PR for Lingerie Brands
My name is Treacle and I’m the founder of The Lingerie Addict, a haven for lingerie lovers of every nation and persuasion. As a blogger, I interact constantly with the people your business needs most—customers. My column here is all about bringing you, the lingerie store owner, the perspective of us, the lingerie consumers.
A mention in the media is every lingerie brand’s dream, no matter if you’re a writer, retailer, or designer. But with even the smallest of media outlets receiving dozens (if not hundreds) of press releases per day, it can be hard to make yours stand out from the crowd.
That’s why today we’re talking with Krista and Kelly of the The Lingerie Post, one of the most popular [consumer-oriented] lingerie blogs in the world.
The Lingerie Post is not only one of the oldest lingerie blogs around, it’s also one of the very first media outlets a lot of newer lingerie brands appear on. And with an average of 4,500 unique visitors and 10,000 page views a day, it presents a remarkable opportunity for international exposure.
In this interview, Krista and Kelly talk about the kinds of press releases that catch their eye, which ones get thrown away, and the role of in-person networking and social media in cultivating relationships. As always, we’d love to hear what you think, so please share any feedback in the comments.
Treacle: How long have you each been with The Lingerie Post, and do you both have a role in deciding which content is published to the blog?
Krista: I’ve been with TLP since November 2006! Over 4 years. It has been such a great experience and I’ve grown so much as a writer and in my knowledge of all things intimates. I’m fortunate to play a very active role in what content is published. Each of the writers has a unique style and perspective and is from different corners of the world, so we each bring that to our posts. We really are free to decide the brands, designers, stores, etc. that we personally love and/or think our readers would love.
Kelly: I’ve been with The Lingerie Post since 2007. Krista and I both have a pretty hefty role in deciding which content is published on the blog – there are a few exceptions but for the most part, we decide what we want to write about (and what we don’t).
Treacle: I’m sure you both receive a lot of press releases. What kinds of press releases catch your eye? Does the topic or the formatting or using your name make a difference?
Kelly: The press releases that catch my eye are the ones with information that will help or excite our readers. I “know” what the brands get out of it when we feature them on The Lingerie Post. But I don’t blog to make the brands happy. I blog to bring our readers information they will appreciate. If a brand frames their press release in a way that says, “Here is our product, and here is why people will love it” that gets a lot more attention from me than one that says, “Here is our product, we would be happy if you feature it.” I want to know why my readers should care–does the product solve a problem? Is it something unique that they’ve never seen before? Is it entertaining? Does it save them money? Is it follow-up information on something TLP has featured before?
Krista: Press releases definitely come in frequently! I like ones that are thoughtful, well-written, and thoroughly convey the brand, products, etc. I also like ones that include photographs because I’m very visual. When the press release takes a unique spin or introduces some sort of innovation, I’m more likely to stop and look. As long as the formatting is clear and easy to read, I will read it! Using my name is nice, too. I think that’s just customer service 101.
If I get a press release from a brand for which I don’t have a personal contact, it doesn’t bother me if they don’t use my name. But if I do have a relationship with someone at a company, addressing me personally *does* make me pay more attention, because chances are good that if I have built a relationship with a company, that means I really like their products. Even if I decide the information isn’t quite suited for TLP, I am more likely to send a personal message back explaining that instead of simply sending the message to the trash.
Treacle: What kind of things will make you send a press release straight to the circular file (i.e. the trash)?
Krista: If it seems spammy or like no effort was put into the presentation, it will get trashed. There are too many great things to write about so I have to prioritize. If the effort isn’t put in to catch my eye, then it won’t. Honestly, this doesn’t happen too often to me personally, but I’m sure our editor filters out a ton from the general email address.
Kelly: I get a lot of irrelevant press releases with information about clothing, jewelry, sex toys, etc. Obviously those get deleted because they aren’t about lingerie. If your product looks like junk or if your website looks unprofessional or untrustworthy, I’m going to delete. In most other cases I will at least read through and consider before deciding whether to feature them or trash them. One thing that does really bug me is when a brand constantly marks press releases as “High Importance” when there is nothing time-sensitive or important about them. It’s like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”–after a while I will just stop paying attention.
Treacle: What role does person-to-person networking have in TLP coverage? When I say person-to-person, I mean things like meeting at a trade show, at a fashion event, or informally at a boutique?
Kelly: I would say that Krista does much more person-to-person networking than I do. I would love to do more, but I live in the Midwest US, where there is a dearth of lingerie-related activities. And because blogging isn’t my day job, it’s often unrealistic for me to travel long distances to events. I network person-to-person when I can, but for the most part I communicate online.
Krista: It’s invaluable! One of my favorite parts of the job is getting to know people personally from the designers to the store owners to the PR folks. Knowing them, their story, their vision, makes the brand come alive to me. When I love and respect a brand or a store, I definitely want to share that with our readers. Once I have that established relationship, I tend to be in more frequent contact with that person, so I hear about new developments more frequently which gives me lots to write about! Like I said, I always have to prioritize (even more so now due to some of the other things I’ve taken on in life), so I am more likely to post something I’m connected to before something I know less about.
Treacle: What role does social media have in press efforts, such as friending you on Facebook or following you on Twitter or commenting on The Lingerie Post?
Krista: I love social media! It has helped me make even more contacts and find out about new brands to cover. Now I have new people to look for at the trade shows and meet in person. The thing I love the most, particularly about Twitter, is that you not only get to learn about the brands and stores, but get an insight into the individuals as people. It also helps in learning about our readers and their interests. Many of the new posts and ideas I have are sparked by conversations online!
Kelly: I love communicating with brands and other bloggers through social media, and I do often get article ideas from seeing a brand’s tweets or Facebook messages. While I don’t make a conscious decision to feature a brand more often just because we follow each other, I can’t help but be influenced when I am receiving a steady stream of fresh information from the people that I follow.
Treacle: What 3 things should every press release include to make your job easier?
1 – Images that are big enough for me to use
2 – Press contact information (in case I have any questions)
3 – Instructions for how TLP readers can act on the information, such as where a product can be purchased
1- Interesting text that grabs the reader’s attention. While I craft most of my posts completely, a well written press release that I can pull quotes or text from simplifies that for me and allows me to get posts up faster.
2- Include images. I’m a visual person so I write better when I have an image. Jpegs are best for me.
3- Include details about where the items can be purchased. That can sometimes be a challenge to find on some websites.
Treacle: Any final thoughts, tips, or suggestions?
Krista: Be patient with writers! Those who I have working relationships know I always come through, but sometimes it takes a while.
Kelly: Basically, the more work a press release requires me to do, the less likely I am to write about it. If I have to ask for larger pictures, search for shops that carry the products, or try to figure out why a TLP reader should care about the information, it just slows down the process. It’s mostly practicality–I get an overwhelming amount of email, and I can’t spend extra time and legwork on every news item. If I’m equally interested in two press releases, but only one gives me all the information I need to write up a post and get it up on our homepage right away, that’s the one I’m likely to work with. I might save the other one for a slow news day, but that day might never come.
For more on Treacle, please visit her site at: www.thelingerieaddict.com