We recently had the opportunity to speak on a panel with some of our favorite editors over at Westchester Magazine and Westchester Home on Social Media and PR tips for increasing exposure. If you are looking to increase exposure for your business or get published, be sure to read some of these great tips we went over on our panel!
Tips provided by Nancy Claus, Halina Sabath and Ana Mantini of Westchester Magazine and Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group
How to get Published in a Magazine
Top 10 Tips
- Create a website
- Research target publications
- Secure homeowner releases
- Determine the correct editor
- Email your pitch
- Write concise subject line, including location of property
- Send your pitch to only one publication at a time
- Consider staging and composition with photography
- Send image files in the correct format
- Enter design contests for wider exposure
First Things First
Show, Don’t Tell: Architecture is a visual business and you must have a web presence. There are simple programs available so you don’t need to understand code to design a serviceable and attractive site.
Research & Pitch Accordingly
To get published, start with doing background research. Get copies of the publications you’d like to appear in and study them. Focus on ones that already publish the type of architecture you specialize in.
Separation of Church and State
Many people believe that they need to advertise in a publication in order to be featured in it. You don’t. Editorial and advertising are completely separate.
Make sure the homeowners are comfortable with the idea of having their home published in a magazine before you pitch it to an editor.
Meet the Editor
Use emails rather than phone calls or regular post for your first contact with an editor. Check the masthead for the correct person to send your info to. Explain the project in the subject line: Pleasantville Mid-century Modern Remodel, Bedford Arts and Crafts Bungalow, Beachfront Contemporary in Rye.
Do not send multiple pitches to different publications.
While you don’t need to hire an expensive photographer to shoot your project, you do need to send images that show off your project in it’s best light. Editors can use your cell phone photographs as scouting images, and then send their own photographer to shoot your project if it is selected.
How to Send Images
Jpeg? Tiff file? Hi res? Low? No, this isn’t a foreign language, just standard formats for sending images. Hi res is required for print publication, but the huge files can clog—or crash—an editor’s inbox, so consider sending images via Dropbox or other cloud sharing site; burning images on a CD or copying to a flash drive are also good methods of transferring files.
Getting Award Winning Images
At some point you will want to hire a professional to shoot your work. How to choose one? Again, look at the magazines and see whose work resonates most strongly with you.
Enter Design Contests
Think of it as a good discipline to organize your work with a bonus of free publicity if you win. Even if you don’t win an award, editors keep the designs we like on file for consideration for future stories.
How to Leverage Social Media to Build your Business
TOP 10 SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS
- Establish a social media strategy
- Define your target audience
- Figure out what story you want to tell
- Stop selling
- Create an execution plan
- Launch and engage
- Publicize availability
- Use social media to leverage PR hits
- Measure results
- Tweak campaign for maximum results
Social media is an extension of corporate branding. In order to ensure maximum results, your social media strategy should be in alignment with your business objectives. Be able to identify the message you want people to take away from your company in one sentence. The best social media campaigns fit in alignment with an organization’s corporate communication objectives and strategic initiatives.
Who is your ideal target audience? Who are the industry leaders you would like access to? Leverage social media as a PR tool to initiate the conversations within your industry.
TELL BETTER STORIES
Understand your brand’s story and tell it. One of the biggest mistakes brands still make on social media is using social channels as a promotional tool versus a storytelling tool. Understand what story your brand is trying to tell, and use social media as a way to tell the story. Every post every day should be a different way to tell the central story. There is a direct correlation between positive brand story telling and user engagement.
Social media is inherently about branding to a focused audience. It is about the ability to quickly get in front of prospects, current clients and leads, and to establish an online relationship with them and build customer engagement. Social media marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it does not focus on immediately establishing the value of your services or products, but rather it is about establishing you as an icon and thought leader in the industry—to create an awareness of your name and brand. It is not a specific advertisement for a given product or service—it is about brand engagement.
READY, SET, GO!
A Campaign is only as good as its execution plan. For example, lets say you work with your team to develop a strong plan. The team has drafted a content calendar, created a custom media list of influencers and distributed it to reporters. Success! A blogger calls one of your internal employees to ask about the release you just put out. Problem—the person managing the social media account is not the person who is directing marketing. All of this could be avoided with a tactical Social Media Process plan.
SOCIAL MEDIA DRIVEN PR
The best PR campaigns are those that are cohesively integrated between social media and public relations. Social media should be used to complement a PR campaign to drive continued media exposure and interest of editors for your business. Utilize social media to share press placements, connect with bloggers, and get on the radar of editors while executing multi-platform PR campaigns. Use social media such as Twitter to search for and pitch journalist queries in real time and build an ongoing relationship with reporters. One of the best ways to get a journalist to read your pitches is to engage with them on Twitter. Take a vested interest in what they write and re-tweet content that you find useful. Furthermore, use social media to research the beat they cover before you pitch them.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO LEVERAGE PRESS HITS
So you recently secured a major press hit. Now what? Here are RMG’s top tips to maximize the buzz into long term exposure and more hits.
- Share the press link on your company’s social media networks
- Thank the writer and outlet and include both handles in your social media posts
- Create a clipping of the press hit and include in your electronic media kit
- Add the press hit to your company’s web site
- Order a plaque of the press hit (if it is a feature article) and prominently display in your office
- Share the press hit with clients that may benefit from the content shared in the article
- Send the article to other outlets that may want to do a follow up story
- Pull out the best quotes written about your company by the writer and share in your media kit.
The best way to re-engage fans is to measure what is working, what your fans really connect with. One mistake brands make is getting lost in the editorial content calendar shuffle. They are so obsessed with posting and keeping up with the social media rat race that they forget to actually measure what’s working. Pause. If you are not continually measuring what has the greatest impact with your audience, you will lose followers, and it will ultimately damage the value of the community you are trying to create.
Westchester Magazine teamed up with Murphy Brothers and Ruby Media Group to present a seminar on publishing, advertising, and social media at Westchester Magazine’s Headquarters in Rye, NY.