outlets depending on what they need), product photos, a functioning website, and retial photos available.  KNOW what your holiday offerings are, and know them well, don't play a guessing game when it's crunch time.

* Title your subject line of your pitch emails something with the words "holiday gift guide" in it so they know what they are getting, and if you know the specific gift guide topic include that and your product in the title.

* Be sure the pitch is short and sweet and to the point, links to your site, and includes bullets that share your features (low price, great value, eco-friendly, a must-have for tweens etc).

* Work fast - some holiday gift guides are going to print this coming week!

* Don't purchase pre-fabbed gift guide contact guides - they editors are changing constantly, as are the topics, and many of these guides do not provide you with enough information as is.  It's best to reach out by phone and email - not only will you be sure to get the correct information, but you will also begin creating lasting relationships with the media.

* Collective E Members - don't forget to continuously use your media contact lists and editorial calendars provided for you on the website to ensure you're able to work quickly and efficiently!  Also - CORE members you will receive updates on the holiday gift guide editors as we will share several who have reached out needing product, along with other relevant information about their gift guide lists.

Happy Holidays!

PR Never Stops

This one will be a short one, you know why?  I'm still working and it's 8:45 pm !  You know why?  Because magazines are closing, they need photographs, and it "ain't over until the fat lady sings"!  You can't drop your pr campaign because you want to cuddle up on the couch and watch Dance Your Ass Off, and you can't decide to "just get on it in the morning". 

I received a call from an editor at 7 pm saying one of my clients files couldn't open and she needed it high resolution asap.  That meant not only did the Red Branch PR team have to make sure that happened, but my client did as well.  We all want this placement, and want to keep the relationship with the editor and help them close their magazine on time, so we are all on it. 

There are two lessons here:

Always be available to the press

Don't finish a pr job until it's done, or you may miss out on an editorial opportunity or hurt a relationship with an editor.  

So EVEN if all you really want to do is go get sushi and you're dying to just put it off...wait until the job is done!  Dedication and perseverance are the stuff of great pr campaigns!


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