Imagine this. You’re sitting in the green room at Fox News or MSNBC. You are being prepped by the producer. Your heart is racing. Your palms are sweating. You make the walk down the long hallway to the live studio. You get the cue that you are two minutes away from going on the national television news. And you’re live.
The role of public relations continues to change for the beauty industry. There are even more opportunities to get in front of your audience, but the key is to be strategic and focus heavily on social media.
1. Craft Your PitchYour pitch should be short and sweet. Beauty journalists receive hundreds of pitches a day so you want yours to stand out and get them interested in featuring your product. It’s always a good idea to include stats, studies, or trends in your pitch.2. Create an Attention-Grabbing Subject LineYour subject line is extremely important. As I mentioned, journalists are constantly receiving pitches and that's why your subject line needs to attract their attention. Your subject line should be a quick summary of what your pitch is about. Don’t use exclamation points or be too dramatic.3. Understand Lead TimesMedia outlets have long and short lead times. National print magazines have long leads which means that beauty writers and editors are working on stories three to four months in advance. If you want your product to be featured in a summertime roundup then you should pitch in January or February. Digital media outlets have shorter lead times, usually about a month in advance. This is why it’s extremely important to have a strategy in place.
Trends and ‘the next big thing’ change nearly every few days, so stay on top of what everyone is talking about. Beauty brands should also follow makeup artists, influential and magazine editors, and more traditional influencers who focus on beauty. This can all help you when coming up with pitches.4. Establish Relationships with JournalistsForming a relationship with a journalist takes time, but once you do it will pay off. Following and engaging with writers and editors on Twitter is a great way to connect. Journalists love Twitter and always post their stories on this platform. It is also a huge compliment to them if you share their article on Twitter and other social media platforms.If you get news coverage, it’s always a great idea to mail the journalist a thank you card and then keep them updated on any new story ideas you have. It’s important to foster relationships with the media, always keep track of your conversations, and follow up with friendly emails. Relationships are not built overnight, but with the right attitude, pitches, and quick response it will happen. 5. Create PR PackagesThere is something to be said about seeing and trying a beauty product. You can create a beautiful PR package with samples of your product and send it to key journalists. This significantly helps the journalist write about your brand. Even though it’s an additional expense, beauty & makeup brands should be prepared to set aside a certain amount of samples per month to give away to writers and editors.
6. How to Find JournalistsIf you have a decent budget you can invest in a PR database such as Cision. This will give you journalists’ contact information and what they specialize in. You can also find their contact information on Twitter. Or you can go to the specific media’s website and search for their contact information. There are lots of ways to find writers and editors, you just have to put some time into creating your list.7. Connect with InfluencersInfluencer marketing is one of the biggest tactics in public relations lately. Since influencers have smaller and more loyal audiences, they are a place for brands to reach their audience. Especially in the beauty industry, influencers can help your brand get widespread exposure more authentically. You can find their contact information on their social media handles or their website. You can also use some of your PR packages to send to the influencers and then follow up to see if they would like to work with you.
The idea of using PR in the makeup industry is extremely effective. The companies that get media attention will not have to spend all their money on advertising. This is a simpler and far more effective way of promoting their products. The key is to have a strategy, craft a unique pitch, establish relationships with journalists, connect with influencers and be authentic.