Pitching & Building Relationships with Editors
The words ‘public relations’ can mean a lot of things in an ever-changing marketing industry. From traditional mass media, to magazines, online publications, and now even blogs and influencers. The thought of pitching writers and editors can feel like you’re standing at the foot of a mountain and don’t even know which direction to take your first step. We know, we’ve been there. However, something that’s more valuable than any one pitch or press placement is relationships.
We are so lucky to live in a time when the growing ethical industry is being document now more than ever. Writers from big publications are taking notice of the ethical standards that consumeres are demanding, and we’re seeing more and more well-known fashion publications talk about the future of a sustainable and ethical industry. So how do you get these editors to notice your brand and write about what you’re doing?
1. Enter with the goal of a true relationship, not just a placement.
A publication that I’ve followed for a long time, literally since middle school, is Fashionista.com. They’ve also had their finger on the pulse of what’s new in the industry, and even scrolling through their homepage gives anyone an easy update. A few years ago, I started to notice one specific writer who had a pattern of ethically themed articles. After following the online publication for so many years, I was so grateful that one of their writers (and now editor) was investing time in an industry that I felt so passionately about. I genuinely wanted to have a conversation with her about the process of saying to her editors, “I really want to dive into the ethical space, and highlight how it’s growing.” I wanted to hear what that process looked like, where she even started, how she became invested in the industry, what she’s learned so far, and how she’s seen the industry develop. It would just be an added bonus that because of the nature of my job, I may be able to lend some interesting stories down the road. Being in an industry that believes fully in collaboration over competition, starting the journey to collaborating with publications should start with finding writers and editors whose work aligns with your passion and values, and who knows what amazing content can be created from there.
2. Show that you’re paying attention.
In the spirit of creating relationships, take full notice of the writers articles, pay attention to what topics interest them, show them that you’ve taken the time to invest in their content, before pitching them a new content idea.
3. Pitch a story, not just an idea.
Realistically, this industry is growing at an alarming rate, with new brands popping up every single week. While your product may be extremely inventive and interesting, the thing that really sets new brands apart is the story behind the brand. Do you have a unique training or experience, maybe working with artisans in another country? Are you using an innovative technique to create sustainable fabrics? Being able to share your experiences and stories of what led you to your product is much more of an engaging story in a time when there is so much new product on the market.
4. Keep in touch.
Once you’ve established great relationships with editors whose values align well with yours, stay in touch! Send a little gift for the holidays, send a congratulations card for their engagement, check in on how they’re loving their job through different seasons. Having relationships with people who can relate to your industry is truly invaluable.
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