Two of the most important things to keep in mind when you're pitching editors and doing your own PR is that:
A: They receive a lot of emails.
B: They're almost always working on a deadline which means they're super busy.
Nikki Ogunnaike, Elle Magazine's Senior Fashion Editor once shared on Instagram Stories that in one day her inbox went from 94 emails to 468... yes, in one day! And today, her inbox is at a casual 763!
While I personally love getting emails, I can't imagine receiving/responding to 400+ emails every single day while still trying to get all my work done, attend events and maintain some sort of work-life balance.
When you send emails to editors and journalists, remember that your email is not the only email in their inbox. While it might not seem like a big deal to you that you didn't include pictures in your pitch email because they can just go to the website or Instagram to see all the pictures they want, when you have 763 emails to get through and 4 editorial deadlines coming up tomorrow, taking the extra step to comb through 763 websites/ Instagram pages for the information you need is now the equivalent of having an additional part-time job.
Don't make editors/journalists search for the information they need. "The more there is for me to have access to, the better. Some marketers try and keep it vague in an effort to lure you in, and honestly, this doesn't work because our time is too short to take chances." Portland Monthly Magazine style editor, Eden Dawn.
In preparation for our Pitching Fashion event, we asked Eden to share her inbox with us and share a few IRL emails she's received that weren't up to par to give you an example of how NOT to pitch fashion editors.
- The email is short and sweet.
- There are images of the product embedded into the email (don't include images as an attachment. Large file sizes are often blocked by editors' email servers which means your email won’t even make it to the inbox.) and a link to a Dropbox folder with more images if needed.
- Boring email subject line.
- Didn't address the recipient. It's not personalized which makes us wonder if it was a copy & paste email.
- Missing periods and other grammatical errors.
- Doesn't say anything about the company and makes references as though the reader should know what they're talking about.
- Overall boring pitch. What makes these shirts any different than shirts from TJ Maxx? What's noteworthy about them?
- Portland Monthly Magazine only covers regional happenings. This brand is a west coast company which that alone means it wouldn't be featured.
- Somewhat interesting subject line.
- The email is short and sweet.
- Shared a bit of information about the company even though this is a follow up email. (Even if you're send a follow up email still include some brief information about the brand. Seeing that editors receive hundreds of emails a day you can't assume that they remember what you're talking about. Make it easy for them by giving them all the information they need every. single. time.)
- Included links.
- Didn't address the recipient. ALWAYS use first names.
- Didn't include images.
- Although the email did share a bit about the company, what does it mean that these watches were designed with the solar system in mind? What does it mean that "the construction itself is inspired by the trajectories of the planets around the sun?" Needs more details.
- Addressed the recipient.
- Short and sweet.
- Gives some background about the brand.
- The website link is at the bottom of the pitch.
- No images. Talks about giving the first look at the spring releases but doesn't include pictures. What does the product look like?
- Explain how this brand instills confidence. Is it because the styles are intentionally mismatched? How does that instill confidence. Explain.
- They mentioned that because they are a mom-owned business it would be an excellent business to profile. Why? Many business owners are also mothers. What makes their business especially unique?
It can be intimidating at first to do your own PR and pitch your brand but remember, editors and journalists NEED you. They need to know about what's cool and noteworthy and rely heavily on the emails they receive to do their jobs. You don't have to be a huge brand with an already large following on social media in order to get the attention of media outlets. One important key to getting press is to make it as easy as possible for editors and journalists to work with you.
Take an outside look at what your pitching and try to think ahead to what information they would want/need to know and include that in your pitch.
Get more amazing advice from Eden on pitching your brand at Pitching Fashion on Wednesday, October 18th from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at WM Goods. Come enjoy wine & light refreshments as Eden, along with Gray Magazine editor, Rachel Gallaher and WM GOODS shop owner Whitney Goodman (who also previously worked at a PR firm in New York and later became an in-house publicist for Mara Hoffman and Lucky Brands) discuss the ends and outs of approaching the media and buyers, what to include in your pitch, and the do's and don'ts of telling your brand story in a way that gets you noticed.
Whether you're looking to pitch your brand to the press, or to a retailer for a wholesale account, come and hear from the pros and leave feeling inspired with useful information on how to establish relationships with buyers, editors, and journalists.