Jewelry is one of those time honored trades consisting of highly-skilled craftsmen and persuasive sales people. If it sparkles around your finger or glimmers around your neck, you can find it at a local jewelry store. But how do you know which one to go to? A big chain shop or privately owned shop? The shop that sells the new Ivanka Trump line or the shop that carries P. Diddy’s branded classics? This is where public relations for a jewelry store can get a bit tricky. Not to worry. If you’re a small, privately owned jewelry store, we’ve got some tips to help overcome these challenges.
Competing with Big Chains
The key to competing with the big jewelry chains like Kay Jewelers or Jared Jewelers is not to go head-to-head on a sales numbers game but to out maneuver at every turn in the way you advertise and market.
Fashion pr firms know the deal and can create unique events to help spread the word about your business. Getting the customer’s attention, especially those who live in the local region, is your primary goal. With the help of public relations specialists, a special cocktail event for invited guests can showcase the class and sophistication of your collections and designer pieces. A special marketing promotion awarding one lucky contestant a select, fine piece from the shops collection can help drive potential customers to the shop in droves.
In the end, its not about how many pieces you sell but the professional, personal attention paid to customers who could very well become life long client; something your run-of-the-mill jewelry gallerias cannot easily say.
Going beyond Brand Names
One of the most challenging aspects for publicizing local jewelry shops is gaining press for the business and not the brand-named collections. After all, no one walks out of a Macy’s department store announcing their brand new Coach bag is a Macy’s bag.
Any and all pr agencies know: Always put your client first. When drafting pitch letters, press releases or anything involving copy, make sure you highlight your client’s name in some way. Telling potential customers about designer collections is great because it can get them in your door, and part of a business’s branding process is in affiliation with something more well known. The key is to creatively tie in a major brand with your business’s name, not the other way around
Keep the pressure on the press too. One thing you can say about persistence is that no matter what, by the time you stop pitching stories or inviting press to events, they won’t forget the name of your business. Nor will those seeing all the press the local jewelry store receives.
It’s all about baby steps. Not only will potential jewelry store clients benefit from taking smaller strategic steps but the public relations firm in charge will get great practice in dealing with a microcosm of celebrity pr.
Maintaining your professional relationships is the key in creating a lasting public relations presence. It is great when potential clients know of your business but it’s even better when they know what you’re up to! Facebook is not just a means by which people connect these days, it’s a means by which companies can conduct business and foster professional relationships. It is a portal in which the entire internet is filtered.
Social media has become a driving force in the business world and offers a variety of perks to an effective public relations campaign. Facebook allows a user to create a page that displays information about a company, its upcoming events, press it has received and a list of clientele. More importantly, however, is the focus on maintaining the connections between people and companies.
More and more, social media public relations efforts are helping to spread the word about a new client on a daily basis. Clients, fans and others may even discuss the latest celebrity parties that a firm has helped to create, or devour the latest news on fashion week posted on the page. Visitors to the page can also find links you supply that connect them to other related sites. With the click of a mouse, a company can keep fans updated with breaking news and brand new must have products.
As public relations specialists, we know the value of keeping all our ducks in a row. With Facebook, we can maintain our relationships with our clienteles, discover new clients, publicize business and events, and allow the world to see how we operate through photos and videos.
Technology is changing all the time and with it, the way we do business and communicate. When approaching your business’s public relations you can never be too far ahead. As the world of business relies more and more on the power of the internet, and subsequently search engines, it is important to know how your social media public relations campaign can benefit from the latest techniques. The ultimate goal is to drive traffic to your website and thus exposing your business to potential new clients.
With the advent of social media, websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn seek to connect people, businesses and clients alike, together. Yet, scouring the massive amount of data for specific information can be exhausting. That’s where your favorite search engine comes into play. Whether it is Google, Yahoo! or Bing, search engines allow users to search the internet for anything they please.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process by which a website can display near the top end of a search result list. Search engines like Google return results based on the information and keywords that are present on your website or social networking page. For example, if you were to search for public relations event planners in New Jersey, The Hip Event is one of the first search results because of the numerous references to public relations and event planning. The key is to strategically place keywords throughout a website’s copy.
A great tool for providing more space to infuse keywords is through a weekly blog. The blog is not only a great place to store these keywords but also provides invaluable information about your business, the industry as a whole and any special events applicable. Furthermore, through many blogging platforms (WordPress, Blogspot, Tumblr, etc.) you are able to tag, or list, the keywords associated with each blog post. By tagging your posts appropriately, you can ensure that search engines are picking up phrases that you want searchers to find, hence driving traffic right to your door.
Communication via social media and the internet is tantamount in the digital pr world. What you write has a huge impact as to who will read it so remember to get your message across with keywords that will drive people to the place to read your news.
Sometimes, the internet can be a company’s best way to get quick attention from thousands upon thousands of people. One of the best tools in online public relations is the utilization of a simple viral marketing concept- a YouTube video.
YouTube videos have been known to take people from no-name to household name in the matter of weeks. Recent videos like “Bed Intruder” and “Charlie Bit Me” became sensations almost over night and gained attention from media outlets all across the United States. Old Spice has been known for their funny “Old Spice Guy” commercials featuring Isaiah Mustafa, but the commercials actually gained their cult-like following on the internet, and the company continues to pay tribute to this with social media public relations campaigns on Twitter and Facebook.
The YouTube video of 12-year-old Greyson Chance singing Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi made him not only a web sensation, but a television sensation after the aspiring singer/songwriter was found by Ellen producers and asked to perform live on her show. Teen heartthrob and superstar Justin Bieber is another internet sensation fairytale story. He was discovered by music executives after posting homemade videos of himself singing on YouTube.
A clever or funny video on YouTube can catapult your brand overnight into a sensation that everyone will be talking about at the water cooler. With the correct digital pr campaign, which should include a heavy “viral” focus including sharing your video on Facebook, Twitter and different networking sites, you can ensure that your business receives the most attention that it can based on your videos.
Everyone knows that a celebrity can sell. Attaching a brand to a celebrity can have a tremendous effect on a small business when you have the right public relations angle! Nowadays, brands pay big bucks for celebrity endorsements, but you don’t have to spend millions to get a celebrity endorsement- all you need are some insider tips and tricks to learn how to get a celebrity to love your product.
Get involved in VIP events
Getting your brand involved in celebrity events is a great way to tie yourself into the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Sponsoring a movie premiere, after-party or even a gifting suite can make a huge impact on your business and will allow you to attach your name to any attending celebrities, so you can leverage this in your public relations outreach. Many large events can cost thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars to sponsor, but look for strategic partnerships and do a little research- you may be able to get involved in an event gift bag for an extremely discounted rate!
Get to know the stylists
Another way to reach the celebrity circuit is through gifting, which works especially well in fashion public relations and beauty public relations. By developing relationships with celebrity stylists and gifting or lending them product for use on their celebrity clients (like makeup, skincare or fashion pieces) you are creating opportunities for celebrities to unofficially brand your product when they are seen out and about and photographed by the paparazzi. This buzz will allow you to create an effective pr marketing campaign surrounding a brand’s celebrity followers, marking it as the “it” brand of Hollywood.
Remember, not all celebrities can help your brand. When targeting a celebrity to gift or choosing an event to sponsor do your research and keep in mind your brand identity and message to ensure you choose the right partnership opportunities.
One of the most effective social media public relations tools for a business is Twitter. This online social site has grown tremendously in the past two years and boasts over 105 million registered users. Here are a few ways that you or your business can effectively utilize Twitter as a public relations tool.
Make Yourself an Expert
If you’re a business or consultant, you can take advantage of Twitter by tweeting messages pertaining to your businesses trade. Keep up with the current news stories and make daily comments that include your opinion on the hot topics, positioning yourself or your business as an expert. You may one day get an unexpected email from a news outlet that needs a quote from someone in your area of expertise!
You can also utilize twitter to engage consumers. More and more large companies are dedicating social media public relations staff to manage their twitter and Facebook pages. If a consumer tweets how much they love their new product from your company you can engage them by offering up other products they will love! You will promote additional products to not only your happy customer but their followers as well.
Businesses are also able to use Twitter to get quick customer feedback by monitoring trending topics about a particular product. If hundreds of twitter users are bashing a company or their products, a business may need to rethink the quality of products they are offering clients. Alternately, if hundreds of Twitter users love your product or brand, you can leverage this news in your advertising and public relations strategies, playing up the fact that there is a positive buzz around your brand!
Twitter can be an effective social media public relations tool that, if used correctly, can help your business grow through viral outreach. So, if you’re looking to expand and promote your business, start with the free Twitter tool.
Public relations or advertising? It’s the age old question that companies from both sides of the fence will argue about for years to come. For large companies, it’s easy to choose both advertising and public relations for your communications campaign, but if you’re a small business with little budget, then public relations may be your best option for community outreach.
Choosing the right path to communicate with the public is entirely up to a business owner, but there are key differences in both PR and advertising that need to be considered before making the commitment to either.
MESSAGING: Advertising gives you the ability to control your message and send out positive thoughts for your brand. PR garners editorial coverage that may be positive or negative based on an editor’s point of view. An effective public relations strategy will allow you to control the message you send out to the media so you aren’t surprised by any negative features.
GAURANTEE: Advertising will guarantee you space in a magazine or newspaper, but PR is never guaranteed to give you editorial coverage. Sometimes you may pitch a story for months to publications and never get any interest from editors while other times you only have to send one email to get attention from several target publications.
PRICE: Advertisements can be expensive! A one page ad in a local magazine can cost upwards of $5,000, and in a national outlet can cost over $30,000. Press outreach allows you to essentially advertise for free by getting editorial coverage in the magazine. The cost associated with a public relations firm varies, but in the long run, you can save a significant amount of money.
ENDORSEMENT: Anyone can advertise in a magazine, and no one needs credibility as a company to do so, which is why many consumers don’t count a magazine advertisement to mean anything more than, well, an advertisement. A well-placed story gives a seal of approval from that magazine’s editorial staff. Magazine writers and editors are trusted by readers. A positive “endorsement” from the right editor (e.g. if an editor includes your new beauty product on his/her “favorite things” list) can mean a huge boost in your sales.
Both advertising and public relations can have positive and negative aspects depending on your type of business. Before making a commitment to either, do your research and get input from local advertising and pr agencies to make an educated decision on the best practice for your business.
So you want to get some publicity for your small business, but you have no idea where to start? The best way for you to get featured in a local news story is to make a pitch! A pitch letter can be a great tool in getting the media interested in your business or product.
When crafting a pitch letter remember one of the most important tools to a public relations firm is the power to make a story newsworthy! Too many times has a reporter opened up their mail or their email to find dull and boring letters that are supposed to pique their interest! Find something truly unique or inspiring about your business, a human interest angle is sure to get attention among the media and tying in a charity will make your story sell. If you have a brand new product that you’re introducing into the market, play up its innovation and explain why it is different than any other product on the market.
If you’re having trouble crafting the perfect letter, don’t sweat it. If your writing isn’t really up to par, consider outsourcing your pitch letters to a public relations consultant, who will be able to draft an effective pitch that can help your business get the attention it deserves.
After you have your finished pitch, email or mail it to the editors that you believe would be interested in your news or story. Do some research and read through local magazines and target editors who have written stories similar to the one you are trying to get written (don’t pitch a technology writer a human interest story), this will show that you have taken interest in not only their publication, but their written work as well!
Remember, the pitch is one of the most effective public relations tools and, if done properly, can garner a lot of attention for your small business or product!