Tips for Building Your Base for In-House Press Outreach

press outreach

As an emerging designer you’re probably on your way to perfecting the art of multitasking. You’re not only the creative director of your brand, but also likely the production, logistics, finance, sales, and marketing director all at the same time.

Reaching out to the media, which now includes dozens of traditional publications and online blogs, magazines, and social media channels, can be a full-time job regardless if you are just launching a new brand or a few seasons into your business already.

If you don’t have the help of a public relations firm or specialist to work with press to get the word out there about your brand, how can you build a solid base for in-house PR?

Here are three ways to help you get started with your in-house press outreach strategy:

  1. Create a Media Contact ListIt’s a daunting task when you start to think about all of the editors, journalists, and bloggers that you would like to contact about your brand. Establish a routine to keep a working list of contact names, emails, phone numbers, websites, and social media channels in an Excel document or through a database management system such as Highrise to organize your contacts. Don’t forget to include pitch date, follow up date, and outcome columns to make sure you’re keeing track of your efforts.
  2. Build a Media KitStart with creating a basic media kit for your company that includes a designer bio, brand background sheet, press release, and collection lookbook. Make sure that all of your collateral materials are cohesive in design, presentation and tone of voice. That way if you are asked for information, you have a quick go-to resource in both print and electronic form.
  3. Bookmark Your Media Wish ListAlthough there are hundreds of potential publications that you may want to work with, narrow your media wish list down to key news sites, magazines, and blogs that fit with your brand. This will help you focus your public relations efforts and scope and increase the chances of your success in securing press coverage.

Create a bookmark folder of your media wish list or add them to a RSS feed so that you can stay up-to-date with the types of stories they are publishing. Remember that editors may be inundated with emails, so the more relevant and targeted yours is, the better.

Anyone else have tips to share on in-house press outreach?

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Kathleen Ong

Kathleen comes from a background in public relations, marketing, and social media in the New York, London, Toronto and Vancouver fashion industries. Find her working at Wantering, a fashion tech startup which scours the web to find the latest fashion trends tailored to your personal style and delivers them straight to your inbox.

6 comments
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    Kathleen

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks for the note! I definitely suggest not to send your samples before getting in contact with an editor, as some will not look at samples that come randomly in the mail.

    The best way to send media kits and samples is to do your research and figure out which editor at the publication fits your product the best. Perhaps there is an editor that always writes about emerging designers, one that reviews bridal gowns, or maybe it’s a non-bridal publication that has a wedding-specific editor.

    Once you determine who your contact is, send an email or tweet to say hello. Remember they get pitched at all the time; you want to be more of a friend and less of a sales person. What makes your product unique and why would their readers want to know about your brand? Tell them why because they won’t have time to dig for that info.

    Hope that helps!

    Best,
    Kathleen

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    Kathleen

    Hi Hannah, thanks so much for the note! Please keep in touch and let me know how it goes! I’m on twitter @itsmekathleeno

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      Jonathan Chin

      Hi Kathleen,

      Great article! Thanks for the insight. I had a quick follow up question for you.

      When reaching out and sending media kits to the magazine publications what is the best way to offer them a sample or entice them to use your product in editorial content? We are specifically an emerging Bridal Gown design label that would love to be covered in some national publication. We were recently published locally in 2 magazines here in Portland, OR.

      Thanks in advance!

      -Jonathan

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    Hannah

    Good article, I’ll definitely be doing this as I am a one-woman-band running my own fashion business and this makes everything seem much more easier and more organised!

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