Publicity

Packaging Will Be Important When Pitching Magazines for Holiday Gift Guides

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While perusing Instagram one evening, I saw this beautiful photo of white roses arranged neatly in a stark black box. I’d already slated in Tin Shingle’s Content Planner to write about Packaging as upcoming prep work for your Holiday Gift Guide Pitching to Magazines, and doing it via a re-gram from a Tin Shingle Member seemed cherry-on-top-awesome.

A Tin Shingle member who runs the PR agency, Great Her Good enforced to her following that packaging is everything. See her full message below.

Tin Shingle has started alerting you to the upcoming Holiday Gift Guide Pitching Season - where you email magazine editors with a carefully worded email planting the idea that they might include your product in their Holiday Gift Guide this winter.

Sending samples will be an important component to this. Don’t skimp on the packaging. The investment will be worth it for getting ink (coverage in print media like magazines and newspapers), and customer purchases who buy from you at markets and retail stores.

 

Message from Jackie of Great Her Good:

#Repost @greathergood with @repostapp 

 

 

My clients can hear me now, it's all about the packaging and presentation! How you put yourself, your biz and your passion out there.

🚫Bad Packaging? No PR.

✅Great Packaging? Great PR.

Have you ever seen a beautiful package for something on the shelf and it catches your eye? I bet you've even purchased it if the messaging had enough pull. This is a set of 16 beautiful roses, but they cost 10X more than a dozen roses from the grocery store. (Plus, they last for a year, so it's totally worth it!) It's all about how you present your offerings to your customer.

How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 on the packaging and presentation scale?

Image via @venusetfleur

 

What To Do Next

1. Join Tin Shingle’s Community Level of Membership to talk more about this in our private Facebook Group or Forums aka The Boards.

2. List your business in Tin Shingle’s Business Directory for a chance to be re-grammed like this by joining our Directory Listing Level.

3. Join Tin Shingle’s membership at the All Access Media List Level 4 that includes instant access to over 3,000 Media Contacts and over 80 Editorial Calendars to help you plan your media outreach and execute it. Browse through our lists to get on-point ideas of editors and writers to pitch.

Keep Going: A PR Placement Will Happen For You If You Keep Trying

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Scrolling through Instagram one afternoon, this mega artist, Ashley Longshore, was in the feed, holding up a full page feature on her art in the New York Times. She's a pretty hilarious, intense artist who makes bold and empowering statements in her art. If you need a serious pick-me-up to keep going in your artist or entrepreneurial career, do follow her Instagram feed.

She captured her joy at getting the full page feature in the New York Times here in this post, and her message is one you need to see and remember on your PR journey:

 

Republished from @ashleylongshoreart Instagram:

ashleylongshoreart I just woke up to a PAGE in the New York TIMES!!!! Im sobbing... absolutely sobbing....... just please know.... above all things.... to keep hope and be optimistic.... believe in yourself..... i am a self taught artist from montgomery alabama. I was an insecure nerd. I grew to love myself when the world felt cold and scary.... please.... do the same for yourself.... love yourself and work hard..... believe in the magic of life... i love you..... i love you so much. This moment is absolutely indescribable... #ashleylongshore #popart #fuckyeah

 

Take a look at how Ashley is making more out of this PR placements, and all of her recent placements. Once you get that press, lift the best parts of it and call it out to your people. To make a graphic like this, you could use the DIY design tool, PicMonkey to doing some fancy flyer work on your phone, or you could hire your graphic designer to do it for you. Either way, it's a good time and/or money investment as you leverage that press to do more for your brand.

More PR Tips & Tools on Tin Shingle

READ
"I Got Into PeopleStyleWatch, How Can I Leverage This Opportunity? (a strategy that an be applied to many other fashion magazines!)"
- by Kelly Kepner of Kelly Kepner PR

WATCH
PR Training TuneUp: Spring Training for Your PR Campaign
(a Tin Shingle Training TuneUp online class)

CONNECT
Thinking bigger and getting outside of your brain is always possible with friends. Get ideas and feedback from other Tin Shinglers in our Community by activating a Community Membership.

PITCH
Pitch a media outlet like this. Tin Shingle's easy to use Media Contact Database can help you find names quickly, and help you get access to different writers and editors you hadn't thought of pitching before. Get the Media Lists All Access Pass for membership with Tin Shingle.

Next TuneUp: The Truth About Press Releases

TuneUp: "The Truth About Press Releases"

It used to be the best way to introduce or announce a brand, event, product, or service, was to create and distribute a press release. Many times, this leads to paralyzing hours of writers block behind the computer, at the drawing board, or just lost in thought trying to create a perfect masterpiece.

Times. Have. Changed. 

You no longer need to  write a press release.
But if you wanted to, you could hire Tin Shingle to write and send a press release for you!

Feel liberated! Learn about this #TruthBomb in Tin Shingle's next Online Class, "The Truth About Press Releases." We will put that secret, and the power it contains, straight into your hands so you can work at getting more press with less stress!
 

You Will Learn:

  • What is a Press Release? What does it look like?
  • What do they really do?
  • When should I use one?
  • What opportunities am I missing by using a press release?
  • How else would I communicate with the media?
  • Simple Strategies you should be using instead
     

Details on How to Stream Coming

Once this storm passes, we'll have the date and time at which this TuneUp can be streamed.

If you want to connect with Katie right now, join Tin Shingle at the Community Level, and start chatting your question in our Facebook Group.

Fit Pregnancy & Baby Magazine Closes, But Merges In Print With Parent's Magazine

An associate publisher at Meredith Parents Network confirmed that Fit Pregnancy & Baby would be closing the print edition of the magazine with the December/January 2018 issue. Fit Pregnancy & Baby was known as a source for the inside scoop on how celebrities tackle pregnancy, coverage of the latest style trends, and the source for smart advice to millennial moms.

It does get better though! Fit Pregnancy & Baby will move into a special section in Parents, debuting in the March 2018 issue entitled Parents Baby. The sixteen-page section will be printed every other month targeting millennial women, especially expecting and new moms. Its content will focus on three pillars:

  • Health
  • Gear
  • Milestones

Other Family and Parenting Magazines To Keep On Your Radar

Other baby, family and parenting magazines to keep on your radar include:

  • Parents
  • Family Fun
  • Family Circle
  • Girl's Life
  • Pregnancy & Newborn
  • Women's Day
  • Boy's Life

"Ack! I Can't Keep Up! I Need A Magazine Closure Cheat Sheet!"

Done! Tin Shingle keeps an updated list of magazines that have folded, shuttered, and even ones that that came back from the print magazine graveyard. You'll get access to it with your All-Access Pass Media Contact Membership with Tin Shingle.

But Wait - I Want To Stay Ahead of the Game!

Want a head start on knowing what these magazines are working on right now? Tin Shingle keeps a list of content deadlines that these magazines are working on. Known as Editorial Calendars, these give businesses, artists, makers and brands the heads up as to the direction the magazine is headed in that month, which is a clue to you for how your business could fit into its pages. Editorial Calendars are a  great idea source as you look for ways to pitch a writer or editor about your business.

Editorial Calendars (see Tin Shingle's full list in our collection here) and corresponding Media Contacts are available to Level 4 All Access Pass Members of Tin Shingle. Learn more about the perks and different levels of membership.

 

2018 Editorial Calendars Available in Tin Shingle's Database

UPDATE: We have a list of over 80 current Editorial Calendars for print magazines that you can access instantly with an All Access Pass Membership to Tin Shingle.

As I type this blog post, it's November 2017, and already February 2018 deadlines for magazines are flying by. Because that's how magazines work: 3-6 months in advance. It's not enough to think ahead about what press coverage you want to try to get in the spring, or hope to get around Valentine's Day. You have to actually email the media (aka "pitch" the media) with these intentions months ahead of time. Think of articles as seeds. They start way early, often germinating in a warm seed container somewhere, before being taken outside to battle it out and survive the elements in the sun. Hence, why Tin Shingle guides you in this PR Planning, to help you know what themes print magazines are working on.

These Editorial Calendars are now active in Tin Shingle's live Editorial Calendar Database (you need to have an Level 4 Media Contacts All Access Pass of membership with Tin Shingle to see these). More are added and updated continuously. 

What are you going to see in these calendars?

Article ideas and deadlines. You're going to get a sense for what the big picture is for a monthly issue at a magazine - like "The Gear Issue" or "Most Powerful Women In Business" - and that will be your clue as to what might be the best time to pitch a magazine with your story angle. Will you have just one story angle? No. You'll have several.

How to Pitch a Magazine Using Its Editorial Calendar

You will spin a different story angle about your business that aligns with the them. Watch our online class about how to pitch the media using Editorial Calendars. Plus, the first week of every month, we dedicate our free online class to PR Planning for that month. You'll get a peek into magazines are working on right now, before their deadlines expire. Get on our mailing list for that free class alert, or activate a Level 3 Online Class membership to watch unlimited past online classes.

Tin Shingle Training in How to Pitch a Magazine Using it's Editorial Calendar

PS: Using Editorial Calendars isn't the only way to cold-pitch the media. This is only one of your strategies. Tin Shingle has several online classes to coach you through how to pitch the media randomly, out of the blue.

As of November 2017, here are the 2018 Editorial Calendars we have. Since this blog post, more have been added:

  1. Better Homes & Gardens
  2. Martha Stewart Living
  3. Martha Stewart Weddings
  4. Bella NYC
  5. Departures
  6. Brooklyn Magazine
  7. Car & Driver
  8. Bridal Guide
  9. Boston Magazine
  10. Boston Home
  11. Saveur
  12. Rachael Ray Every Day
  13. Allrecipes
  14. American Hunter
  15. House Beautiful
  16. Cross Country Skier
  17. Backcountry Magazine
  18. Advertising Age
  19. AARP The Magazine
  20. Pregnancy & Newborn
  21. Backpacker Magazine
  22. Shape
  23. Spirituality & Health
  24. Modern Luxury/Boston Common
  25. Boys' Life
  26. Family Circle
  27. Family Fun
  28. Girls' Life
  29. Traditional Home
  30. Veranda
  31. Atlanta Magazine
  32. New York Magazine
  33. Atlanta's Magazine Home
  34. HGTV Magazine
  35. Woman's Day
  36. Elle Decor
  37. Allure
  38. Better Nutrition
  39. Bloomberg Business
  40. Bon Appétit
  41. Bust
  42. Glamour
  43. BookForum
  44. Clean Eating
  45. More to come!

Inflight Magazines:
This is totally a secret strategy that you competition is most likely not using! Pitch the magazines that are in airplanes.

  1. Hemispheres
  2. American Way
  3. more have been added...we have a special section for these in the database

Sneak Peek Into Themes Planned For February and Beyond

Knowing what direction a magazine is planning to cover is a huge advantage! It allows you to curate ideas that will interest the editor and direct their attention towards your product, service, business, or expert advice. These are some upcoming themes to be printed in 2018.

  • A "GAL-entine’s" chocolate and flowers gathering + date night steakhouse-style
  • The Destination Issue.  The ultimate guide to unforgettable luxury experiences within the chosen destination.
  • Mother’s Day scents and candles + curated gift boxes for Mom
  • DIY IT: Do it or design it yourself. Instant upgrades to elevate your home, meals, and style.
  • Modern entertaining at a “grown-up summer camp” + beachy bashes
  • Girl boss beauty advice + thicker, fuller hair fast
  • 60-second de-stressors

All editorial themes are from editors themselves and are subject to change.

Editorial Calendars are available to level 4 members of Tin Shingle only. Upgrade your membership for instant access. Send in media contact or editorial calendar requests to member@tinshingle.com

Hudson Valley Magazine Speaks with Katie Hellmuth Martin, Co-founder Tin Shingle

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Days after attending the 3rd Annual Women in Business lunch hosted by Westchester's business magazine, 914Inc., I picked up a copy of the Hudson Valley Magazine from my local drugstore here in Beacon, NY (yes, we still have a local drugstore that isn't Rite Aid!), to read the December issue of our regional magazine. This month covers how female entrepreneurs, CEOs and small business owners are taking care of business. I was honored to be included in the editor's letter that kicked off the issue.

Olivia Abel, editor in chief, interviewed me for my take on what special challenges women entrepreneurs face these days. The challenges that women entrepreneurs face are quite different for each circumstance and usually relate heavily to family and time. She included a few of my thoughts in her editor's note, which I'll share here with you as well:

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Perfection. Women are natural organizers and can multi-task very well. These are ingredients to a recipe for success. However, women who can quickly foresee the success of a business venture can be easily let down or disappointed in themselves if things aren't going exactly as planned. It's important for women to forgive themselves when they are working their hardest and sacrificing personal time for the pursuit of their business. (Alli Webb, founder of Drybar, also feels this way, as we learned in our business success secrets interview with her.)

Guilt. Women are consumed by guilt, and it's a really hard habit to break. There is no room for guilt in business relationships. Guilt about having a negative conversation with someone when a situation needs improvement can often lead to no conversation at all, and thus no improvement in a situation.

Family. Women are nurturers, and in business this can work very well as they listen to the needs of their businesses and shift accordingly. But the pull of family responsibilities is strong, and women often are taking care of household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and directly caring for the children. This is quite time consuming, thus leading to time away from growing their business. On the upside, however, unplugging in this digital day in age has become increasingly difficult, so a forced unplugging when spending time on family or household can lead to a recharged brain and fresh ideas.

Networking. It can be difficult to find a networking group that gets to the core of your business needs. But once you fine one, you'll realize that women are great at sharing and like to help each other.

Being "Worth It". Entrepreneurial women have created something from scratch. There is no boss telling them to stay after 5pm, or working on a family vacation. Entrepreneurs decide to work these extra hours, not take personal calls during the day, and sometimes say no to personal invitations when really, she needs to be working on her business. Women sacrifice for others, but rarely for themselves. And as a business owner, a woman must think that she and her business are "worth it" in order to do what needs to be done.

 

Dream Come True: Hudson Henry's Good News Granola Featured on Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda 4th Hour

This morning, I was watching the Today Show at my sister-in-law's house while on a family visit. I watched a few segments that featured some products and organizational ideas (that possibly were sourced by organization experts in other small business communities like In Good Company), and I thought about Hope Lawrence at Hudson Henry Baking Co., and how her dream (as stated even on her packaging) is to have her "Good News Granola" featured on the Today Show. She's been working towards that dream and it's actually how she found Tin Shingle: she wanted to get on the Today Show, and discovered that our business membership program had the components to make that dream a reality.

After making my children's breakfast, I'd actually turned off the Today Show so that I could focus on getting them dressed and getting out the door. Moments later, Sabina, Tin Shingle's co-founder and my business partner, emailed me saying: "It happened!!"

"What happened?", I wondered. I dove into the email to learn that Kathie Lee and Hoda just aired a feature of Good News Granola as one of their Favorite Things. (It's also my favorite granola snack that is always stocked in my cupboards...)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a glorious way to start a Monday!  Now here's something you should know: Tin Shingle is all about empowering entrepreneurs like Hope to build buzz - that's what we do, day in and day out.  We demystify PR, social and online marketing via education, motivation tools and tips so that you can be sure people hear, see and read about your business.

The founder of this granola company that was featured on the Today Show, Hope Lawrence, is a member of Tin Shingle and is especially inspiring to me because she is a mother of two boys who started her granola business so that she could build a business and raise a family. Every decision she makes is made around her family. She doesn't move as quickly as other entrepreneurs because she's on a family vacation, or picking up her son, or is baking granola. But she does it at her own pace. Sabina and I call that a "holistic business" approach, and it's one we try to live by as well. Very often, entrepreneurs in our field don't have families, and they have many more hours in the day and night to grow their business. But the pace of an entrepreneur with a family is slower, and that pace just paid off for Hope.

Hope landed this segment with persistence, patience and by following Tin Shingle's Membership Program. She used several Tin Shingle membership tools to help her get featured on the Today Show. Here is how Hope got featured on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda:

  • Hope read our (free) articles in the Ask the Expert section to learn how to pitch the Today Show and Kathie Lee & Hoda 4th Hour.
  • She attended our #PRTuneUps including the virtual classes about how to land a spot on a morning show.
  • Hope used our community and resources to check and get feedback on her pitch to strengthen it before she sent in to the show's producers. This helped ensure her pitch was in tip top Today Show shape.
  • Hope used our Media Contacts to pitch her product to the right producers.
  • Hope then used strategic emails to follow up with the producers and then waited when she needed to. When she had questions she took them to our Community Forum to get thoughts from others who'd been in her position.

And really, Hope had hope for her product, created fantastic packaging, has a darn cute website, and has enough spunk and "wow factor" that her brand was a fit for the show.

We are so thrilled!

See her packaging here, which truly illustrates her belief in the power of good messages. She states her mantras, one of which is to "Ask for what you want". See the first sentence in the packaging "My dream is that this little granola company will allow me to spend my days with my boys and land a spot on the Today Show":

Done. Mission accomplished thanks to Tin Shingle's Membership Program. Play the clip below:

How To Get on The Wendy Williams Show - A Simple How To Guide

Wendy Williams.  How can you miss her?  This one time NYC radio DJ has taken her eponymous show to the top of the television ratings, meaning that if you're an expert or brand featured on the program, you're going to get major, instant exposure.  It it possible? Heck yes! In fact, one of our Tin Shinglers did and you can read her story here, showing us once again that small businesses do have a chance to be profiled on the "small screen".  In the article below we'll outline HOW to get on and we have also included a link to the producer contacts for you to get to piching.  But first: master the art of pitching Wendy Williams!

There are two things to ask yourself when daydreaming about being on The Wendy Williams Show.  First:  are you even a fit for the Wendy Show and Second: how do you get yourself on the show?

Never fear, we're hear to answer these questions and give you tips on making the process so easy that you'll figure it out faster than you perfect your classic, Wendy "How You Doin"!

FIRST: DO I BELONG ON THE WENDY WILLIAM SHOW:

Let's be honest, not everyone is meant for Wendy.  You know who is certainly not ready for Wendy?  Anyone who has never watched the show.  If you simply want to be on it because you hear it's a big show and you want press, stop here.  You aren't allowed to read any further until you have watched some clips of the show.  I'll make it easy, you can find them HERE.  If you've read any of my DIY PR posts you know that I'm a big believer that you must study the press you're pitching.  I mean you Google the names of people you go on a date with, you'd never hire a babysitter without checking references, you check Yelp when you are considering restaurant choices...Important things take research.  Getting press for your business is important.  Don't take it lightly.  Even in regards to shows that take, well, everything lightly.

How will you know how and what to pitch if you have never seen the program?  How will you know what types of guests and segments they do?  How will you know what types of products they love?  How will you discover clever ways to spin your product in?  Do your homework.

The WW Show isn't like the Today Show...That said they follow standard procedures most days.  They have celebrity guests, cover hot topics, gossip, celebrity news and from time to time they have on experts with tips or products that are great for Wendy's audience. 

The show itself describes the program as follows:

Entertainment talk show, hosted by New York DJ, syndicated radio host, TV personality and best-selling author Wendy Williams. Show features advice during the "Ask Wendy" segments, "Hot Topics" commentary on news headlines, and interviews with celebrities and everyday people.

What do Wendy & her audience love?

Before you get to part two below (the How to get on) first be sure you or your product could be reasonably spun into the context of the show.  Wendy loves bling, Wendy loves fabulous, Wendy loves cool and fresh tips and tricks, Wendy loves celebrity attachment, Wendy loves beef jerky (okay irrelevant but true).  At the same time, Wendy's viewers like value, they like getting product giveaways, they like tips that will help them save money and be fabulous, they love product segments that won't break the bank....Can you provide these things?

Okay I PROMISE I Belong on the Show, How Do I Get On...

There are so many ways to "get on" a show and connect with producers.  From calling the station to finding them on Twitter (yes they're there).  It's an internet world, it's a networked world (both on and offline) and the contacts are the easy part here...A call to the show describing what/who you are and asking for the best producer for your topic can even net you a contact, but that's only half the battle...See below for a useful set of tips all under the "how" category:

If you are a potential expert who will be sharing tips and tricks, create a quick and to the point pitch that introduces you, links to your website/reel, gives a few sentences max about what you do and why you're qualified and good for Wendy, and then bullet out 5 or so segment ideas that you could demonstrate.  Make sure segments are highly visual and fit with Wendy's demographic.

Introduce the option of giveaways.  Whether you are a product or service, The Wendy Show loves giveaways, and if you can give to her audience (you will need to provide approx. 225 products or gift certificates) it could help you.  If you are an expert, find one of the products in your segment that will offer a giveaway.  It's a great "cherry on top" of your pitch.

Court the experts who go on the show! If you are a product based business they are unlikely to do a segment all about you alone, unless you're really newsworthy and you are a Hot Topic...So, track the experts who make regular TV appearances and share your product with them, for future segments they'll be doing.  This will not only help get you on Wendy, but on several other shows as well!

ASK to send a sample.  Don't blindly send them (hello waste of time and money).  But if you can find a great person to send them to, you have a better chance in showing your stuff!

Pitch yourself into a Hot Topic! You may not be worthy of a whole segment, but you could tie yourself to a Hot Topic. Be cool, newsworthy, find a celeb attachment to your product and you could be well on your way!

Be Fun!  Have you seen this show? It's not serious! It's not NBC Nightly News, it's a blast! You must bring the blast - if you are up tight and not bringing the energy and you're an expert, this isn't the show for you! Get your Wendy Shoes on (tall and fabulous) and bring it!

Be timely: Valentine's Day, Spring, St. Patrick's Day....That's what we're looking at on deck - get creative, make a seasonal segment up that is fresh and fun.

Don't give up and think it will be easy!  If it took one try (or two) to get on a national TV show everyone would be doing it! Pitch a lot, pitch patiently and politely and await their feedback.

Open up your net!  Your network that is!  You'd be surprised how many people are separated by only a few people from their media goal.  You know where you won't find them?  In a silent bubble of disconnect? Put it out there, look on social media, network, ask around...If you are a good fit you're bound to have people who can help connect you!

Last but not least!  Acces the Contacts via Tin Shingle:

Our contact database is packed with TV producer contacts including those from Wendy Williams!  If you're a member of Tin Shingle, you can access them directly via this database!