How to Become a Media Darling

I’m currently working on the Fall 2013 issue of Occasions Magazine and I ran into quite the stumbling block this issue when three brides from weddings we planned on featuring responded and said they wishes to not have their photos published in the issue.  Uh Oh.  I was relying on their events to fill nearly 15 pages of the issue so I immediately began scrambling to fill the spots.  In an effort to spread the love, I reached out to some photographers and venues we’ve not featured frequently in the past and received not-so-urgent responses.  So… I went to my media darling.  A wedding planner that is on the ball and ready at a moment’s notice for editorial feature and filled the spots right away.

So, in an effort to make my job as an Editor easier AND to share advice on how more wedding professionals and small business owners can relish in the free publicity that is editorial coverage, I’d like to encourage each of you to become more of a media darling yourself.

So, What is a Media Darling?

The technical definition of a media darling is:  A celebrity who is especially popular and who receives frequent and very favorable attention in the news media.

Favorable being the keyword here.  I’m not suggesting you go all Lindsey Lohan on us.  But why do media darling’s get such favorable attention?  Because they’re doing good things, are easy to work with and probably have a great publicist.  The good news is, you don’t have to be a celebrity or have a publicist to be a media darling… you just have to do GREAT work and be easy to work with.  Here’s what I suggest.

Do:

  • Do great work.
  • Be easy to work with.
  • Respond right away.
  • Get to know each specific media and what they like to write about.
  • Have a slew of ready-to-go topics to send to an editor at a moment’s request
  • Same goes for weddings… have them ready to submit should a last minute opening come up.
  • Create a list of local magazines & medias that you want to be published in, subscribe to them and KNOW them in and out.
  • Be an expert in your field.
  • Submit your work again and again and again.
  • Submit the RIGHT work.  While you might think a recent wedding you did is beautiful, if it’s not the style that blog or wedding magazine usually publishes… it’s not going to get picked up by them.. no matter what.  So submit what they publish!

Don’t:

  • Spam editors with e-newsletter and unrelated press releases.
  • Demand to know why you’re not getting published by them yet.
  • Be afraid to toot your own horn.  Self Promote!
  • Wait for Editors to find you.
  • Say you’ll advertise if they write about you.  No. No.

These are relatively simply steps, and yet it amazes me the amount of professionals who don’t get it.  Rather than pouting next time you see your competitor get the editorial coverage you were hoping for, make it a goal of yours to get published and put a plan in action to become a media darling.  It’s really very simple.

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about working with editors so comment below with questions!

To Publish or Not to Publish, That is the Question.

***Disclaimer:  this post has nothing to do with my recent Twitter update regarding publishing related to advertising.***

There’s a small spot between a rock and hard place I’ve recently found myself between and I’d like for you to weigh in on it.  I’ve added a lot of real event features recently to the website of Occasions Magazine and while I love them, they’ve been coming with some baggage.  When a real event is submitted to me, I email the host/hostess an interview form where they answer my questions on decor, most memorable moment, unique touches, etc.  Recently, I’ve had a handful of brides specifically request that certain vendors NOT be credited for their work in the feature because they were unhappy with the service they received.  I’ve not yet followed through with their request because let’s face it, I don’t love to be told what to do (and, I list what is given to me legitimately, not what I choose to include and not), BUT I wonder is there some merit to giving credit where credit is due or perhaps not, if the job wasn’t done right?

Maybe, in the new world of  “real event feature” publishing event vendors should consider that their work and reputation has a much longer life than they think.  It’s not just about the future referral anymore, but whether or not your business receives the PR it needs. If you have an unhappy customer, or even perhaps fellow event vendor, not solving the problem or correcting the mistake (sometimes with even a sincere apology) may leave you…. out.  Literally.

Here’s another one for you.  I have amazing relationships with many of the vendors published.   When the bride (or mother or whomever) asks for credit to be left out….  DO I TELL THE VENDOR???

Hmmmm?  I’m stumped.   What do you think?