COMMUNICATION/PUBLIC RELATIONS - Spreading the word
This is a massive subject and is constantly evolving so, I imagine this will take more than one blog post as my own experiences develop. With more routes than ever to reach potential consumers, it is essential to keep up with the newer ways of spreading the word while respecting the traditional editorial pathways. Estee Lauder herself used to say 'tele-gram, tele-phone, tell-a-woman' and look what she achieved.
It is time-consuming to learn and take on all the different social platforms. For example, I write this blog, Tweet, Facebook and Pintrest. The reality is, that though a novice I am pretty good at posting blogs, inconsistent at Tweeting, all or nothing on Facebook and have pinned about twice on Pintrest so that anytime I get a new follower on Pintrest, I shout at the screen 'No, follow my blog, I am better at that!' and, there goes another broken promise-to-self, to 'pin'. When you are 40 something (not 17), grew up with a biro and paper and new to these social platforms, it is so exciting to get your first comments back;, to know that hey, someone is interested. Then realisation dawns that people you had no inkling even existed, are reading about your life and progress, when someone like the basketball shoes man, send encouraging messages and it makes you think, WOW! How did he even find my blog in the vastness of the world-wide web? And, how many others are following me that I don't even know about? It feels good and a bit weird. In my case, another 'surprise' to find that someone else is following me with not such good intentions.....wanting (and succeeding) to cause you and your family harm and heartache and she is probably reading this now. I decided it (she) was not going to stop me living my life and making my dreams come true though, recommend you assess your own situation because once you are out.......
In terms of traditional communication, I have been making plans and seeking support in readiness for the launch of MERUMAYA Integrative Effective Skincare, with the intention of inspiring journalists and editors to cover my brand in their magazines, newspapers, blogs etc. The press launches are set for week commencing 8 October and run over four days. I have a guest speaker, Prof K a PhD brainiac, coming to give his independent thoughts on some of the active ingredients in my products. He is helping to write the press releases, providing the scientific knowledge while I provide the brand 'voice and tone' and the more feminine presentation style. I have prepared a PowerPoint presentation that will include a few slides from Dr K as well as the inspiration behind the brand and products. Yesterday, I managed to source customised carrier bags at half the price quoted by two other company's - yee ha! Still to find tissue paper and ribbon in my Pantone colours, print press releases, folders etc. Husby did the artwork for the email invitations and today I hope to finalise the invitee list with the PR company I am working with. Fingers and toes are crossed that the product will be manufactured on time; currently due to arrive two days before the first event, it is nail-biting-anticipation until then. Venues are sorted - thanks to those who have generously given me their boardrooms. This morning's work was all about communication. I woke in plenty of time to dress and prepare for my two meetings. My Mum always says, man proposes, God disposes and I was about to experience that first hand. My cold had turned into a streamer overnight making applying my makeup somewhat of a challenge. Contact 400 to the rescue, it began to take effect when Baby Y decided she wanted mummy not daddy. I sat her in the bathroom sink and she watched me applying my make up while sucking on my blusher brush and playing her throw-everything-on-the-floor-and-they-will-pick-it-up-time-after-time-game! Husby, who was supposed to be changing nappy, disappears......Husby (who does not like being called Husby) takes her for breakfast which she very loudly protests against and I run down to get her. Time to dry hair, turn round and contents of handbag all over the floor. They leave for Nanni and Grandpa's house, I gather samples and leave for breakfast meeting with owner of The Diary (a directory and industry diary publication, central for all beauty PR's and journalists). Sun is shining, happy Friday, but it causes streaming to start again. Scramble round in handbag as I am racing down the street and you guessed it; Handy Andies are still on bedroom floor. All I can find is a pink bib, complete with dried on porridge, to mop up streaming eyes and nose. Gosh, the glamour of the cosmetics girl! Great breakfast and Holly is super helpful and actually eats - thank you!
Race back home as I am being interviewed by a top journalist for a feature to be published in January, in time for when MERUMAYA hits the High Street. I am a bit nervous, though very happy to have this opportunity bestowed upon me - thanks Sue. Fiona arrives and she is great. I really like her and she has an incredible story of her own. I'd like to see her again socially. I answer her questions and hope I am not rambling too much. She tells me that I won't see it before it's published and I have a small panic that I try desperately not to show on my face. Non chalant expression is probably looking like pained grimace; what if I don't come across as I see myself or want to be seen? What if I didn't get my amazing product story across effectively? What if she doesn't love my product samples that I have given her? What if she didn't like me? It is so much more personal being interviewed about yourself and your own brand versus one of the corporate brands I have worked on. I give myself a talking to and put my insecurities away. It will be, what it will be. Apparently photography will happen in a few weeks; great, I have time to lose that unwanted two stone. Time to get on with every other thing on my to-do list, each one of them urgent, now we are on the five-week countdown....
Lesson; When planning your press event, visualise it happening from start to finish so that you 'see' what is needed to communicate your branding.
Lesson; When writing press releases, make the journalists job easier. Short, succinct, easy to pick out key pieces of information, provocative headings, include essential information like size, price, date on sale, where on sale, contact details.
Lesson; Before the press launch contact key people and titles to see if there is opportunity for exclusive angles or to be included in relevant themed features that are in the works.
Lesson; Learn and keep learning how to participate on the social platforms and subscribe and follow others
5P2HL; self;relationships - have accidentally fallen into the habit of lunch with Husby on a Friday but damn, the Fish and Chips I just ate is not going to help me get slim for the camera.