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.
Styled shoots. Wedding Pros either love them or well, they despise them with every fiber of their being. There really is no in-between. In my ten plus years in the industry, I’ve never seen one topic divide the industry as much as the topic of styled shoots.
As I’ve mentioned before, styled shoots can be a wonderful way to showcase your talents, work with new vendors and potentially enjoy a bit of press. But with the steady increase in shoots, comes the challenge of getting your vendor friends and colleagues on board.
What was once a novel marketing idea has now become as common as mason jars paired with burlap. Wedding professionals are constantly being inundated with requests so the question that begs to be asked – how can you convince your colleagues to come on board for your styled shoot? Here are a few tips and tricks to help you start pitching styled shoots to other vendors:
Have a vision
While a styled shoot often stems from a particular moment of inspiration, there are a quite a few steps that need to be taken before reaching out to your colleagues. Take the time to map out the vision- scout locations and collect images to help tell your story. Your chances of getting that “yes” are far more likely if you can share a concrete vision for the shoot.
Connect with heavy hitters
If you have a great idea, then there is no reason you can’t connect with well-respected national companies to pitch your idea. There are a number of products that could elevate your shoot – whether it is candles and lighting, silk ribbon or even those cake stands you’ve been eyeing. Aligning yourself with well recognized brands would give you that added credibility before approaching your targeted list of area wedding professionals.
Create a media plan
While not all styled shoots end in press, your colleagues may come into it expecting it will so if wedding PR is a priority, be sure to create a media plan for submitting the shoot. Review wedding media outlets that may be a fit and carefully study their content to determine if your idea not only complements their portfolio, but is something fresh and new. Review guidelines to ensure you collect all of the necessary items along the way and be ready with back ups in case your first pick doesn’t pan out.
Avoid the busy season
Want to get on a wedding pro’s bad side? Pitch a styled shoot in the middle of September. Or better yet, on a Saturday morning. For the most part, the wedding industry is seasonal so unless the styled shoot is time sensitive in nature, select a time of year that isn’t quite so hectic.
Recognize the investment
Styled shoots cost money – whether it’s one’s time, products, or a little bit of both. It’s important to recognize this and consider offering compensation when appropriate. It’s one thing for the entire group to donate their time in exchange for images and the hope for press, but it’s another to have someone donate their time and hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars of flowers.
At the end of the day, it comes down to a bit of common sense and some good old fashioned manners. So start working on your pitch and assembling your styled shoot dream team!