NOTE: People StyleWatch went completely digital in January 2018.
When you have a dad who is a doctor, no matter where you go you're stopped by people asking for his advice on various medical ailments or symptoms they may be experiencing. When you're a publicist no matter where you go if someone finds out what you do they're going to ask you how to get on something, whether it be the Today Show, Oprah (may the show rest in peace), Lucky Magazine, Daily Candy, the Battle Creek Enquirer.....you name it I've been asked how to get into the publication or on the show. Lately a question I've been asked numerous times has been:
How do I get onto the People StyleWatch Exclusive Deals section.
If you aren't familiar with the section, it's a section of the heavily trafficked website that gives readers exclusive, limited time only deals on products deemed trendy/cool/"in" and a good fit for the People StyleWatch (PSW) readers. Before asking how to get on this section, it's important to first ask: why would I want to do something like this for my brand?
If you're a product brand, this opportunity not only drives people to your site to check out the item/site with the great deal (everyone loves to check out a bargain) therefore it acts as a mini-commerical for your brand. Thousands of people will click through it every day and you'll be there online for at least a week. At the very least they'll start to recognize your brand's name, what you sell and get a visual to associate with your name. If they really love what they see they're going to use your coupon code to purchase one of your products. As a publicist, I see this as a win-win for any client who is able to make this offer work. Which leads me to the question that you really want answered:
How do I get onto PSW's online Exclusive Deals and How Do I Handle It?
As with most things in public relations, the real key to getting onto this website is to have a product (this is rarely if ever a place for services) that will appeal to the PSW readers. If you're not familiar with the website, look at a backlog of PSW deals products and compare them to your own. Their items are hip, trendy, stylish and rarely costs more than a few hundred dollars. It's also important that your product be able to reach a large and broad audience. Something too specific that will only serve a small portion and specific portion of the population aren't a great fit.
When pitching the PSW team, be sure you send them a pitch that includes:
* An introduction (to both who you and your brand are)
* A link to your website
* A price range that your products offer
* Whether you're offering a sitewide discount or a discount on a specific item
* The discount you will offer their readers (usually between 15-50% off, more expensive items will be asked to give a higher discount)
* The length of time you will run this discount
They will then decide if your product is a good fit, and will suggest a date to you (usually with a 6 week lead time).
If they choose to you they will need a high res image (300 dpi or more) of the product you will be discounting, or if it's a sitewide discount, of a eye catching product shot that they can use to represent your brand.
In terms of the who do I pitch a PSW question, Tin Shingle members can click HERE to submit their PSW pitches at any time, non-members, it's best to reach out to PSW directly to be connected to the Exclusive Deals team, or use a media program or good old fashion networking to track down the contacts.
So I've been selected to appear on People StyleWatch Exclusive Deals, now what?
Getting great press is only half the battle, now you have to make sure you can manage it and leverage it! Once you have the date sorted for the PSW deal to go live here's how you can prepare:
* Be sure the PSW team has the correct copy, pricing and discount code for your deal, make sure you know exactly when it will be running as well and confirm all of this.
* Be sure your discount code is loaded up into your online shopping cart and test it so that you can be sure it works when the deal goes live. It's great to make the code something like "PSW2011" so you can track who is purchasing from this code.
* One never knows how much traffic & sales a placement will bring but it's best to be sure your website can handle the traffic and your inventory can handle any sales that may come in.
* Alert your brand ambassadors and brand communities to the upcoming offer: share it on Facebook, Twitter, your company newsletter and with all your friends & family. Do this prior to the placement and link to it the day of to get the buzz going!
* Send a thank you note afterwards to the PSW team for showing your brand some love.
* Place the PSW logo and even a screen grab of the deal on your website/press page.
Remember that opportunities like these are not just about getting sales, they're about getting exposure and raising your profile, a well as validation by a trusted fashion team. It's also great to get your brand in front of the StyleWatch team via exclusive deals as they'll now have you on their minds should any future fashion stories be a good fit for what you're selling!
Until next time, happy pitching!