» Wedding PR: Hiring Outside Help

WeddingWire Education Expert

Meghan Ely

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.

Over the years, we’ve shared tips and tricks on WeddingWire about how to be your own wedding publicist, but for some, there may come a point when it’s time to consider hiring an outside firm.

Hiring a wedding PR firmSo how do you know when it’s time to take the leap? First, consider what strategies are resulting in the biggest ROI. If you’re finding that real wedding features have served you well in the past, and that you may benefit from bringing someone in who can take things up a notch.

Additionally, take a good hard look at how you’re spending your time. If you value the role PR plays in your business but know your time is better spent elsewhere (making sales, focusing on the client experience or even simply doing what you love), then a PR consultant may be your solution.

Hiring a wedding PR agency can seem intimidating – especially if it’s one of your first experiences with bringing in a consultant. The very best way to get you started is to ask trusted friends and colleagues for referrals. They’ll be upfront with you about the benefits as well as the challenges. Don’t have anyone within your inner circle with this experience? If you belong to any industry groups (off or online), consider putting out feelers with them.

And what sort of things should you look for when qualifying candidates?

Their Portfolio

A PR company’s press portfolio (both their clients and their own) is one of the most important components to review. This will lend insight into their current media relationships as well as the type of press they specialize in, whether it be online, print or on the air. Make sure to ask for their most current press to see what’s kept them busy in the last 6-12 months.

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» Submit to be in the WeddingWire FallBook!

Showcase your best fall real weddings, inspire engaged couples, and build your brand as part of the WeddingWire FallBook!

WeddingWire FallBook 2015

Simply submit photos and videos of your favorite past fall real weddings (late September through late December) and fall-themed styled shoots to be featured in our upcoming e-magazine. If your submission is selected, we’ll link to your Storefront and share your work with thousands of couples across WeddingWire, social media, email, and more.

Easily upload your photos and videos at RealWeds.com by Monday, July 20th to be considered. Get started »

Want to get inspired? Check out our latest SummerBook to see examples of real wedding features!

You can also submit to RealWeds.com any time to be featured on WeddingWire, Project Wedding, and GayWeddings.com.

» Wedding PR: Developing and Nurturing Editorial Relationships

WeddingWire Education Expert

Meghan Ely

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.

If there is one basic fact about public relations, it’s this: it simply cannot exist without the media.

We’re in a new age of editorial relationships – now more than ever, the number of people pitching (whether as a PR firm or on behalf of themselves) far outnumbers editors. So while relationships have always been at the heart of public relations, it’s now absolutely an essential.

Wedding PRSo what are the key points to keep in mind when nurturing your media relationships?

  1. Be a walking Rolodex and encyclopedia rolled into one.
    You are, no doubt, an expert in your field and the quicker the media realizes this, the better. The fact is- not every pitch will be accepted and your contributions to an article may hit the cutting room floor. But you can be resourceful in other ways. Did your quote not make the cut? Review the reporter’s recent work and consider pitching other topics of interest. Did your expertise not fit within the scope of their article? Share some friends and colleagues from your circle to help them wrap up the piece. Yes, reporters like to know that you’re an expert at something. But more importantly, they want to know that they can count on you.
  1. Be professional, always.
    If you’re pitching regularly, you may find yourself on friendlier terms with the media, which can be a wonderful thing. At the same time, you run the risk of letting your guard down a bit, allowing professional pitches to start taking on a more casual tone. While there is nothing wrong with adding a dash of informality to your correspondence, continue to remain mindful of submission guidelines and deadlines. I recently assisted a blogger friend with filling in content on a fast-approaching date and mentioned that I’d get it over to her as soon as I resized the photos to match her guidelines. I could practically hear her eye roll over email as she told me that that wasn’t necessary. We had a good chuckle over it but I have no doubt that she appreciated the courtesy all the same.

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» The 2015 WeddingWire SummerBook is Here!

The highlight of our summer is finally here: the 2015 WeddingWire SummerBook!

Read the SummerBookWe’re excited to share this season’s digital wedding magazine with you to spur your summer wedding inspiration! From stunning real weddings to our list of out-of-the-box venues, our 2015 issue features the work of brilliant wedding and event professionals from across the country. Check out a sample of the top stories and advice below:

  • Top fruit-inspired wedding décor to help you incorporate the season’s tangy citruses and juicy melons into your next wedding palette
  • Six wide-ranging real weddings featuring top Pros from around the country to provide inspiration for all your clients
  • A new section on summer wedding cake trends and the top flavors, fillings, and frostings real WeddingWire cake bakers are loving this season
  • Six curated looks for every kind of couple in our Styles for Every Aisle feature, inspired by the latest trends from Bridal Fashion Week
  • Inventive escort card ideas, popular reception seating styles, top groom FYIs, and much more!

We hope you enjoy reading the 2015 WeddingWire SummerBook just as much as we loved putting it together!  And if you’re interested in getting featured in an upcoming magazine or on our site, check out RealWeds.com for more information on submitting real weddings to our editorial team.

» Get Published in the WeddingWire SummerBook!

Showcase your work, inspire couples, and grow your business as part of the WeddingWire SummerBook!

Submit photos of your past summer real weddings (late June through late September) and summer-themed styled shoots to be featured in our upcoming e-magazine. If your work is selected, we’ll link to your WeddingWire Storefront and share your photos with thousands of couples across WeddingWire, social media, email and more.

Easily upload your photos at RealWeds.com by Monday, April 13th to be considered! Plus, check out our latest SpringBook to see examples of past real wedding features!

Submit your photos now »

Summerbook 2014 Feature

Photos by Katelyn James Photography

 

» Introducing…the 2015 WeddingWire SpringBook!

The WeddingWire team is thrilled to share the brand-new SpringBook with you!

We have to admit, we think it’s a pretty great read, particularly to help kick off wedding season. Our newest online-only, interactive magazine features both helpful advice and gorgeous inspiration from wedding Pros like you! This season’s e-mag includes:

  • Five stunning spring real weddings, featuring the work of wedding professionals from around the country
  • A must-read bridesmaid guide that covers everything from etiquette to fashion, bachelorette parties, gifts, and more
  • “Breaking Down the Bouquet,” which not only inspires with gorgeous bouquet photos, but provides helpful information on the flowers included
  • Plus, you’ll find scenic venues, registry and wedding-day timeline advice, and much more!

So head over to our full 2015 WeddingWire SpringBook and share your comments and questions with us. If you’re interested in being featured in a future e-magazine, stay tuned for more information on our 2015 SummerBook—we’ll be sharing details very soon!

WeddingWire 2015 SpringBook

Cover photo by Vicki Grafton Photography

» Wedding PR: Building your Media List

WeddingWire Education Expert

Meghan Ely

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.

I find myself regularly sharing tips on how to get published but the inevitable question always pops up – how do I build a list of media contacts in the first place?

Curating your own list of contacts – from blog editors and freelance writers to news editors and producers – admittedly takes a little bit (ok, a lot) of elbow grease and patience but the potential results are well worth the efforts.

Wedding PR: Building your Media ListSo how does one get started with creating a tailored media list?

First, it’s best to take pause and dig into your ultimate press goals as well as your proficiency. Media lists should not be arbitrary- instead they should be a collection of journalists whose beat (aka their general subject area) matches your expertise and who can connect you to your targeted audience. So in other words, if you’re focused on reaching engaged couples, don’t spend too much time focused on hunting down the name of the producer for the local 10am morning show.

Next, it’s time to get organized. While there are templates available, you can get the ball rolling by simply opening up an Excel file and creating the following columns: media outlet, link to the site, contact, email address (remember: journalists prefer to be pitched via email!), their social media handles and editorial deadlines (if applicable). Consider also making a column dedicated to additional notes.

If you already have a handful of media contacts, then great! Start filling in the blanks, making sure your information is current.

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» Get Featured in the WeddingWire SpringBook

Showcase your favorite spring inspired work, inspire couples, and grow your business reach by being a part of the WeddingWire SpringBook!

Submit photos of your past spring real weddings and spring-themed styled shoots to be featured in our upcoming e-magazine. If your work is selected, we’ll link to your Storefront and share your photos with thousands of couples across WeddingWire, social media, email and more.

We are actively looking for the following:

  • Weddings taken place in the springtime within the past two years.
  • Inspiring and creative details (bouquets, centerpieces, stationery, food, favors, and more!) – and lots of ‘em!
  • Submission must include at least 50 photos, mostly in color
  • High-quality images with no watermarks

We can’t wait to see what you share! Easily upload your photos at RealWeds.com by Wednesday, February 4th to be considered for inclusion.

What are you waiting for? Submit your photos »

Submit to the SpringBook

Also, be sure to check out our newly launched WinterBook to see examples of real weddings we love!

Photos by Sun & Sparrow Photography

» Measuring the Effectiveness of Your PR Push

WeddingWire Education Expert

Meghan Ely

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.

For many, now is the time to look back on a year’s worth of marketing and PR efforts, as well as finalize plans for this year and beyond. And there is one question that often lingers among my clients and colleagues – how do I know what’s actually working?

Measuring the Effectiveness of your PR PushThis can be a tricky question when it comes to public relations, as success can be defined in a number of ways. A press mention, for example, may not always lead directly to new business, but that’s not to say that you haven’t reaped other rewards for your efforts.

Below are some of the questions I’d suggest diving into as you assess your public relations progress:

How does my press list look these days?
If you’ve streamlined your efforts, then you should have an internal list of all noted press for you to reference. Simply comparing your press in 2014 to previous years’ is a good start but it’s essential to dig a bit deeper. Did you see a rise in print features versus online? Speaking engagements versus guest articles? If you made a sincere effort to increase your PR strategies in 2014 but didn’t see a substantial rise in mentions, then it’s time to go back to the proverbial drawing board to decide what changes should be made.

What kind of traffic am I seeing on my web site?
If you’ve focused on online press, such as real wedding features, then no doubt you would have received a credit for your work, along with a link to your site. The hope is that readers will be impressed and want to learn more about your services. So take the time to revisit your web site analytics to see if your online press sent more traffic to your site.  A real wedding feature is certainly cause for celebration but if you find yourself in front of an audience that consistently does not have interest in learning more about you, then you may want to consider expanding your list of targeted media outlets for 2015.

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» Wedding PR: Preparing for 2015

WeddingWire Education Expert

Meghan Ely

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 season has come and gone and while our first inclination is to put our feet up and enjoy the momentary quiet, it’s also the perfect time to put the wheels in motion to start strategizing for 2015.

Wedding PR: Preparing for 2015If the goal is to increase your PR strategies, or even refine current ones, now is the time to ask yourself the following questions:

What do I want to focus on?

PR can take on many forms – from real wedding submissions and guest writing, to TV appearances and speaking engagements. Now is the time to consider the target audience you’d like to reach and the best channels in which to connect with them. If you find that your favorite couples love finding inspiration through other weddings, then you’ll want to shift your focus accordingly. If your hope is to increase brand awareness among fellow wedding professionals, then public speaking may be the first “to do” to put on your list. Take time in the off season to create a road map for yourself, and you’ll no doubt be able to target your efforts for maximum impact.

What would I consider a successful outcome?

Return on investment can be tricky in PR, as it may not always boil down to a direct increase in new business.  A real wedding feature may lead to a new piece of business but more than likely, if promoted correctly, it will impress visitors to your web site and allow you to stand out from your competition. So before diving into a PR campaign, be sure to come up with your own definite goals so you can decide how to reach them.

How can I plan ahead?

A not so secret PR tip: savvy wedding professionals make it a priority to get organized in the off season so they are in a better position to execute strategies during the busier points in the year. This will take a bit of planning so now the time is to consider ways to get ahead- whether you focus on creating a media list, researching conferences to pitch or developing a media kit to distribute to editors. With real wedding submissions, decide if you have enough organizational tools in place prior to the start of the season to collect images, wedding information and vendors.

While you should certainly take the time to enjoy a successful year, commit to maximizing the time you have now by preparing yourself for the best year yet.

» Best Practices for Real Wedding Submissions

One of the most crucial aspects of developing strong wedding PR for your business is getting published. Whether you’re a DJ, florist, venue, caterer, wedding planner or any other wedding Pro, getting published will expose your business to an even wider audience. WeddingWire’s real wedding features are a great place to display your work and share your amazing weddings with our network of engaged couples.

Check out our latest infographic for five best practices to get your business published through real wedding submissions from WeddingWire Education Expert Meghan Ely.

Best Practices for Real Wedding Submissions

» Getting Ready for Winter! Send Us Your Winter Real Weddings

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more. 

Even though our FallBook just launched, the WeddingWire Editorial and Design teams are already starting to work on our WinterBook (yes, we are aware that it’s still t-shirt weather in many parts of the country!). We are now accepting real wedding submissions for this e-magazine and would be delighted to consider your work.

Getting Ready for Winter! Send Us Your Winter Real WeddingsVisit RealWeds.com to share your real wedding photos with us, and remember – the WinterBook will only be featuring weddings that took place during the winter season (late November through early March). However, we are looking for both wintry weddings (think snowy backdrops and hot cocoa!) and destination weddings in warmer climates, as long as they took place during the winter season! You are welcome to consider weddings from other seasons to us, but we will only consider those for WeddingWire’s real weddings section or Project Wedding.

A few other tips for submitting winter real weddings:

  • Please share at least 75 photos from the wedding
  • Posed and candid couple photos
  • Lots of detail photos, the more creative and unique the better!
  • Mostly color images, some black & white is fine
  • Images should be at least 900 pixels wide

If your work is selected for our e-magazine, we’ll link to your Storefront as well as the Storefronts of the other participating vendors and share your photos with thousands of couples. The deadline for submissions is October 17th.

Be sure to check out RealWeds.com for more information and to upload your photos!

Cover photo by Lauren Fair Photography