Rebekah Epstein

DIY PR: Tips to Become Your Own Publicist!

In Fashion Features, marketing, Mingle Mastermindby Erica Yanus

Every business needs PR. In our weekly Mingle Mastermind Group webinar, our 8 industry professionals and special guest Rebekah Epstein, share the DIY PR approach that has helped many businesses get the attention they deserve! 

Our expert fashion industry panel shares how YOU can do your own DIY PR

 

Rebekah Epstein started off her career by interning at large companies like Vogue and Nylon Magazine. After college, she continued to apply for freelance positions hoping to gain more experience and build up her portfolio, before finding a full time position. Fast forward 10 years, and she’s turned a freelance gig into a PR agency that teaches small businesses how to do their own PR and get media placement in some of the most popular online media outlets and print magazines. 

Rebekah is the founder of fifteen media, a boutique PR firm specializing in media relations. Since 2011, she has been a valuable asset to more than 70 PR firms across the country. She refers to herself as a “ghost publicist,” because of all the work she does behind the scenes, pitching to get more media placements for her clients. Rebekah also helps small businesses get the media they deserve through DIY PR workshops and one-on-one training. Her clients have gained exposure and credibility with media features in Forbes, The New York Times, Newsweek, People, Self, Health, Refinery 29, Everyday Health, Men’s Health and many more. 

In addition to traditional PR work, Rebekah speaks at national conferences about DIY PR, freelancing, and entrepreneurship. She has written about these topics in publications such as, Mavenly + Co, Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post. 

Before pitching to the media, what should your business have in place to prove you are a legitimate brand worthy of being featured by the media?

  • Don’t pitch to the media until you have a unique product or story to tell. 
  • Create a compelling brand story on your “About Us” page on your website. If you need help writing a compelling brand story, Fashion Mingle can help
  • Have images of products on a white background. It may feel like you need to have an interesting background to stand out, but when it comes to showing off your products online, magazine editors only want images on white backgrounds. You can still get a product shoot done virtually, contact photographers who can help. 
  • Write good product descriptions that are clear and provide details about the product in one spot.

Getting Your Collection Featured in Product Roundups

Rebekah’s advice: The easiest way to get your products featured in a magazine or online media outlet is to get included in roundups for holiday or seasonal features. Most roundups are written by freelancers hired by the magazine and whose contact information is easy to find online. You should also look at your competitors to see who wrote about their collections. The chances are higher that the same writer will consider including your products in an upcoming roundup for one of the magazines or media outlets they write for.

Pitching Products for TV Segments 

If you are trying to pitch a product, Dee Rivera, of DCG Media Group has some tips; Send in a professionally-produced video segment to TV producers. This creates a good relationship with them. However, don’t be too overbearing when pitching to them, you want to “build a relationship without stalking them.” Rebekah finds that how-to segments work really well for TV media. 

If you’re a service business, Rebekah suggests that instead of pitching products, pitch knowledge. For example, a business owner like Dale Noelle of True Model Management, could pitch the media about a segment that shares her insider knowledge about how to become a successful model. 

If you need to promote an online event, Rebekah says to pitch publications that make sense for the event. Dee advises you to also pitch to be added as a media partner for the event, to give them exclusive access that will guarantee more coverage. 

If you’re trying to decide when to move from online media to TV, Rebekah suggests you start with online to allow you to get the hang of how it works but you can always just go for it! Local stations are a great place to start because they are looking for segments about local businesses.

5 Tips on How to Craft the Perfect Media Email Pitch

  1. Keep emails short and concise. No one has the time to read a lot of text, especially in a fast paced industry like fashion. Attach 1 or 2 images in the email that are beautifully shot to grab their attention.
  2. Clearly state what your pitch and what you’re offering at the beginning of the email. Sum up the entire pitch in the first sentence. 
  3. Give a quick summary of your brand. In 3-4 sentences, list a few things that make your brand unique. 
  4. End the pitch with the name of the product you want them to consider. 
  5. Regularly pitch new ideas to the same editors unless they tell you to stop. 

How to write a subject line that gets the email opened: 

Don’t get too crafty! Your goal should be to anticipate what the media is going to cover. For example, think of upcoming holidays or seasons to link your pitch to such as Father’s Day gift guides, summer fashions, back-to-school, etc. 

When do you give up and stop pitching?

Rebekah advises you not to get discouraged, it takes time to build a relationship with an editor or freelancer. The best practice is to send one pitch and then a follow-up a week later. However, you should keep lookingfor new contacts constantly because there is always a new freelancer to pitch to. 

Some of Rebekah’s go-to publications to pitch to: 

Any women’s interest or fashion websites are great media outlets to pitch to.

She suggests you hire a Public Relations professional whenever your business can afford it. However, hopefully these tips about DIY PR allow you to be your publicist to help create brand identity. Remember that PR doesn’t usually drive sales, it only drives brand awareness, which is the essential first step to building trust and getting sales. 

Rebekah’s final word of advice on being your own publicist: “Be easy to work with, do things quickly and give people what they need.” 

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About Erica Yanus

Erica is a recent Marketing graduate from LIM College. When she isn’t working at Fashion Mingle, you can find her exploring, taking photographs or tracking down the best food places.

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