Online Class TuneUp: What To Pitch The Media This Month: December 2018

During this Training TuneUp, we guide you through your PR campaign for "long lead" pitches to print magazines, "short lead" pitching to regional magazines, and "right now" leads that you can capitalize on from news trends.

In December, the magazines are working on Spring issues. That means Organizing, Spring Fashion, Taxes, etc.

We have a few Editorial Calendar themes to share with you from Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, Departures, Money, and others. These Editorial Calendar themes are from Tin Shingle's collection of Editorial Calendars from the magazines themselves, available in our Database.

Plus, this TuneUp includes a special focus on how to "cold pitch" which is when you don't rely on an Editorial Calendar, but you pitch an editor or a writer with a story angle for an idea that might work for a projected time.

Sneak Peek!

Online Class TuneUp: What To Pitch The Press This Month: November 2018

It's November, and you're wishing to be featured and talked about in the Holiday issues of magazines, right?

And you learned in this "Ultimate Guide To Pitching Holiday Gift Guides" that your chance to pitch the Holiday magazines was in July, right? And that your next chance for a Gift Guide is Valentine's Day, which is happening in November, right (hot tip: listen to this Training TuneUp on how to pitch Valentine's Day in November)?

This is your chance to not miss the boat again! Set the stage and plant the seeds in November on those amazing story ideas during this monthly Training TuneUp from Tin Shingle: What To Pitch This Month: November.

Several years ago, we started this "What To Pitch" series in November because we noticed that people started unplugging from their PR efforts during the Winter holidays, and the Summer season. These are the two peak seasons for pitching!

Covered In This Training TuneUp

  • Ideas: The usual set of ideas for what print magazines are looking for now (aka Long Lead), then blogs and websites (Short Lead), and hot news trends you can piggy back on for quickie articles at your website or others, and your social media.

  • BONUS: "But pitching doesn't work for me": This question will be discussed during the TuneUp, with suggestions on what to change in your pitching to the media.

  • BONUS: "But why would any magazine feature me?": This question will be discussed during the TuneUp, with myth-busters on why any business should want - and get - media coverage. Be you a website designer, jewelry designer of single pieces, or anything.

Online Class TuneUp: Trick or Treat: 5 Tricks for Instagram, PR, and SEO

This TuneUp was originally recorded on Halloween, thus the Halloween inspired Tricks and Treats you're going to get for doing your own PR and Instagram posting. This was a quick TuneUp because there was costuming to be done!

Covered In This Training TuneUp

  • PR Trick: An email pitch trick that worked to hook and land a local newspaper article in a competitive market.

  • PR Trick: A trick in the follow-up to your pitch to a reporter.

  • Rotten Candy for PR: A follow-up email that would have rotted the possible story!

  • Instagram Trick: A really easy trick to get a lot more exposure (hint: it's pretty basic but takes courage)

  • Instagram/PR Combo Trick: A trick that local business is mastering pretty well to get organic PR, but PR agents might not know about it yet.

  • Rotten Candy for Instagram: An easy way to rot in your intended contact's Instagram and not get heard.

  • SEO Trick: Easy way to create content to get gobbled up by Google and recommended to people looking for what you sell.

Online Class TuneUp: SEO + Social: The Migration


We’re in the middle of a “social migration,” as we’re calling it here at Tin Shingle. Behavior at social platforms like Facebook and Instagram are changing. Usage activity at Facebook is still high, but it’s an increasingly questionable place, both with data privacy, and being over-designed and over-stuffed with information, causing users to miss a message.

As reported by CNBC in March 2018: “Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg broke his silence Wednesday on the Cambridge Analytica data scandal that's plagued the social media giant in recent days and slashed stock value. ‘We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you,’ Zuckerberg said in a statement posted to his Facebook page.”

Instagram’s co-founders abruptly resigned from Facebook two weeks ago, just one week before Facebook announced another data breach. They had worked there for six years after the merger, which apparently is a long time in the world of acquisitions. Would Facebook ever pull the plug on their-self if they were too weighed down with data issues? It's a very unlikely scenario, but is implied by Mark's statement. Plus, Facebook has deleted websites they have purchased in the past (like that data storage website that was pre-Dropbox and we stored lots of stuff there!).

Social Is On Shaky Ground. We All Want To Connect, and We Will, But...

What do you have in your own tool belt (hopefully) all of the time that you can control?

Your website.

And how are people finding it?

Googling stuff.

What are they going to find there?

Amazing content you’re going to put at your website, and lots of pictures.

What do people do after they Google things? They buy things and subscribe to newsletters. Your newsletters and your products and services.

That’s right. Good old fashioned SEO.

The three most important things you can be doing right now for your business is what we will be covering in this TuneUp :

  • Making your website pretty and alive.

  • Sending newsletters to the people who subscribed and really do want to hear from you - frequently (they really do!!!)

  • Posting to Instagram (yeah, do it, we’ll be watching to see if and how the user experience at Instagram changes, but so far, keep posting)

Online Class TuneUp: PR Planning and What To Pitch the Media This Month: October 2018

During this TuneUp, we dive into how you are going to get real PR right now - in October 2018. Not PR that you wait to receive a PR lead for. Not a random mention about you that might not have to do with your business. We're talking really relevant PR that gives your business validation.

That's right - YOU have the power to get featured or quoted in a magazine or newspaper, or to get booked on TV. You don't need to wait for a PR lead from a journalist already working on a story.

"Cold Pitch the Media"

You can "cold pitch" the media with an amazing angle of why to feature your business right now to their readers. During this TuneUp, we are going to revisit what it really means to pitch the media, and why you don't need to wait for an opportunity to present itself - if it ever does!

This media planning Training TuneUp will get in your PR Zone! Your host and Tin Shingle's owner Katie is going to give you lots of ideas, and will help you plan out how to execute them to get exposure!

Ideas To Warm You Up

Writers Are Working On These Topics In October:

  • New Year, New You

  • National Mentors Month

  • New Sales Tax for Online Sales - Tax Time!

  • Diets

  • Organizing

  • Winter! Cold Weather! Snow!

  • Cold and Flu Season

Online Class TuneUp: Instagram Stories 101: The Basics

This Training TuneUp explores Instagram's Stories - those little circle videos that appear at the top of your Instagram account. Instagram launched Stories in 2016 as a way for people to post imperfect photos, videos, and "moments in-between" according to TechCruch.

In a 2016 interview with then Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom, people were only posting their most perfect and curated photos in Instagram. Stories was for those silly moments in-between the glossy photos, which can give people more creative freedom, and brands more opportunities to get closer with their people by being, well, imperfect and relatable. The Stories only last for 24hrs (unless you know a few tricks to keep them forever), so people can feel less attached to them.

Trivia Tip

Instagram's Stories was a copy of Snapchat, an earlier 24hr video sharing platform used by younger people. Instagram doesn't deny this, and Kevin admits in this TechCruch article: "They [Snapchat] deserve all the credit,” but insisted “This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.”

This TuneUp explores Instagram Stories - the How and Why. At first blush, these may seem like one more thing you need to know about, and you may be skipping it, hoping that it's just a fad. Stories are here to stay, will be really good for your brand, and is easier than you think to do. Imperfections and all.

Covered In This TuneUp

  • Why Instagram Stories? Why would you want to make these silly - or beautiful - videos?

  • How do Instagram Stories help your brand?

  • Design Tips and Tricks - Yes, Instagram Stories are that easy to design. Just tap and drag on something cute.

  • What makes a good Instagram Story?

  • Learn about how Instagram Stories work - Where do they go? Who sees them?

  • One of the most important reasons to start using Instagram Stories right now - which might not be as true in years to come.

  • Question answered from a viewer: "What is worthy of an Instagram Story?"

  • Question answered from a viewer: "How many photos does it take to make 1 Instagram Story?" (Hint: this becomes a trick question)

Online Class TuneUp: Digital Marketing for Small Business

This TuneUp is based on a seminar Tin Shingle's co- founder Katie Hellmuth Martin delivered at the East Fishkill Library in the Hudson Valley of New York.

Learn quick and easy techniques that your business can use today that will help more people find out about your business. Designed for business owners who run a storefront, sell a product, or provide a service direct to customers, this workshop will get you comfortable with strategies in Facebook, Instagram, blogging, and knowing what to do with your newsletter.

Online Class TuneUp: PR Planning for September 2018


Tin Shingle is your PR Campaign Partner in crime, and we've got your roadmap for what ideas to pitch to the media for this month. You're going to get:

  • Ideas for what to pitch magazines - how to spin a story about your business into their pages.

  • Insights into what magazines are working on now - we open our Editorial Calendar Database to show you the main themes of magazines like Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Real Simple, and many more.

  • How to channel all of this pitching so that it's not overwhelming. Pitching the media is all about sending the right idea at the right time. This TuneUp helps you do that for August.

You don't need to be a professional PR person to get a big PR hit. You need to be a go-getter with fresh ideas. Listen to this live Training TuneUps class to get some of those ideas and some gumption to carry them out.

Online Class TuneUp: PR Planning and What To Pitch for August


Tin Shingle is your PR Campaign Partner in crime, and we've got your roadmap for what ideas to pitch to the media for this month. You're going to get:

  • Ideas for what to pitch magazines - how to spin a story about your business into their pages.
  • Insights into what magazines are working on now - we open our Editorial Calendar Database to show you the main themes of magazines like Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Real Simple, and many more.
  • How to channel all of this pitching so that it's not overwhelming. Pitching the media is all about sending the right idea at the right time. This TuneUp helps you do that for August.

You don't need to be a professional PR person to get a big PR hit. You need to be a go-getter with fresh ideas. Listen to this live Training TuneUps class to get some of those ideas and some gumption to carry them out.

Sneak Peek!

Online Class TuneUp: Interview with Artist Anna West: How She Sells Paintings on Instagram


You know those people who sell things on Instagram? We're going to interview one to find out how she does it - with her paintings. Anna West is a painter full time (here's her Instagram), and she scours and devours Instagram to find the the best possible buyers of her art, and gets in front of them.

Anna has a sales goal each month, and a routine each day for her social media. Find out what it is and why it's working on this Tin Shingle Training Class!

Biggest Secret Revealed Here: The money is in the hashtags.

Sneak Peek!

Online Class TuneUp: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide Pitching Guide

Publicity in a magazine's Holiday Gift Guide is one of the meccas of PR for most businesses. How do the magazines find all of those amazing products to recommend to you?

We'll tell you the secret...are you ready? Business owners just like you emailed an editor about their amazing products - that's how! And now you're going to learn how to do it, too.

Here's your first hint at this Holiday Gift Guide mystery: the magazines are actually putting them together in July. That's right - in the most boiling hot time of summer. You might have been pool-side all this time, but this year, you're going to be carving out time to be at your computer, researching which media contact is the best fit, and then writing that email to email it in.

PS: Tin Shingle collates a database of Media Contacts for our All Access Pass members to search through at any time. So when you're ready, check them out. They will save you time in your research.

This Training TuneUp will show and tell you the ways of how Holiday Gift Guides work in magazines and on TV for the local stations. We teamed up with Sabina Hitchen, founder of Press For Success and a certified educator. She is a former high school teacher turned PR agency owner who now dedicates her gift for teaching to small business owners through her PR Prep School. In this TuneUp, your host and owner of Tin Shingle, Katie Hellmuth Martin, interviews Sabina for all of the juicy details of how to get your business featured in the end of the year holiday gift guides.

Sneak Peek!

Here's a little taste of what you're going to see during this class, the Training TuneUp.

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Online Class TuneUp: Interview With Christina Fagan, Founder of Sh*t That I Knit On How She Rocked Her Kickstarter Campaign

Interview With Christina Fagan, Founder of Sh*t That I Knit On How She Rocked Her Kickstarter Campaign

Watch and learn from this Training TuneUp Interview to find out how Christina Fagan, founder of Shit That I Knit, launched a such successful Kickstarter campaign when growing her business, raising over $25,000 from 260 backers in 30 days. It's not easy starting a Kickstarter, and requires all of the muscles in your marketing body. It's all of what we preach at Tin Shingle - the outreach, the PR, the social, the emailing, the presentation. The gumption! The enthusiasm.

You're going to love this Training TuneUp Interview with your host and owner of Tin Shingle, Katie Hellmuth Martin. Knitting designer Christina Fagan, a Tin Shingle Member, was in her full time job as a sales person with a passion for knitting. After blogging a bit about it her side hobby, she decided to take it full time and have a go at running a business selling her famous knitted styles. She employed a squad of "knittas" to make the brand's signature hats.

Momentum was building, and she needed capital to get inventory. Most of her work went into a pre-buzz campaign where she reached out to the media to pitch her business to the press, and landed placements.

When the Kickstarter campaign started, pledges immediately began coming in. Her campaign hit its goal of $15,000 within 24hrs of launching thanks to a lot of pre-buzz Christina worked hard to generate. Once the campaign was over, they closed with just over $25,000, and then got to work delivering the backer's rewards.

This interview reveals how she did this - which will keep you going in your own drive to secure sales and success in your business. Learn how Christina got her own press in Forbes, The Boston Globe, and other publications.

That was a great Webinar/Interview. Everyone should listen to it when it’s up!
— Judith George, Founder and Video Editor

Online Class TuneUp: Digital Marketing as Circuit Training

This Training TuneUp Webinar is going to pump you up! It’s treating your social media-ing as circuit training when you work out and tone up at the gym. We’re going to:

  • Cover some Motivation of Why you’re hitting certain social platforms and updating your website.

  • Feature a few Tin Shinglers who are doing a great job right now (Cold Spring Fitness and She's Her Own CEO).

  • Rotate between Facebook, Instagram, Google, your Newsletter and your Website as the workout routine.

  • Give you a recommendation of an album to play to get your friendly but competitive juices flowing to help you put your brand out there.

Some Artwork Used During This Webinar

Online Class TuneUp: PR Planning for June 2018

MAJOR HINT! Holiday Gift Guide Pitching starts now! If you want to get into those winter holiday issues, now is your time!!

It's no coincidence that you're reading about really cool businesses in magazines right now. But those businesses didn't sit back in their shops waiting for the media to come calling. They went for it and got it! Yes, they pitched their favorite glossy magazines, and some of them heard back and were featured.

This. Could. Be. You!!

Tin Shingle is your PR Campaign Partner in crime, and we've got your roadmap for what ideas to pitch to the media for this month. You don't need to be a professional PR person. You need to be a go-getter with fresh ideas. Listen to this live class to get some of those ideas and some gumption to carry them out.

We will cover what you can be focusing in on June, and what themes you can be pitching now.

Sneak Peek!

Online Class TuneUp: The Art of the Email Subject Line

The most important part of your entire e-newsletter is the subject line. How you write the subject line will dictate the chances of your subscribers opening the newsletter you worked so hard on. In this Training TuneUp, find out what kind of subject lines worked from real-life examples, and why. There is a method to the madness, and when done right, your sales could increase with the subject line alone.

Sneak Peek!

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Online Class TuneUp: MailChimp Tips & Tricks For a Beautiful Newsletter

You’re sending out newsletters, and you want to be sure they look fantastic. Newsletter subscribers are your most closest, dearest customer who will be the most likely to buy what you sell. This TuneUp covers design tips and tricks you can use in MailChimp that will make your newsletter look like a design agency did it for you. Your teacher is Katie Hellmuth Martin, creator of Katie James, Inc, a design and storytelling agency for couture branding. She is also the owner of Tin Shingle, and can’t wait to help you do a dynamite job.


One pro tip included in this class is how to streamline your newsletters by creating templates for different goals. Learn how and why to use MailChimp's templates or how to create your own.

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Online Class TuneUp: PR Planning for May 2018

PR Planning for May 2018

Spring seems to have sprung but the time for sharing your summer ideas and  products with magazines has definitely sailed. Not to worry though, magazines are still looking to feature neat products and eye catching brands.

YOU can get featured in your favorite magazine!!

It does take creativity, determination, and a  healthy dose of consistency but, Tin Shingle is here to support you, supplying the gumption you need! In this class, a favorite of our listeners, we map out your PR campaign and fill your planner with ideas, tips, and tools to help you get press. 


Magazines work 3 to 6 months in advance. During this class, we share a live look into Tin Shingle's Editorial Calendar Database. (Available to Level Four Members) This treasure chest of ideas teach you what magazines want to hear about and when they want to hear it. It is published by editors themselves, giving you the upper hand when pitching about your biz and initiatives.

Also in this class, we discuss other ways you can spread the word about what you do to blogs, websites, TV,  and even in your own social media streams. This class truly is a pot of gold!


Every month Tin Shingle plans out your month, sharing inside leads from our database of Editorial Calendars as well as an overview of what magazines are looking for this month. 

Online Class TuneUp: Breaking Through PR Blockage

Breaking Through PR Blockage

PR Blockage can strike anyone at any time. It's a silent killer of confidence when you need to get the word out about your business. This TuneUp goes over how to identify PR Blockage, and what to do about it so that you can pitch magazines, TV shows and blogs that you never dreamed of approaching before. This class includes exercises you can do to get you through the PR Block and into the next level of pitching the media.

Sneak Peek!

The inspiration for this class was lessons learned while reading The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. Every TuneUp has a Motivation Minute to keep you going in your PR and marketing outreach.

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Online Class TuneUp: Backup Plan for a Facebook Fizzle


Backup Plan For a Facebook Fizzle

Facebook's business model is to profit from your personal information. The more that people learn about how Facebook does this, and who Facebook's clients are (Facebook doesn't even know who their clients are, as proved this week when they admitted that they didn't know of any more fake Russian clients, and then found more...and they will find even more), the more trust people will lose in Facebook, and will leave Facebook, or show up less.

Facebook is branding its latest issue as a data breach and began offering rewards. But it's not. And it's not just a Russian issue. If you are an advertiser at Facebook - if you conduct marketing campaigns there - there is a high likelihood that the targeting features you use are about to get scaled waaaaaay back.

People market in Facebook because that's where everyone is. But if people start leaving, what does this mean for your business? You need a backup plan for how you reach your people.

We are discussing the backup plan - that should really be your marketing plan anyway. Don't worry - Facebook is part of that marketing plan. We're just removing some of your eggs from that basket.

Tin Shingle's owner and leader of this class has published her first response to Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to a House Committee in this blog post, which makes for a good read when listening to this TuneUp.