Here at Konnect Agency, we get the opportunity and honor to work with a lot of amazing new brands. I’m talking about brands/products that media and consumers have never heard of or seen before – fresh to the market. While this is a great privilege and a very exciting time to help pave the way for how a brand is going to be perceived by media and ultimately consumers, it also comes with great responsibility and sometimes challenges.
For many entrepreneurs, founders, CEO’s and employees, their company is often referred to as their “baby”–and for good reason! They have poured their blood, sweat and tears, endless hours, countless meetings and never-ending phones calls to get their brand off the ground. That’s why it’s so important for a PR Agency to get the messaging and press “spot on”. Over the past several years I have had the pleasure to work with a range of lifestyle and food and beverage brands that have started out in the known “baby” phase and have helped them grow into an infant, teenager and ultimately an adult. It’s so amazing and rewarding to play a part in helping these brands grow and reach consumers. From my personal experience as a Los Angeles publicist, I wanted to pass along some valuable advice that I have learned along the way on how to pitch a new brand and make it a success!
Target publications relevant to the brand
When pitching a new brand (and let’s be honest, really any brand!) the most obvious, but extremely important thing you need to know is who you are pitching and why they are relevant to the brand. Every time I pitch an editor I ask myself, are they really reaching my clients targeted demographic and how will this ultimately benefit the brand? For example, you could secure a great placement for a client but if it’s not something your team or client values as important it can often be a waste of time and resources. That’s why it’s so important to make ensure the client and the Public Relations team are all on the same page. Know who you are pitching and why!
Create an authentic pitch – no advertising needed here!
Editors are not interested in your “advertising” pitch and will most likely skim right over your email. It needs to be authentic and something they would generally be interested in writing about – remember you are not paying them to write about the brand so you need to give them a HOOK that ignites their curiosity. Before pitching an editor, I always research recent stories they have covered and topics that have been gaining their interest. Often, it’s trending news topics, national holidays, events, new trends, etc. For a new brand, it’s so important to know the editors who often cover new trends, brands, founders, innovative ingredients, etc. These editors should be your first call. Hopefully you have already created a great relationship with them and are able to send them a quick email or phone call to put this new brand on their radar. By having the right contacts this will help get your client’s brand messaging to the right outlets.
Timing is everything
Most print magazines work 4-5 months ahead. If you’re working with a new brand it’s important to know when they will have samples available to send to media as well as any confirmed distribution details for retailers or online stores. Knowing print editors work so far ahead it’s even more imperative to know the timing of the products so you can target those long lead publications early. For online publications, they usually have a bit more of a flexibility and only need one-month lead time depending on their schedule and work load. Please note, many editors will require samples to try the product before recommending it to their readers, so make sure you keep this in mind before you begin media outreach!
Often, editors you’re pitching are going to ask to speak to the founder/s, CEO or a key representative for the brand for editorial consideration. This is a great way to personalize the brand and help editors understand their mission and why it was created. If the brand doesn’t have someone available, ask for them to provide around 4-5 quotes to have on-hand that you can send to media.
Always remember that you are the liaison between the client and the media so make sure you are portraying the right messaging and targeting the right people. Happy pitching! ?
From your Aussie mate, Amy!