PR Yourself: DIY Public Relations

As an emerging designer, you have to pay attention to every expense that might affect your bottom line. And at times, you may feel as though you are drowning in a sea of expenses. That said, some expenses are a given and unavoidable. After all, you’re not going to be weaving your own fabric or sewing your own inventory. 

But what if we told you there’s a real and actionable way to lighten your financial load? Consider doing your own public relations.

Besides the obvious advantage of saving money on PR fees (which can average about $12,000 a month), there’s an even more compelling reason to handle your PR yourself. No one, and we mean no one, is able to tell the story of your brand with more enthusiasm and clarity than you can. After all, your label is your baby, right?

But I’m a Terrible Writer!

We were waiting for you to say that. This is always a huge concern when we mention the idea of doing your own PR, and we’d like to ease your mind. It honestly doesn’t matter if you’re a good writer or not.

From Forbes, “Content creators – be they journalists, bloggers or influencers – are simply looking for the pertinent facts—the who, what, when, where, why and who cares of a story—through the lens of interest and value for the readers they serve.”  In other words, provide just the important facts about your brand, and the content creator will tell the story themselves in a manner that appeals to their particular reader. 

Now that said, you still have to be able to provide a cohesive and intelligible story about your brand. Just don’t get caught up in a particular “style” of writing. Keep it simple and stick to the facts.

Remember, writing – just like designing, sewing or sourcing your fabrics – gets easier the more you do it. So while you might not consider yourself a decent writer now, just keep at it. Watch how much better and more efficient you’ll become over time.

Identifying and Finding Your Audience

Obviously, it doesn’t make much sense to shout your story out to someone that isn’t interested in what you have to say. This is where some solid internet research can be your best ally. 

Research a list of ten people in the media who often cover the topics or themes that your brand represents. For example, if your brand is all about high fashion, look for content creators that specifically write about the beauty and design angle of our industry. 

If you’re all about sustainability, look for writers that are interested in how our industry affects the environment. If you’re creating yogawear, start looking for people who report on that. It’s pretty simple, once you think about your brand and have identified its unique selling proposition (USP).

Side Note : Entrepreneur has an excellent article on how to find your unique selling proposition; we highly recommend you take a look here. This will help you articulate the right message for your brand.

Every quarter, update your media list with names of media contacts, from all different types of media, including magazines (both digital and paper), websites, and social media. It’s not difficult to find these contacts, a simple google search (or IG search) will work. If they are a published content creator, chances are you’ll find their email address on their social media pages or on their website.

How To Write a Press Release

So, now that you know who you’ll be talking to, the next thing you need to do is write a press release. This is a pretty straightforward document that you’ll send to the content creators that you’ve identified through your research. From JustReachOut.com, here’s a great outline for creating your own press release, step-by-step: 

  • Step One: Write an Attention-Grabbing Headline. Is yours a new sustainable brand? A second collection launch? An innovative solution for a niche market? Let the reader know up front.
  • Step Two: Location. Where you are and where the news is taking place.
  • Step Three: Strong Lead. This is where you explain your newsworthy content in one sentence. In other words, use this space to expand on your headline.
  • Step Four: Body. This should be easily skimmable information provided in decreasing levels of importance. It’s a very good idea to add in quotes throughout the body to back up your statements and add some “personality” to your document.
  • Step Five: Boilerplate. A few words describing your company to the audience.
  • Step Six: Press Contact. Name and contact details for your label. Typically, anyone with whom the reporter can get in touch with for more information or photos.

Keep It Going

Now that you’ve introduced yourself, you’ll want to keep the momentum going. The real goal here is to build and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with all those content creators you’ve contacted. Contacting them one time is NOT enough.

Whenever something noteworthy happens to your brand – a new collection, a new hire, a line extension – you need to let your stable of content creators know about it! Don’t forget their job is to create content. You can help them do their job by providing it to them on a silver platter. They’ll love you for it.

That said, there’s a fine line between timely communication and stalking! Of course, you want them to look forward to receiving your emails. So make sure the content you provide is relevant and interesting. 

Also, your communication with them should have some back-and-forth. Ask them if they need more information or if they’d like photos (or additional photos if you’ve already sent some). Keep it friendly and don’t overwhelm them.

Don’t Forget the “Socials”

While getting your brand message out to content creators should be a part of your DIY PR strategy, there’s more to it than that. As we know, social media can “make” a brand, practically overnight. And while it’s clear that brands have to be on social media in order to be relevant, not all platforms are created equal. 

Currently, IG is the darling of the fashion world, but as we know, that could change in the blink of an eye. Depending upon your USP and target audience, you might want to consider Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Pinterest as well. Or a combination of all.

Each platform can be used to focus on a certain part of your key messaging as long as the content will reach your target audience. While on social media, be sure to engage with customers who are having conversations around your brand or about a topic relevant to your business. Again, just like traditional PR, social media PR is all about engagement. So be engaging!

Truth is, if you set aside just a few hours a week to do research and reach out to the media (social and otherwise) before you know it, you might land the media placement of your dreams.

In closing, and the most important point of all, be sure to thank any content creator that gives your fledgling brand a mention. It’s only polite. 

At Teg, we’ve seen brands turn into overnight sensations thanks to PR that they’ve produced themselves. So we know it can happen, and it might just happen for you. You’ll never know if you don’t give it a try.

Let’s talk more about your plans for your brand. Feel free to give us a call at 800-916-0910 or reach out to us at https://tegmade.com/get-in-touch/.

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