Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. As a highly sought-after speaker in the wedding industry, she is the exclusive Wedding PR Education Expert for WeddingWire as well as the national Communications and Marketing Director for WIPA. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you, as well as more about our new wedding PR kits, please visit us today.
Wedding professionals are passionate people – we fall in love easily. We love our clients and those ruffled linens, as well as our recent Pinterest finds. And when we fall in love, we’re apt to take action quickly.
Let’s admit it – wedding PR is a seductive notion. Enjoying blog features and an extensive press portfolio showcasing a slew of Magazine covers? Yes please.
The reality is, however, that you can’t jump in feet first without proper preparation and expect stellar results. Public Relations is a four step process – Research, Planning, Implementation and Analysis. Yes, steps can be skipped but quality efforts will be sacrificed.
While Research isn’t necessarily the most exciting step in the Wedding PR process, it is essential to the success of any campaign. If you’re not sure where to begin, below are the four steps of wedding PR research to help guide you:
1. Your Publics: When taking the steps towards a wedding PR campaign, it’s important to narrow down your Publics, that is, a group of people tied together by a common purpose. In this instance, the obvious answer would be engaged couples, but dig a bit deeper and take an honest look at your goals. Are you trying to catch the attention of the right people for national speaking gigs? Introduce yourself to brides and fellow wedding professionals in another region?
2. Your Message: The goal of wedding PR is, in part, to send out a particular message to your Publics. While “Book me!” may take the initial lead on your list, keep in mind that this would be better suited for an advertising campaign, which allows you to buy time or space to give couples a controlled message about your services. Wedding PR is meant to draw awareness to your brand and build your reputation while sending a message about how you want to be perceived. Take a good hard look at your goals and ask yourself what you intend to tell people when showcasing your Real Wedding features.
3. The Media: So you’ve decided to submit Real Weddings to a handful of wedding blogs and publications. It’s natural to want to pull together a set of great images and hit the ground running, but instead, take the time to study prospective media and narrow down your initial media wish list to a set that promises to be the best fit. If this is your first time submitting to a particular blog or magazine, find out if your selected media outlet accepts weddings from non advertisers because, in some instances, they may not.
4. Evaluation: While evaluating your efforts should take place after you’ve enjoyed a handful of real wedding features, spend time now working on how you plan to decide if it’s a success. Will you be looking at your web traffic? Number of Facebook fans? More business in a new region? Far too often, we quit what could have become a successful campaign because we don’t think it works. The problem? We don’t have any quantifiable reasons to support it.
There’s nothing like seeing your hard work featured in a wedding magazine or on a wedding blog, so it’s easy to want to roll up your sleeves and dig in immediately. Instead, take a step back and properly research your publics, message, the media and how you plan on evaluating your efforts. Your wedding PR campaign will be far more successful because of this careful research and planning.