The Tin Shingle Blog


Moment of Silence for 9/11 in 2017

Our moment of quiet came today at 4:47pm here at Tin Shingle, when reflective thoughts could come in, allowing for a moment of silence today for 9/11 victims, their families, first responders, and those who helped. And then pictures and news of Irma flooding in Charleston happened - during Florida , after Texas, and so many others, and it became overwhelming. So many victims in the past, and so many victims being created right now - today.

We are never safe. We must always cherish what we have. We must always fight for the beautiful United States of America. If we didn't feel the depth of its beauty before, we are being tried and tested now, tested to do without the beauty, the nature, the freedom, the confidence to live without judgement or insult no matter how it arrives - in person or digitally.

Please continue fighting, loving, living. Trust what you know is right, and speak for it. From a business perspective, if you need to step away to feel these thoughts or to stay safe, do it. Take time to reflect and do what you need to do.

Thank you to first responders, and to people who protect us in stealth mode. xo

Tin Shingle's Co-Founder, Sabina Hitchen Is At It Again, Hosting Another Segment on Good Morning Washington

Sabina Hitchen as On Air Expert sharing travel tips and road trip must haves from small business and entrepreneurs with Larry Smith on Good Morning Washington

Many of you know long time friend and co-founder of Tin Shingle, Sabina Hitchen, who started a new adventure in 2016 with her website Sabina Knows (, featuring her online course Press For Success. Since then Sabina has founded and curated her own TV "Table Top" Segment to feature impressive Small Biz products you just can't miss. 

Sabina Aires On Good Day Washington With Small Business Travel Products 

As an on-air expert sourced by different morning shows Sabina showcases innovative products from entrepreneurs in different themed #SmallBizBigIdea segments. Thursday, August 24th she got herself down to DC for the taping of her new segment, Must-have Road Trip Essentials including the  Wrap-a-Nap pillow and Nonda Smart Car Charger. Check out the whole segment, with travel tips on Good Morning Washington's website.

Where Else Has She Been?

Sabina has also hosted other themed #SmallBizBigIdea segments on the morning show, Great Day Washington featuring some of our own Tin Shingle members such as Upgrade Your Picnic With Small Business Products and Glam Summer Accessories. You can also watch Sabina dish out other snazzy entrepreneur product finds on The Daily Glow

Where Can She Take You?

As one of Tin Shingle's PR insiders, Sabina sends over the new juicy details for upcoming segments she is curating. That is when we make it our mission to get the themes, contact details and more over to you - so you (or your brand) can be on TV with her too!

Never miss any of Tin Shingle's #PRSpecialOpps (or other amazing #SmallBizGoodness with PR tips, motivation & more) by joining our newsletter signup and reading Tin Shingle's blog regularly.  

All leads are posted and updated in Tin Shingle's PR Center for Level 3 and Level 4 Membership. Upgrade now to see the places you will go! 

#PRSpecial Opps TV Segment Looking For Party Products

Tin Shingle's insiders obtain juicy leads and opportunities from the media and influential outlets. When they come along it is our mission to tell you about it ASAP. Here is the latest opportunity.

Tin Shingle is not affiliated with any lead unless otherwise specified.  Leads we get are for pure editorial (PR aka free), and if require a fee, that fee is noted.

If you are  PR Pro, Writer, Editor, or Producer who wants to share your leads with Tin Shingle's membership base, please email

Special PR Lead Opportunity

On Air Expert Seeking Party Products for National TV Morning News ShowOn Air "Table Top" Expert Seeking Themed Products for Morning News Show Segment

We have to keep most of the juicy details private - and available to Tin Shingle Members Only at Level 3 and 4, but here’s what we can share with you in case you wanted to upgrade or log in to get the full details!




  • Decor
  • Party Favors
  • Customizable Snacks/Gifts
  • & More

All details available in Tin Shingle's PR Center.

Contact Info: Available to Level 3 or 4 Tin Shingle Members (upgrade now if you haven't already. Membership is monthly, so is commitment free. Try it!)


Media Contact Details and Pitching Tips


#MotivationMinute: Just Let It Go

Motivation Monday: Business Tips to Let Go of Undue Anxieties, Failed Partnerships, Over Thinking, Expectations Postponed.

If you listen or watch Tin Shingle's free live Training TuneUps (every Wednesday at Noon EST) you are very familiar with our "Motivation Minute" which inspires, encourages, and motivates all to keep reaching out, slaying all their goals, whether personal or business.

Tin Shingle's Most Recent "Motivation Minute" Inspired By An (Often) Reminder, Just Let It Go.

I promise not to break into song from Disney's Frozen (but in my head that is my theme song). The truth is life, and especially business journeys can be related to an amusement park ride- the ups and downs, excitement and dread of what will happen or does happen next. It is inevitable that there will be some regrets, maybe many expectations postponed, one or two failed partnerships, and if you're anything like me, a whole lot of over thinking.

You just need to LET IT GO!

Resentment, guilt, and holding on to undue anxieties have been often compared to drinking small amounts of poison. We may not necessarily notice the effect at first, but, it is definitely there, and will only continue to hurt yourself, your goals, and possibly your passions. No one wants that! 

How to Let It Go:

I know you are probably saying, yeah easier said than done. Did I tell you I am the queen of over thinking? Here are a few tips (and reminders for myself) to move on, start fresh, and let it all go.

  • Take a deep breath or many! Sounds simple but, it really can help. 
  • Remember your priorities. Sometimes we focus on something that in reality is actually very small. Which brings us too...
  • Maintain perspective. Look at the big picture. Make small goals to reach larger goals. And no matter what don't give up...get up!
  • Don't compare your "behind the scenes" with everyone else's "highlight reel". Yes, that is a Pinterest quote, but it is true. Focusing on where others are and you are not will get you nowhere! 

You can't drive a car while only looking in the rear view mirror. So learn from your mistakes, recognize your priorities, and keep perspective. All of us here at Tin Shingle have confidence that you can and will rock every last challenge and goal!

(If you are not tuning in on Wednesday's, you really should be! You can watch at your computer or listen on the go for PR and entrepreneurial tips, advice, strategies and more. We take live questions during the call as well for you to maximize what you learn. All classes are recorded and available for Level 4 All Access Pass Members of Tin Shingle to stream free 24/7 or are available for everyone else to purchase their favorites and keep forever.)


PR Special Opp: National Magazine for Girls Seeking Product Ideas

Tin Shingle's PR Center Special Opportunity and PR leads

Tin Shingle's insiders obtain juicy leads and opportunities from the media and influential outlets. When they come along it is our mission to tell you about it ASAP. Here is the latest opportunity.

Tin Shingle is not affiliated with any lead unless otherwise specified.
Leads we get are for pure editorial (PR aka free), and if require a fee, that fee is noted.

If you are  PR Pro, Writer, Editor, or Producer who wants to share your leads with Tin Shingle's membership base, please email

PR Leads

National Girls Magazine Seeking Products

National  Magazine For Girls Seeking Products For Feature in Upcoming Issue


  • Games
  • Gift Bags
  • Snacks
  • Boredom Busters
  • Activities
  • Outdoor Gear
  • First Aid Kits/Products

All details available in Tin Shingle's PR Center.

Contact Info: Available to Level 3 and 4 of Tin Shingle Members (upgrade now if you haven't already)


Media Contact for PR LEAD Click here

Upgrade Membership here

How To Avoid Getting The Dreaded, Anti-PR Answer: "Buy An Ad!" When Pitching the Press

You know the song and dance - you pitch the press about your business, and they respond with: "Sure, we can publish that - when you place an ad." And they may CC their marketing person or provide you with their email address. As a digital marketing producer, I've heard this complaint from clients when I encourage them to pitch the media with their anniversary celebration, or any other reason that they should try for pure editorial.

Now as a publisher of a local online newspaper/blog, A Little Beacon Blog, I get several pitches from businesses and organizations. Some of these pitches get turned into pure editorial, and some do not, but could get published if they were via our advertising channel. So what gives? How am I suddenly being part of the dreaded answer that my business friends and clients complain about?

It's All In The Pitch

It came down to this problem: the simple-ask pitch.

Businesses who emailed in a simple ask: "Can you feature my business?" were not compelling enough to stop everything to write an article about. When we write an article, we put resources into it. We pay a writer (or it's me and I don't pay myself) for content and photos. We pay our own production editor to socialize the story on all three channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). We usually produce a newsletter around the article, or at least feature it in a related newsletter.

I'm all for encouraging businesses to go for it, and ask for what you need, but this kind of simple ask won't get you what you want - the PR feature. I took a step back to review the pitching situation, and it hit me: my knee-jerk reaction was all about the pitch. And I'd put money on a bet that other writers and editors have the same reaction. See our TuneUp with GQ writer Sarah Crow, who also agrees with this and experiences it a lot from businesses pitching her.  How the pitch was worded led me to either be hooked on the story, and turn it into a must-publish article, or it gave me the reaction of "Well, buy an ad, and sure, we'll produce an article." But what was the difference?

Hey - Feature Me!

Businesses that reached out and said these words did not get a feature: "Would really love you to write about my business."

This angle has come in via email, Instagram comment and Facebook page message. This pitch will rarely work and here's why: We have compelling articles already in the schedule that have juicy and timely hooks to them. Either they are being talked about by people in the community, or it's about a big event that everyone is anticipating, or it's about an event or a piece of news that is so cool but nobody knows about it yet.

The only people we stop the presses for - as in stop writing pure editorial just to plug a business - are advertisers. Advertisers are part of what keep a publication alive, so having them is important. Anniversary stories are a no-brainer to throw an advertiser a bone and write about their anniversary. There are (hopefully) so many businesses celebrating anniversaries, that a publication can't possibly write about them all. So if you're not an advertiser and you want to feature an anniversary, you would need to email a reporter or editor and state reasons why your first year or five years or twenty-five years are so important. What happened in them? Did you almost go out of business XYZ years/months ago and made a comeback? Do you employ a large amount of people in the area? Did you create special employee incentives that make your business a trend-setter (Paid Family Leave is being talked about right now...what can you talk about to this trend?) And you'd pitch it in with bullet points.

"Feature Me!" Needs Juicy Details

At the end of the day, you're really saying to reporters: "Hey! Feature my business! We are really terrific!" But because space is tight and not all of the great stories of the world will fit, you need to identify why your story would be a great one right now. It must rise above the competition for the other articles that are being written that are really juicy and that the publication's readers will love and share on social media or through word of mouth.

Here's an example of a pitch that did not work, and how it could work better:

Pitch Example #1 That Did Not Work:

"Hey, our business has been here for 20 years and we just bought land and are expanding. Would love if you wrote about us."

This pitch failed because it requires homework on my part. It's from a business I don't know, and was pitched via Instagram comment. First of all, Instagram comments get lost real quick. Second of all it's impressive that the business has been around for 20 years and that they made an investment. But I need more in my inbox without needing to do homework. Not pages of content, but I need:

What people can do on the land. Why did you expand on it?

Something unusual that people do with your business. Why are you successful?

Pictures of your current location (triggers familiarity) and pictures of the land.

Anything noteworthy about the business owner, like if the owner or business has been featured on national TV shows. As a local publication, the other local publications are competition, so mentioning them probably would not be compelling. And vice versa for national. If you were on Good Morning America, you don't need to mention you were on the Today Show just last month.

Pitch Example #2 That Did Not Work:

"We are fans of your blog and were wondering if we could either have a small article about us featured or a social media mention?"

This pitch was from an exercise studio. This writer made a good move of at least indicating that they read the blog. But to flat out ask for an article or social media mention means that you are asking us to do work for you. And if we are going to do work for someone, that someone is going to be someone who is paying us. Otherwise, we work for free for our readers. We work very hard to give our readers articles and ideas that they will love. That concept even translates into how we produce advertisements. We want our readers to be interested in what is being advertised, as that is a win-win for everyone.

Meanwhile, we were working on an article about another fitness studio that was going through a major change, and bringing in new business partners and offerings. This business did not even pitch us to try for an article. The reason the business will get featured is because they have been around for a number of years and are well known in the community. To make a major change triggers newsworthiness.

Newsworthiness and Timeliness

Therein lies the secret to a pitch: what makes it newsworthy. This may be hard to identify if you are doing your own PR pitching, since everything you do is newsworthy, right? Keep your ears open to what impresses others about your business, and pick one of those reactions and turn it into a pitch.

Even for our own advertisers who buy branded content articles from us, we pitch them newsworthy ideas and we write the article for them. We have to make sure it appeals to our readers. However, 95% of our articles are pure editorial - not from advertisers - and those that are, blend in rather seamlessly with the content. But you can tell that with so many articles being written, competition is thick for what gets chosen. Often, it comes down to what is relevant right now this instant, aka timely. Why now? What would people care about the story right now? Is it about an event that is coming up? Or an issue being discussed?

Pitching the media and not getting picked up doesn't harm your business at all. If anything, it simply informs reporters and editors who gradually may become more familiar with your business simply through your email pitches, even if they don't respond to you. One day, one hook, one pitch may be just the hook they were looking for - and they didn't even know they were looking for it. It just hooked them.

So keep pitching. No matter what.


Member Update: Holiday Gift Guide Help

It's Holiday Gift Guide Season!

All of your dreams of seeing your business in national print magazines are happening now. Summertime is the time to make your own luck and opportunities by pitching magazines who may be working on Holiday Gift Guides for November/December issues. Your biggest chance of landing features is by pitching the right product with the right hook. Holiday Gift Guides come in many shapes and sizes. The best ones are themed like this:

"Best Gifts for Bros"
"Best Gifts for New Moms"
"Best Gifts for BFFs"

Need ideas for what to pitch? Not sure if what you wrote will work?
Ask Tin Shinglers in our Community Board Forum! This is where member help members by group editing a pitch. 

How The Pitch Whisperer Works:

The Pitch Whisperer Forum was created for you to get feedback, tips, and strategy advice on your pitch and get support from other Tin Shingle members, peers, and experts. It is a private forum available to Tin Shingle paid members only. (Membership starts at $45/month for the Level One: Community Membership at Tin Shingle.) All Tin Shingle forums are moderated, and a safe place for Level One Community Members and above to use to get productive feedback on pitches you submit. Browse some topics already started to generate and refine ideas, or start a new thread with your own pitch and questions. Here are some tips to get the best support:

  • Be sure to copy and paste your whole email pitch you are planning to use.
  • Include your email subject line.
  • Upload the photo(s) you will include with your pitch to your forum entry.
  • Include details of what outlet (Magazine, TV Station, Website etc.) you are pitching and why.
  • Don't forget to ask your questions!

Want More?

Listen to these Training TuneUps for expert advice and principles to pitch like a pro:


Training TuneUps are available to stream anytime for free with Level Four: All Access Pass Membership of Tin Shingle. Upgrade your membership for instant access to Tin Shingle's complete library of classes. All others can purchase individual Tuneups to listen to over and over.


Interested in what else you can benefit from with a Tin Shingle Membership? Check out what people are saying about their business membership and learn what else a Tin Shingle membership could offer you and your brand.

Day in the Entrepreneurial Life on National Parent's Day

In honor of National Parent's Day, Ashley asked me for a day-in-the-life write-up for the Diaries of Small Business Owners section on Tin Shingle. This is a member-produced blog platform for our small business members to share what it's like building, growing and running a business from a behind-the-scenes perspective.

It's broken down into a few sections, so take a read and see if you or your mompreneur and dadpreneur friends can identify:

  • Squeezing Every Ounce Out Of Every Minute
  • Some Things Aren't Going To Get Done, And That's OK
  • Final Decision on What Maternity Leave Looks Like
  • Teaming Up - And Keeping It That Way
  • And Finally...The Haunting Words

Click here for the full article >

Member Update: Planning For Breast Cancer Awareness

Member Update

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

You need to be planning your pitches, social media posts, and other buzz now to succeed. To help in the process Tin Shingle has added more media contacts, especially for nursing journals (a captive audience especially during BCA month!)

Media Contacts added:

  • Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal
  • Advances in Nursing Science
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Health and Drug Benefits
  • American Journal of Clinical Oncology
  • American Journal of Nursing
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Annals of Surgical Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Clinical Oncology News
  • Connecticut Nursing News
  • Creative Nursing
  • Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing
  • Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog
  • Nursing Made Incredibly Easy

Want some more help, motivation, and guidance? Listen to this training TuneUp: How to Prepare for and Pitch Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Level 3 Media List Members of Tin Shingle have 24/7 access to Tin Shingle's Media Contact and Editorial Calendar Databases

Level 4 All Access Members of Tin Shingle can stream any TuneUp anytime for free. Everyone else can buy their favorites TuneUps and keep them in their collection forever.

Upgrade Now For Access


Karen Mac Donald Tin Shingle's Newest MemberKaren Mac Donald was inspired by her mother, a cancer patient, to start and grow Wrapped in Love. The Accessories and Fashion Boutique consists of wraps, head wraps, and other beautiful gifts, designed by Karen, to provide women with cancer or women who are convalescing with warmth, comfort, beauty, dignity, and style. Everything is made in the USA. She works with cancer patients and survivors to ensure that the design and fabrics are conducive to their needs, as well as closely with nurses to ensure the designs provide appropriate access to the patient for medical attention. Wrapped in love has been featured on WJR with Guy Gordon, Sarasota Magazine, and CBS Detroit. 




But First Babysmush

We couldn't bid you all adieu without a quick fix of babysmush! Uber cute baby Charlie is Tin Shingle's co-founder, Katie Hellmuth Martin's, new baby boy and 3rd child.Baby boy Charlie



Are You Listening Live To This Training TuneUp: How to Get a TV Table Top Segment?

How to Get Product on a TV Table Top Segment

Tin Shingle's Member Manager and PR Coordinator, Ashley Marie Cox, rocks her second TuneUp Takeover with dear friend of Tin Shingle, Sabina Hitchen. Sabina is a co founder of Tin Shingle who continues to rock the PR world with the launching of her new brand Sabina Knows in 2016.

In her latest endeavors, Sabina has launched the curated TV segment #SmallBizBigIdea, where she shows off favorite products on TV from small businesses like yours. Being on the other side of the camera - and the pitching process - Sabina reveals where businesses slip up when pitching their products to an on-air stylist, and what the winning PR pitches had in them to help her pick their product to bring on TV. Check out some of Sabina's previous Table Top Segments on Great Day Washington where she unique and affordable picnic products as well as glamorous summer accessories.

We are talking about the whole process of how to pitch a TV or “Table Top" opportunity, to what Sabina looks for in product pitches, to what do you do after you do get the press. Will you be there? If you missed it, all TuneUps are recorded and available in Tin Shingle's Training Center. Stay tuned for this TuneUp to be available to stream but before then, sign up for our newsletter to get the announcement delivered to your inbox.

BONUS!: Level 3 and Level 4 Members of Tin Shingle have access to Sabina's PR lead in Tin Shingle's Special Opps Center to have the opportunity to get your dazzling products on TV

DOUBLE BONUS!!: Listeners to this TuneUp receive a unique promo code to Sabina's PR Master class, Press for Success, a soup to nuts online PR class with lifetime access and additional free monthly classes to learn how to get local and national publicity as well as build long term relationships with the media. 

All TuneUps are free for anyone to listen or watch live Wednesday's at Noon EST. Recorded TuneUps available in Tin Shingle's Training Center are free for Level 4 All Access Members to stream anytime. All others users can purchase their favorites to keep forever


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