No matter what city you live in across the country, your local newspaper or perhaps city-focused magazine covers exciting things locals are doing. This is because everyone loves a hometown hero, a local success story and to cheer on someone from their own community. If you're in New York City, one of these coveted profiles is the Time Out New York designer profile series. Landing on these pages means you're sure to get more validation as a brand and designer, not to mention exposure to potential buyers, customers and other members of the press.
That said, landing Time Out New York or any local publication's profile section can be a challenge. To get some straight-up, honest scoop about what it takes to make something like this happen, we went to member Sabina Les, founder and designer of Sabina Les scarves, who was featured in this section recently. Not only did she land this feature, she did it on her own, without the help of any PR firm and with no previous relationship with Time Out New York! She started with a contact she found in our members-only list of Media Contacts (join today for access to the list and much more), and went for the pitch.
CE: Some designers may not even realize opportunities like Time Out New York’s Designer Spotlight, or similar types of columns, exist in their hometown. How did you find the section, and had you been reading it prior to pitching?
SL: Time Out New York isn’t perceived as a typical “fashion magazine” and gets overlooked by designers. I’ve been a fan and subscriber of the magazine for a long time and always read their Designer Spotlight sections to find about new and upcoming designers. Usually, the section covers 3 designers on one page. I was totally blown away when they gave me alone a full page.
CE: When did you decide it was time to pitch TONY your story?
SL: I waited until I felt confident that I had a comprehensive collection to pitch.
CE: Tell us briefly about the outreach process (did you email, call, send photos, follow up).
SL: I emailed the contact person a brief email stating top 5 facts about my scarves and the website link. Fortunately, I got a response the same day from the fashion editor. Her assistant set up interview meeting with the editor and the photographer.
CE: There are few people who are patient when waiting for a possible press placement. How long did you have to wait from when you initially pitched TONY to when the article landed on the newsstands?
SL: Yes, waiting after the initial pitch is the hardest part. It took about 4 weeks from the initial email to the issue with my interview to hit the newsstands.
CE: What are one or two tips you would give a new designer who is hoping to share their designer story in a section like Designer Spotlight or something comparable in their hometown?
SL: Research your local media and think outside the box. There are a lot of media outlets that specialize in new designers and it’s less intimidating to approach them then a major fashion magazine.
Thanks to Sabina Les for taking time from her ever-growing business to share this insider information with us. We also appreciate the reminder that patience is so necessary during a PR campaign! Remember that your public relations outreach is truly a marathon not a sprint!
Take it from both Sabinas contributing to this blog!
Sabina (Ptacin) & Sabina (Les)