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.
Here’s the thing about real wedding submissions – we get excited about them. We start pouring over gorgeous wedding day details, contacting vendors and hand-selecting the shots that get us the most giddy. But on occasion, we reach out to the couple with the best of (and enthusiastic) intentions, and suddenly we’re facing bridal backlash. So it begs the question – where do you go from there?
First and foremost, make sure you protect yourself in advance by including something in your contract allowing you to use their images for promotional purposes. It wouldn’t also hurt to follow up during the planning process and make mention that it’s a possibility you may submit the wedding down the road. Ultimately, you’ll find yourself in a far better position if you can avoid surprising the couple.
But every now and again, one slips through the cracks and suddenly you have what could be the start of a mini-crisis on your hands. We’ve talked about dealing with unhappy clients and today, it’s time to dive into some of the most common scenarios you’re bound to face when embracing the world of wedding PR. Below you’ll find the top three challenges you’ll find yourself running into, as well as our recommendation as to how to handle it:
The Couple wants to be submitted but not to the publication/blog you have selected
The fact of the matter is that you will have a much more discerning eye when it comes to placing a wedding. The couple, on the other hand, has tunnel vision. You may look at their wedding from an editorial standpoint and categorize their favors as the “been there, done that” variety while the couple may look at back on them as the BEST favors in the world since the bride’s grandmother handmade them. So because of this, couples often want to overshoot for their favorite wedding blog or magazine, when it’s simply not a fit.
If you’re in a position where you haven’t submitted the wedding yet, then consider redirecting it to their chosen outlet so you can say that you’ve at least given it a shot. If the wedding really isn’t a fit at all and you have concerns about the editor pegging you for someone who doesn’t really understand their content needs, then skip that route and have a talk with the couple. It’s not easy to be blunt about why their wedding may not be a fit for their selection, so instead, be candid about why your chosen media outlet would make for such a great pairing. Be positive, be complimentary and be firm.
If it’s becoming quickly obvious that the couple simply wants to have it their way and you’re running the risk of hurting that relationship, then you may want to offer to have them submit it themselves, which leads us to…
The Couple wants to submit it themselves
Even if you include something in the contract to avoid these circumstances, press-hungry couples that are eager to submit may forget this altogether and try to move forward on their own. There are a number of different directions to go here and your relationship with the couple, as well as how much you want to get published, will dictate the path.
If you had a great relationship with the couple and are eager to submit, then be completely honest with them and explain why a joint collaboration would be in the best interest of everyone involved. If the couple has proven to be difficult and it is less of a hassle to just send along the wedding, then cut your losses and graciously pass along the reins. In the end, it’s going to come down to trusting your gut.
Regardless of the direction you take, do remember that exclusivity reigns supreme so the last thing you want to do is simultaneously submit along with the couple.
The Couple doesn’t want to be submitted
This is always a disappointing scenario to face – especially when you find yourself surrounded by swoon-worthy details that may have a bona fide chance at one of your dream blogs or publications. And while some may choose to continue on despite, our recommendation is to simply let it go. At the end of the day, the client experience is what matters most and even the dreamiest of press mentions is not worth it if you lose the respect and confidence of a client.
It’s never fun to have to deal with bridal backlash but it’s important to remember that you have options which allow you to take control of the situation!