We know that many of our members are DIY-PR business owners - manning their publicity ship solo, or with the help of interns. We also know that even with the media contacts we supply you with, it's also always good to have someone on the "inside" pulling for you. This is just a simple reminder that we're that person on the inside pulling for you, even when you don't even realize it! How, when, where and why? We do it all week long via our Random Acts of Pitching, with editors/producers/casting agents/stylists and more. Why? Because sharing your small business stories and helping you find success are two things we love to do over here at Tin Shingle HQ.
You may have heard us talk about "Random Acts" before, but here's a little breakdown so that you can better understand what we're up to over here even when you don't know it: Due to our existing relationships with the press, and because of the community of entrepreneurs we work with on a daily basis, we often serve as a source for stories/products/experts and more to those in need. They know we can reach out to our community of entrepreneurs, or go into our Member Directory to find them exactly what they are looking for.
For example, just this week ABC News came looking for small businesses who could lend their anecdotes to a specific business story they were working on. Last week we were gathering goodies for a cast member of Dancing with the Stars. In May we're going to be looking to members for a project we're working on with MSNBC. Heck we've even been able to share your stories with the Nate Berkus Show when they came to us looking for entrepreneurs.
Whereas with some queries, you'll hear from us via our PR Leads email, a special email over the private member email group or even on social media, Random Acts of Pitching is often going on without you even knowing it. We're working on a story that is either confidential or on a short deadline and we're going directly into the website looking at your business profiles, sending links to your company's website, sharing information we know about your company with those looking to fill a story and so forth.
Because these Acts are often going on stealthily without you're even knowing it (until you get the email from us connecting you with the press) it's important you always present yourself as a great possible story candidate. Just how do you do that?
Be sure your member profile and business profile are filled out, photos are uploaded, your website and contact information are easily accessed and your business description is up-to-date.
Make sure you have uploaded your products into the Marketplace. Within the next 2 weeks the Marketplace will be even easier to search and access on both your end and for those searching for specific products. Know what products will never be selected for a story? Those that are not uploaded in the first place!
Keep us informed on what you're up to - be an active member - share your stories, press, new products, etc. Squeaky wheels always get oil. Members who are active tend to be at the top of everyone's mind. Also remember that there are several members of the press in Tin Shingle who are on the member email group, social media pages and website.
Be sure your own website is easy to navigate, has contact information listed that is easy to find (and not just a box where they can email you and enter their information, have and email address available on your website) and looks professional. If you're hard to reach or don't look like a website that can handle traffic or sales, you will most likely not be selected by the media for their story.
Be easy to reach! If we reach out to you or connect you with a member of the press, don't make us all wait days to get back to you. Timing is everything, and that means you should be able to connect with them that day, or someone from your company should. *Have all of your media material ready to go - images, headshot, linesheets, look book, media kit, tips, reel, samples - whatever your business needs to share its message should already ready to go should anyone need to review it.
- Be patient! Not every pitch turns into a placement and the key to winning the PR battle is to be persistent and patient!
Random Acts of Pitching continues to be one of our favorite things to do, and believe us it works - from the CBS Early Show to Good Morning America to O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine to Reuters to Entrepreneur Magazine and beyond, members have been placed regularly due to this PR "matchmaking" benefit of ours, and the more times we can do this the better! Keep these tips in mind and help us create a great PR success story with you!