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lily-anne
07-07-2008, 11:25 PM
Hi,

I'm looking into ways to get ourselves out there. We are a new business, and I know that a lot of people feel better about buying from you if they've heard of you before. I've seen some websites where their products have been featured in a magazine. Does anyone know how to go about this? Is that what an advertorial is?

I imagine lots of freebies might be involved...

Lilian

Blooming Felt
08-07-2008, 12:20 AM
Hi Lilian

From experience, I've found that advertorials are adverts where you pay to be featured (and these generally cost a lot more than a standard classified ad).

If you can get a press release sorted out, along with high resolution images and email these out to all the mags you'd like to be featured in, this is the way to get free press. But the story needs to be newsworthy, current and worth them featuring. The title and the first para needs to really grab their attention, otherwise you'll just get put to the bottom of the pile.

I've been really fortunate to be featured in crafts beautiful mag a few times, purely by them contacting me and asking for samples and they've then styled the pieces and done a little para about me and my website. Not that it generated a huge amount of business, but people tend to keep articles like that and then refer to them at a later date, so there's always the chance of a sale at some point !

But for free press, the best way is to send out press releases. I've got a long list of companies that I want to contact with my own press release, but it's a time consuming thing and at the moment, I just don't have the time. You also need to do it on a regular basis so they keep seeing your name and hopefully remember you for any future articles

silvermaid
08-07-2008, 12:23 AM
One of the best ways to be featured is to make a tutorial of one of your designs. Send photo's and instructions to one of the magazines that are linked to your particular craft and see what they say. If they say no, send it to another magazine.
Magazines like to have exclusive rights so if it gets published you can't send it to another mag.
Your local newspaper may publish an article about you. Sometimes they are scrabbling about for stories. If you have just started selling or have a new line of stuff to sell or just launched a website they may be interested.

Melanie

Woodsprite
08-07-2008, 02:31 PM
I just sent of lots of samples to appropriate magazines, eg. I sent samples of my cards and wrapping paper featuring VWs to Volksworld magazine. They featured them in thier 'new products' page (along with pictures) and hey presto - great free advertising and lots of orders!! So look for appropriate magazines which perhaps often do a feature on new companies/products and inroduce yourself top them with a few freebees!

lily-anne
08-07-2008, 02:52 PM
I did get some information about press releases. I suppose I'll have to come up with something newsworthy enough to justify one...

lily-anne
08-07-2008, 02:55 PM
I thought that freebees might be involved :).

nutty tigger
08-07-2008, 03:11 PM
I was in the 'do-crafts' mag once just before Christmas...I was featured as their 'crafty tipster' giving loads of cheap alternative ideas for craft and uses for things as opposed to going out and buying stuff all of the time...earth friendly...lol
I was featured in the back pages half a page..
However, the best way forward is to approach them and ask about advertising space, then broach the subject of how they compose their feature craft articles and as someone esle has suggested on here...offer to send some of your work in to them..

However, they will usually want to see some form of insurance or business identity..you will need to send in a couple of items as samples of your work to them...once these are passed, they will place a project in their mag..

Please note if doing this you will need to make sure that you dont mind people copying your item (ie no copyright or at least not for selling)
You will also need to make sure that the item you send is easy enough for moderate crafters to make
Most of all, make sure that the mag you apprioach is one that will reach your target audience....as sending samples to lots can get pricey...

Hope that helps?

nutty

doodles of Tadley
08-07-2008, 04:22 PM
In my non-crafting life I work as a freelance journalist on local newspapers, so can give you a bit of info about what journos look out for with features articles, etc.

Obviously, if you're looking for one of the glossy magazines or national newspapers to take up your mantle you're going to be up against some very stiff and well established competition so I'd start at local level first - building up a portfolio of articles on your business will give you more credence with the bigger publications.

Keep your eyes open for news stories that might lend themselves to promoting your products - these can be quite tenuous so long as you are able to sound convincing. For example, top current news topics include the credit crunch, green issues (recycling, fuel prices and the need for us all to reduce our carbon footprint) all of which can be fairly easily applied to a small business provided you have a bit of imagination!

Are your products reasonably priced because you don't have massive overheads to take into consideration? Is your business somehow supporting the local community by employing local people or using locally sourced goods thus reducing your carbon footbprint/transportation costs?
Do you use or encourage the use of recycling to produce your goods? Are you offering something special/unique/different?

Good photos of whatever you do are always important, though if they decide to run a feature on you they might well send their photographers out but features editors are always drawn to colour - and yes, freebies will help!

Can you involve yourself with a community project? School kids are always a great pull for editors as parents will buy loads of copies of a local paper if their child is in it - competitions are quite a good way of getting free publicity on local radio or newspapers too.
Can you offer to run workshops for the elderly? Share your expertise with adult learners? Organise your own craft show or offer to organise one in a local school hall - there's loads of things that will raise your profile and help you get free publicity into the bargain.

Writing press releases can be useful, but features' desks are literally swamped with them on a daily basis and most don't even get read unless they really stand out from the crowd, so if you want to do this, package your press release beautifully, make it sing or dance - and keep your fingers crossed!
I personally wouldn't bother employing a marketing agent to write press releases for you either - they're expensive, don't know your business as well as you do & they can be really pushy which is off-putting.

If you've managed to get to the end of this then congratulations - at least you've got patience! Good luck with your venture!