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How to get your own PR in 2024 - with Rosie Davies-Smith - PR Dispatch
Episode 2029th February 2024 • Bring Your Product Idea to Life • Vicki Weinberg
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Today’s podcast guest is Rosie Davies-Smith. PR agencies have led clients to believe they're the only ones who can do what they do. Rosie made it her mission to prove them wrong. After running her own agency for over a decade, she founded PR Dispatch, a platform which powers in-house teams to become the PR experts.  Since then, over 500 brands have been given the training, expertise and contacts they need to take control of their PR in house and secure their own coverage at just 3 percent of the cost of a PR agency.

Rosie shares her expert advice on what really matters in PR (hint - good imagery!) and the variety of publications to pitch to. She'll provide you with actionable strategies to handle your PR efforts independently, reducing the need for external agencies.  This episode is a must-listen for anyone prioritising brand exposure for their products in 2024. 

The Bring Your Product Idea to Life Podcast  - Best Business Podcast Award, Independent Podcast Awards 2023

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This episode is sponsored by Cara Bendon Brand Consultancy

If you need branding & packaging for your product, Cara is my go-to. She and her team create beautiful and unique branding so that your product will impress retailers, stand out on the shelf and look great online. They also offer packaging and e-commerce website design, so that you can get everything set up and ready to launch, confident that it looks brilliant. If you’d like to chat to Cara about branding for your business, she’s offering a free no-obligation call for my listeners.

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Transcripts

Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the bring your product idea to life podcast.

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This is the podcast for you if

you're getting started selling

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products or if you'd like to

create your own product to sell.

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I'm Vicki Weinberg, a product

creation coach and Amazon expert.

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Every week I share friendly practical

advice as well as inspirational

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stories from small businesses.

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Let's get started.

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Today I am so excited to welcome

Rosie Davies Smith onto the podcast.

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PR agencies have led clients

to believe they're the only

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ones who can do what they do.

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Rosie made it her mission

to prove them wrong.

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After running her own agency for over

a decade, she founded PR Dispatch,

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a platform which powers in house

teams to become the PR experts.

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Since then, over 500 brands have been

given the training, expertise and contacts

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they need to take control of their PR in

house and secure their own coverage at

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just 3 percent of the cost of a PR agency.

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So I know we've spoken about PR on the

podcast before, but what I absolutely

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love is that every guest I speak to

has a different experience, different

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perspective, different ideas, and,

um, this is not a conversation about

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PR like any that we've had before.

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So Rosie has a really

interesting perspective on

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what PR is, what's important.

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And she also gives you some really

practical advice about how you

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can do your PR yourself without

needing to employ an agency or get

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anyone else to do the work for you.

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And hopefully you will find that really

interesting and also really empowering.

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So I would love now to

introduce you to Rosie.

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So hi Rosie, thank you

so much for being here.

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Rosie Davies-Smith:

Thank you for having me.

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Very excited to be here.

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Vicki Weinberg: Yeah, I'm

really excited to talk to you.

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So can we start with you, please

give an introduction to you,

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your business and what you do?

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Rosie Davies-Smith: Yeah.

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Um, so my name's Rosie, uh, Davies Smith.

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Uh, I am the founder of, uh, PR dispatch,

uh, PR dispatch is a platform which powers

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e commerce brands to be, uh, PR experts.

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Uh, so we have insights training,

access to a press database, and,

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uh, they also have access to our

community and our support too.

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Um, combined the team have over 24 years.

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Uh, when it comes to PR, I ran a PR

agency, uh, for a decade, um, kind of

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before just doing, uh, PR dispatch.

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Um, so we know if we kind of, uh, power

the people behind, uh, the econ brand,

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uh, to become experts in PR, they can do

a really, really, um, good job because

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uh, PR is most powerful when it's done

by the people closest to the product.

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Vicki Weinberg: Oh, that's amazing.

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So if I'm understanding you

correctly, because I was about to,

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to ask the question, but I think

you've, you've answered it, Rosie.

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So PR dispatch is about empowering

small businesses to handle their own

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PR rather than presumably spending

what can be lots and lots of money

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on someone to do it for them.

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Rosie Davies-Smith: Yeah, exactly.

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So, um, kind of from running

an agency, um, we know it is,

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it is very, very expensive.

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Um, you know, when you say 2000 pounds

plus a month, um, but it's creeping

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up to maybe three thousand, four

thousand pound minimum, uh, if you

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did want to work with a PR agency.

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Um, and kind of over the years, I

found that, you know, people who are,

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um, kind of behind the product or

maybe a small team of people working,

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um, for the brand was so much better

at doing the PR than a PR agency.

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You know, they know

the product inside out.

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They're passionate about the story.

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They can pivot really quickly.

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Whereas trying to translate that

to a PR agency is it's actually

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really, really difficult.

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And it is, it's a job in itself.

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Um, So we launched PR Dispatch in

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give those smaller brands, um, the

opportunity to kind of pitch to the press

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at a really, really affordable cost.

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So just 3 percent of what it

would cost, um, them if they

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were doing it with a PR agency.

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And actually what we started to

see is that the brands that were PR

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dispatch members and were doing it

themselves, were doing as well, if

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not better than the clients we were,

we had at, um, at our PR agency.

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So it became very apparent very

quickly that actually people that

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are kind of closest to the product

do actually, um, do PR best, even

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if you've got no previous, previous

experience or never done it before.

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Vicki Weinberg: That's really fascinating,

and I guess that comes back to what

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you said about those people being so

familiar with their product, their

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brand, their story, and maybe seeing

opportunities that PR agency maybe

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wouldn't, um, because they obviously

know everything in so much more detail.

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I also think that must be really

empowering for a small business

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because I've, um, obviously I'm a

service business, not e commerce,

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but I've done, had a little bit of

PR this year that I've got myself.

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I did a little bit of training, and

I think there's something really

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nice as well about that feeling.

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Like, okay, I can do this and just

getting over those barriers of approaching

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journalists or pitching your ideas.

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Um, I think that's also a really good

skill for small businesses to have.

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Rosie Davies-Smith: Yeah,

it's, it's not rocket science.

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I think that's what I

learned pretty quickly.

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I mean, my background before I started

kind of the PR agency was not PR.

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Um, I actually worked

for a small business.

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I was given the task of

pitching to magazines.

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I'd never, um, I didn't even know

that's how magazines are compiled.

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I was completely naive.

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I just didn't know that, you know,

you emailed a magazine about your

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product and they then compiled pages

and they might email you back at some

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point and say, hey, actually, this

works really well for what I'm doing.

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And I was just completely blown away.

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Not only how beneficial it was to a brand,

it was a knitwear brand called Loewe.

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We worked with them for 10 years, then

our PR dispatch member and they got really

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good traction in kind of the first few

months of me just kind of consistently

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emailing magazines every single week.

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And it made a massive difference,

um, you know, to their awareness

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and it was a key time of year.

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It was leading up to Christmas and you

could see it was having a big impact

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kind of on people coming to their

website and probably sales as well.

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Um, but it was so easy.

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I couldn't believe it.

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I was like, this is so easy to do.

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And actually quite enjoyable.

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Um, so yeah, I, I agree.

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Once people kind of start the ball

rolling with it, um, it's, it's a very

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addictive, it's a very addictive feeling.

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It's just getting over that initial,

initial hurdle of starting and not

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feeling that imposter syndrome or like

you're annoying them or, you know,

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you don't know what to say, kind of

getting over that first hurdle, I

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think is kind of the biggest, um, the

biggest stopping point for many brands.

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Vicki Weinberg: Absolutely.

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I know for me it was

definitely a mindset thing.

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I just felt a bit silly, sort of

emailing someone I've never met and

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saying, I've got an idea for a story.

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It just felt really daft until

you realize, like you say,

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that's what everyone's doing.

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Like any story you read

presumably has started that way.

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Unless of course a journalist puts out

a request, which is also, um, obviously

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another way of, another way of doing it.

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But I think that once you send that

first email, it just gets a lot easier

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and it becomes, I hope this is useful

for everyone listening, as well for

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me, especially, you know, I think you

can send lots of emails and you might

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only get one or two replies if that,

but it's water off a duck's back.

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You don't really, you think that

you're going to care if someone doesn't

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reply or if they say no, thank you.

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And actually they don't

usually say no, thank you.

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Do they?

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Let's face it.

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They're busy.

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They just don't reply.

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But I think you soon realize it's

not personal and you just move on to

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the next one and just keep doing it.

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And no harm done really.

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Rosie Davies-Smith: It's,

it's, it's totally true.

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And that mindset is such a good mindset

to have, you know, we say, we say to

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our members, it's, it's actually PR is,

yeah, the coverage is great, but the

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actual work of PR is just sending those

emails consistently, you know, going

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back to them every three, especially

if you're an econ brand, going back to

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them every three months with maybe a

new product that you've got or something

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that's seasonal that they might be

interested in that time, they're only

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going to respond if you're relevant.

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And, you know, a lot of the time

you're not going to be relevant.

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You know, they might be doing a different

feature or they might have filled that

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quota for the features that they're doing.

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You know, they might store it for future.

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What we see a lot, especially with the

econ brands is, um, and I saw this a

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lot during when my agency days is the

press email back of previous pitches.

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So you might send a pitch about, I don't

know, uh, I'm looking at my press board

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in front of my pyjamas, for example.

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And, um, you send it in November and then

in March they respond and they say, hey,

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these pyjamas are actually really relevant

for something that I'm working on now.

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So it's about being, it's about

being visible, being in their

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inbox because they're the brands

that are going to get featured.

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The brands that are

being proactive about it.

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You're totally right.

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The brands that are being proactive

about it are the ones that are

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going to secure those features.

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Um, so yeah, just don't be disheartened

if you don't get those responses.

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Vicki Weinberg: Thank you.

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So it definitely sounds like

it's a case of just doing it.

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Um, and I know it's not as simple

as, well, it is and isn't as simple

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as that, but actually let's, if you

don't mind Rosie, let's go back to the

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beginning and talk about, so for small

businesses listening, how do you know

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if your business is actually ready to

do any PR in the first place, or whether

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there are other things you should be

thinking about before you get excited

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and and start sending out pictures.

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Rosie Davies-Smith: So my advice

to anyone is the way to think about

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PR is you should be doing it for

the lifetime of your business.

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You're never too small.

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But there is a difference between

being too small or being ready.

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And I'll talk about

being ready in a second.

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But PR is not something

that you do seasonally.

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It's not something that

you pick up and drop.

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You know, even if you've got a seasonal

product, the rest of the year you work

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on profile press or podcasts or, you

know, getting speaking opportunities

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that, you know, industry shows that

are really relevant to your sector.

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So PR is something you should be

doing consistently from the day

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that you launch your business.

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If, are you ready is a different question.

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So the only thing you do actually need

to do PR and it's not a press release.

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You do not need a press release.

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PR it is imagery.

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Um, so for econ brands, we talk

about four different types of

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imagery, um, product shots.

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So there obviously you'll cut out

white shots, clear or white background,

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and they will be included in those

kind of roundups, product roundups,

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um, lifestyle shots, which probably

most of the listeners have, you

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know, your product in a lifestyle

um, setting being used or whatever

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it is, um, behind the brand imagery.

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So that might be, you

know, your office space.

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Um, if you've got a physical store,

it might be a physical store.

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It might be, you know, making photos,

the process, um, and finally, uh,

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founder shots, so photos of you

headshots, um, kind of something

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with a person, a key person in your

business, um, you don't need all four.

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You actually just need

one of them to start.

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So if you only have a founder shot

and you know that you're going to

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run with that, then start with that.

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Start with kind of these more

interview based, um, stories.

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If you've got product shots, then

that's a great place to start, you

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know, pitching into these product

features, roundups, print and online.

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Um, and I say, build, you know, we

haven't got endless amounts of budget.

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That's like an extensive

list of imagery to have.

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So every time kind of, you have some

budget or you're thinking about next

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season, or you're thinking about,

you know, ramping up your pressing,

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what is the next kind of imagery I

can add to my rapport, if you like.

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So I've got more imagery to send out.

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But once you've got imagery, which

I'm going to assume if you're

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launching a brand or a business, you

have some form of imagery to sell

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the product, you are ready to do PR.

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Vicki Weinberg: That's really good news.

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Thank you, Rosie.

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Thank you for explaining that because I

think it can be tempting to think, oh,

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I'm not, um, you know, I'm not ready.

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I'm too small.

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I'm, there's all, you know,

there's all sorts of excuses we

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can give ourselves, aren't there?

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So I think that's really good to know.

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And now this might be a really stupid

question, but I'm going to ask it anyway.

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Rosie Davies-Smith: Never,

never a stupid question.

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Vicki Weinberg: So you mentioned, um,

so when I speak to people, um, about

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social media, building media, all

sorts of other topics around starting

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a business, um, we're, we're sometimes

told actually start before you, you

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know, before you have something.

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So I know, for example, lots of

brands when they, even when their

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product isn't quite ready to sell,

they might get on social media.

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They might start building

up their email list.

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They might start with their website.

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Is that too soon to start thinking

about PR or is there something we can

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be doing then as, then as well, when

we're in those very early stages?

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Rosie Davies-Smith: Yeah.

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I think that's a really good question.

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Um, so my, so the longest lead time,

so lead time is how far ahead the

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press are working is about six months.

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So anything before six months, I wouldn't.

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Uh, before six months before you launch,

I wouldn't be thinking about PR, but

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you can be building that imagery once

you've got any types of imagery that

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I've talked about to send to the press

and you have somewhere to send them.

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So I recommend a landing

page that looks nice.

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Please make sure it looks nice.

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Um, maybe capturing email addresses,

for example, before you launch,

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um, then you're ready to get going,

but just remember those lead times.

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So you're not going to contact

online press if you're still

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six months away from launch.

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Um, they, they do want to, I

should also say a launch, this

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is in the nicest possible way.

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And this is so people don't

waste their time doing it.

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A launch isn't news to the press.

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If you've got no previous you know,

brand history, you haven't run a big

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business before, or kind of something

that's well known, they're not going

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to write about your brand launching.

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It's just not going to happen.

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So I recommend trying to start with

kind of those product features, maybe

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kind of, um, some niche interviews,

you know, if you're a knitwear brand,

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for example, there was some really good

knitwear magazines out there or knitwear

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platforms where they really specialized.

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It's really, really niche.

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Um, we had one member that was

on a podcast, I think it's called

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Maker Meaning, and it was, it

was very, very, very niche.

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It was the stories behind why

makers make, um, but it had

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250 listens in the first hour.

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So.

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Think about don't don't try

and kind of just get your

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launch into the national press.

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Think about really niche, you know,

platforms that are going to drive

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people, um, kind of really care about

what you're doing to, um, your website.

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But once you've got that imagery,

I'd say anywhere between six months

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up to your launch date is a good

time to start thinking about PR.

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Vicki Weinberg: That's really helpful.

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Thank you, Rosie.

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And I also liked what you said about not

always going for the big publications

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and going a bit more niche as well,

because it can be really tempting to

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think, oh, I'd love to be in the, I don't

know, the Guardian, whatever, wherever

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you want to be or a certain magazine.

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But that's actually such a good point

about thinking about where your customers,

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you know, what they're listening to

and what they're reading and being a

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bit more targeted because actually you

could get a lot more sales, which is

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what we're all after from featuring

in a, let's say the sock example,

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featuring in a knitwear magazine or

whatever it is than being on in something

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big with a much wider readership or

listenership, but actually only a

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percentage of those people might actually

be interested in what it is you sell.

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Rosie Davies-Smith: Exactly.

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I say, I say to our members,

don't be a publication snob.

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Because if you just want to be in

the Guardian and the Times, you're

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going to be waiting a long time.

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Try and spread your

net as far and as wide.

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Obviously, it needs to be relevant.

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It needs to be relevant.

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Otherwise, they're not

going to feature you.

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But try and like spread your

net as far and wide as you can.

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Think niche.

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Think podcast.

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Think other medium.

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Think YouTube.

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Um, I love print and online magazines

don't get me wrong, but there are so

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many other ways to PR um, your product.

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And when I, when I say don't be a

publication snob, I mean, we had a member,

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um, a few years ago and they really

wanted like high fashion publications,

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which great, so does everyone, but let

me tell you now they don't drive sales.

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Um, and I think they got featured in

a woman and home and country living.

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And actually you could see a direct

correlation between the readers and

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people purchasing and it was amazing

and it's not a publication they wanted

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to be in because I think it was seen as

a bit uncool but actually it was so, so

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powerful and the readers were so engaged.

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Um, so yeah, cast your net as far

and wide as you can when it comes

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to who you're reaching out to.

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Vicki Weinberg: That makes sense and I

think as well that I guess the more niche

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you go, you go the more likely you have

of your story being picked up as well.

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So.

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100%.

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For my example, I have had, I tried

to get a bit of PR for something

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earlier this year and I had much

more success with my local press.

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I think because I was local, there was

that angle, whereas the kind of the

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bigger publications, I guess there just

wasn't as much of a story for them.

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But the fact that someone had done

something locally, all the local press

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were like, oh yeah, this is great.

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This is really relevant.

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So it's not the best example for

products, but I do think that

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sometimes you have a bit more luck

if you're sort of really targeted.

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Rosie Davies-Smith: Yeah 100%, 100%.

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People always forget

about local press as well.

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It's super, super powerful.

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Vicki Weinberg: So we are

recording this at the end of:

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Um, but when everyone's listening,

it's going to be early:

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And I would love to talk a little

bit about the new year and how to

334

:

start the year one step ahead as an e

commerce business when it comes to PR.

335

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Um.

336

:

So imagery, I can talk about imagery

for 45 minutes, I would, um, just

337

:

reviewing kind of what you've got,

what you might think about getting

338

:

done in 2024, what you can run with.

339

:

Let's, let's go positive.

340

:

Like what, like based on the

imagery that I mentioned earlier,

341

:

you know, what's your strongest?

342

:

What can you, um, what can you start with?

343

:

I would also, um, recommend

setting time aside.

344

:

So PR is one of those activities that is

important, but it's never, ever urgent.

345

:

It will always, always, always go

to the bottom of the to do list and

346

:

everything else will always overtake it.

347

:

So, we encourage members to set

aside a minimum of 60 minutes a week.

348

:

It can absolutely be done in 60 minutes

a week if they've got longer, fantastic.

349

:

But 60 minutes a week just to pitch to

the press and nurture relationships.

350

:

PR is all about relationships.

351

:

So just nurturing, you know, those

relationships, going back to people

352

:

that you maybe pitched to three

months ago, you know, following them

353

:

on LinkedIn or Instagram, um, just

nurturing that PR every single week.

354

:

Yeah, after imaging, I would

say set aside, um, that time and

355

:

my third piece of advice would

be for:

356

:

Stop, um, putting it to the bottom

of your to do list if that's what

357

:

you've been doing, because the

sooner you get going, the sooner

358

:

you'll start, um, to get coverage.

359

:

So even if you can just set aside 60

minutes and reach out to five people a

360

:

week, just five people a week, you are

doing so, so much more than your capacity.

361

:

Vicki Weinberg: That's

really helpful, thank you.

362

:

Because I know that times right now

are really tough for everyone, for

363

:

consumers, which we'll talk about in

a moment, and for small businesses.

364

:

Um, so, and why do you think it's

still important to invest in pr?

365

:

Because I think, I think there will

be people who are saying yes, but you

366

:

know, why should I think about PR when

I'm struggling to, I don't know, make

367

:

cash flow work or, you know, there's so

many challenges at the, at the moment.

368

:

So why do you advocate for businesses

still focusing on PR during these times?

369

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Because I honest,

honestly believe if you have no, if

370

:

you have no kind of awareness strategy.

371

:

Um, aside from social media, uh, you're

going to really, really struggle to stay

372

:

in business because people, people are

not going to shop with you if they're not

373

:

aware of you and Instagram is great, but

let's be honest, that is, that is limited

374

:

to how many people you are going to reach.

375

:

Um, PR is by far the best

activity for awareness.

376

:

If you secure coverage, it makes hundreds,

thousands of people aware of you.

377

:

What it also does, and this is why

we'll talk about this in a second about

378

:

consumers, is it makes people trust you.

379

:

So if you've got three people in your

sector, um, you know, you will make

380

:

similar products, similar price point,

maybe a similar audience competitors, if

381

:

you like, and one of you is doing PR and

you know, it, it's really obvious you're

382

:

trusted by this magazine as seen in this

magazine, this product was highlighted.

383

:

That is the brand that is going to get

the sales because people trust them.

384

:

Um.

385

:

So that is why I would absolutely,

I kind of not think, oh, we've got

386

:

no budget, so I'm not going to do PR

right now, but we'll spend on ads.

387

:

Don't spend on ads until you've

got PR coming in because ads

388

:

are going to support your PR.

389

:

PR should be the first activity.

390

:

Vicki Weinberg: That makes so much sense.

391

:

Thank you.

392

:

Because also, um, when we talk about

ads and PR, PR presumably can cost

393

:

you a lot less money than ads as well.

394

:

So again, I think it sounds like you can

do a lot with your PR just by investing

395

:

your time and not perhaps investing any

money or investing a little bit of money.

396

:

Whereas ads, as we know, can, you

know, the spend can just spiral.

397

:

Um.

398

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Yes.

399

:

Vicki Weinberg: It's a lot

more in terms of investment.

400

:

And of course, you know, we

don't know what the payoff is

401

:

going to be for ads or, or PR.

402

:

Um, but yeah, PR to me seems like much

less of a financial commitment and more

403

:

of a time commitment, which hopefully we

can all find 60 minutes a week to do that.

404

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Definitely.

405

:

Vicki Weinberg: Thank you.

406

:

And so let's talk a bit about

consumers as well, because times

407

:

are hard for small businesses.

408

:

They're also really hard

for everyone, aren't they?

409

:

Because disposable income

is definitely going down.

410

:

Um, but so is there anything we

can do in terms of our PR to help.

411

:

When I think spending, you know, and

I think that's part of the reason

412

:

small businesses are finding it tough

is people are, I think, spending

413

:

a little bit less at the moment.

414

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Yeah, absolutely.

415

:

So, um, I talked about the trust element.

416

:

I can't emphasize how important that

is for consumers, you know, they want

417

:

to there's so many brands out there.

418

:

They want to they want to purchase

with people that they trust and PR is

419

:

probably the top um, thing you can do

to build trust, um, with consumers.

420

:

But the other element that is really,

really important and people don't

421

:

really consider a lot when they think

about PR is, um, emotional connection.

422

:

So there's two types of

PR for e com businesses.

423

:

One is products.

424

:

Um, so, you know, product roundups,

shop this look and have all

425

:

the kind of nice product stuff,

which is really, really great.

426

:

And it's great for awareness

and it's great for trust.

427

:

But the other type of PR for e com

businesses, and I always recommend you

428

:

do both split your time across both

is, uh, what we call profile press.

429

:

So, um, this is what service

businesses would do, but it's still

430

:

really relevant for e com it's, you

know, meet the maker, an interview

431

:

with the founder, a day in the life.

432

:

Um, it might be an interview about a shop

opening, um, it might be, you know, what,

433

:

how you overcame, you know, a mental

health battle to start your business or

434

:

why, why your product is so relevant.

435

:

What, what about your story?

436

:

What about your journey, you know, has led

you to create this product or this brand?

437

:

Um, and that emotional connection

is what will drive consumers

438

:

to, um, spend with you.

439

:

I am so brand loyal to, um, to brands

where I have an emotion that I have

440

:

an emotional connection with, and

it's normally with the founder.

441

:

So putting the founder at the

forefront of your stories, I think

442

:

it's really, really important.

443

:

Those that do will reap.

444

:

Um, the rewards and we've seen it in

all the reports this year, like we've

445

:

been, um, kind of pulling together

all the reports for:

446

:

consumers want an emotional connection

with the brand before they shop with

447

:

them, um, they want that feeling.

448

:

Um, so yeah, you can use PR to

tell your story in a different way.

449

:

And then when you do get that coverage,

just make sure you're sharing it.

450

:

Um, don't kind of, um, just

think, oh, well, I got featured

451

:

in a magazine and that's it.

452

:

There are some laws around sharing.

453

:

I'm not an expert in it, so I'm not going

to go into it, but, um, you know, making

454

:

sure you've kind of shouted about it

on your Instagram or shared it on your

455

:

LinkedIn or put that logo on your website.

456

:

It's all really, really important.

457

:

It's going to drive um, firstly, awareness

of people that don't already know you,

458

:

but people that do know you, maybe they're

on your mailing list and they joined your

459

:

mailing list, but they've never shopped

with you or they follow you on Instagram

460

:

and they've never shopped with you.

461

:

It just might be that final push they

need to make that purchase to know

462

:

kind of your story or what you overcame

or why you're doing what you do might

463

:

just be, um, that emotional connection

they need to make that purchase.

464

:

Vicki Weinberg: That makes so much sense.

465

:

Thank you, Rosie.

466

:

I think that, yeah, knowing a bit

about the background of a brand

467

:

just stops them being faceless.

468

:

And I think it makes a huge difference.

469

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Yeah, it

makes me, it makes me sharp.

470

:

Vicki Weinberg: And actually, that's

kind of the whole point of this

471

:

podcast is to feature brands and their

stories, partly so they could, those

472

:

brands can help other people learn

from what they've done, but also to

473

:

share those stories and the background.

474

:

And I find that I and my listeners

as well are so loyal to brands that

475

:

have been on the podcast because you

know, it feels like you know them.

476

:

It feels like you know who this brand

is because you've, you've had the

477

:

founder's voice and you've had them

talking about their, their products.

478

:

And yeah, and I think that does keep

us saying come back to brand loyalty.

479

:

I think we're much more loyal when we

feel that we know who the business,

480

:

who the person behind the business is.

481

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Whenever,

whenever I need to buy something.

482

:

Um, a suitcase actually is the most

recent, um, kind of example of this.

483

:

I will always think who,

who did I hear from?

484

:

And like, I bought a suitcase from

away because I heard the founder

485

:

on a podcast, how I built this.

486

:

So I, instead of all the suitcases I could

have bought, I probably spent double what

487

:

I wanted to spend on a suitcase, but I

did it because I'd heard her journey.

488

:

I'd heard what she had overcome

to start this business.

489

:

And it's so, so true.

490

:

If you're thinking, you know, Oh, I'm

going to get featured on a podcast and

491

:

then I'm going to get loads of sales.

492

:

It doesn't work like that.

493

:

It's about people remembering you.

494

:

So when they do need that product,

you are absolutely forefront of mind.

495

:

You're the person that they remember.

496

:

Vicki Weinberg: Absolutely.

497

:

Um, yeah, that's, and that's

actually leads me on really nicely

498

:

to my next, my next question.

499

:

So as you've said, we, you know,

you might go on a podcast and you

500

:

might not get instant sales or from

a magazine piece, but how can you

501

:

tell what return, if any, you're

getting from the PR that you're doing?

502

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Oh,

I love this question.

503

:

Please don't think about, uh,

PR in terms of what kind of

504

:

return you are going to get.

505

:

It is not a marketing act marketing

activity, it's an awareness activity.

506

:

I, when people kind of really

want to measure, um PR, I would

507

:

say look at it year on year.

508

:

So do PR activity for 12 months and then

review at the end of those 12 months.

509

:

And you're looking at metrics like,

have my website users increased?

510

:

Has our revenue increased?

511

:

You know, you might see some people

clicking through from online articles, but

512

:

apart from that, it's so, so difficult.

513

:

Um, it's so difficult, uh, to

measure because someone will see you.

514

:

That we had, I don't know how

many, I think we had about 15

515

:

members featured in the Guardian

Christmas gift guide, um, last week.

516

:

Um, and some of them did actually get

sales from it and it's very, very clear,

517

:

but a lot of them maybe didn't, and it's

about, you know, someone coming to their

518

:

website that might buy something else,

you know, they'll see the product that

519

:

they saw on the Guardian, but actually,

you know, something else takes their

520

:

fancy or, you know, they saw a notepad

in the Guardian that they want to buy for

521

:

themselves, not as a Christmas gift, so

they'll come back in January and buy it.

522

:

So, I would, if you're going to look at

PR activity and kind of what return you're

523

:

getting, I would annually review it.

524

:

Don't drop it, and if you don't

feel like your website traffic is

525

:

increasing or you're not getting the

coverage, um, that you should be.

526

:

You need to look at what you're doing,

kind of what you're doing, how much,

527

:

how often are you emailing them?

528

:

What are your assets like?

529

:

I can tell you 90 percent of the time

that people don't secure the coverage

530

:

that they think they deserve it's

because their imagery is not good enough.

531

:

Um, so go back and kind of review all that

if you're not getting, um, the coverage,

532

:

um, that you kind of expected, but PR

is very much a top of funnel activity.

533

:

It's about awareness.

534

:

It's about credibility.

535

:

And then your marketing is to drive

people through your sales funnel.

536

:

Vicki Weinberg: Thank you for humoring me

with that question because I know there

537

:

are always people who want to, who want to

know, is it worth me doing this activity?

538

:

Will, am I getting anything from it?

539

:

Should I be dropping it?

540

:

You know, especially as we're coming

towards the end of the year and, you know,

541

:

make, making plans for the next year.

542

:

So it sounds like your advice is do it.

543

:

Don't drop it.

544

:

And if it isn't working, think

about why perhaps it, you know,

545

:

what other aspects are not working.

546

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Yeah, exactly.

547

:

Vicki Weinberg: That makes total sense.

548

:

Thank, thank you.

549

:

Um, and I think it's really interesting

as, as well, what you've said about

550

:

how you might see immediate results or

you might not, because I've definitely

551

:

had that anecdotally from clients as

well, where they've done something

552

:

and then it can be quite a while later

that it seems to be paying off and

553

:

often it's an accumulation of things.

554

:

So it's not just one event

being in one publication.

555

:

It can be, you know, a couple of

months of consistent coverage.

556

:

And then all of a sudden they'll say,

oh, my sales are around month for month

557

:

or whatever, you know, whatever it is.

558

:

And I think that's really interesting.

559

:

It comes back to what you were

saying about people having to

560

:

sort of see you consistently and

get to feel like they know you.

561

:

Um, and I think for lots of us, just

one article or one podcast interview

562

:

probably isn't going to be the thing

that changes the whole business.

563

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Absolutely not.

564

:

I've actually got, have I

got time for a quick story?

565

:

Vicki Weinberg: Of course.

566

:

Yeah.

567

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Um, so I think it's

about:

568

:

um, the agency and just as I launched

peer dispatch, I got a few, this is for

569

:

the agency and for me as a founder, we

got a few pieces of small coverage and

570

:

then we got contacted by, um, Elle.

571

:

Um, actually no, we pitched Ellen,

we pitched Ellen, um, and she

572

:

said, yeah, this sounds great.

573

:

So it was an article about 23

female founders on the 30, um, and

574

:

that was a great, great article.

575

:

And, um, six months later I got a

call on the line at work and, um,

576

:

it was the BBC and they said, we're

shooting the final of the apprentice.

577

:

We'd like you to come in, um, be a judge.

578

:

And they had actually found

me through that Elle article.

579

:

So it, it's about building, totally right.

580

:

It's building blocks.

581

:

Don't think you're going to get one piece

of coverage and, you know, that's it,

582

:

you don't PR and you don't need to do

it again, all of those building blocks,

583

:

all of those small pieces of coverage

that we got kind of made us seem credible

584

:

so that then Elle ran the article.

585

:

And then six months later, the

BBC found us through Elle and

586

:

asked me to be on the apprentice.

587

:

So it is always.

588

:

Always, always building blocks.

589

:

And we, we do it consistently.

590

:

So we're always showing up and we're

always forefront of mind, because if

591

:

we weren't doing it, someone else in

my space would take over and become

592

:

the forefront kind of leader in the

e com, um, kind of PR, um, space.

593

:

And PR is the only thing that

doesn't stop that from happening.

594

:

Um, so yeah, hopefully my story

kind of spurs you on to get going.

595

:

Vicki Weinberg: Well, I didn't

know you were on The Apprentice.

596

:

That's very exciting first of all.

597

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: It's a

long time ago, a long time ago.

598

:

Vicki Weinberg: I had no idea.

599

:

So that's exciting.

600

:

I've got so many, I'm refraining

from asking my questions about

601

:

that, holding myself back.

602

:

But I really like that story.

603

:

And I really like what you said as

well, because the key thing that's, as

604

:

you've been speaking, that came to me

like lots of things in business is about

605

:

consistency and not just you know, trying

to get some PR in January and then think,

606

:

right, take the rest of the year off now.

607

:

I've done my bit.

608

:

Um, I think it's like

everything, isn't it?

609

:

It's just keep on doing it.

610

:

Um, and as you say, it all

starts to build a bigger picture.

611

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Exactly.

612

:

Yeah.

613

:

Keep, keep going.

614

:

Don't stop.

615

:

Vicki Weinberg: Well,

thank you so much, Rosie.

616

:

Thank you for everything you've shared.

617

:

Before you go, um, I have got one

final question, which I don't think I

618

:

prepared you for, but I'm sure you'll

have an answer, which is what would

619

:

your number one piece of advice be to

e commerce businesses listening now

620

:

wanting to get going with their PR?

621

:

What's the one thing you

want them to take away?

622

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: Um, I could

say imagery, but I've talked about

623

:

that a lot, so it would be that you

are completely capable of doing PR.

624

:

If you run a business, if it's just

you, or, you know, you're working

625

:

with one or two other people.

626

:

I can't tell you how capable business

owners are of doing their own PR, um,

627

:

you have all the skills you already need.

628

:

It's not rocket science.

629

:

It's really, really easy.

630

:

So yeah, I would say just kind

of, uh, start doing it so you

631

:

can start building those blocks.

632

:

Vicki Weinberg: Perfect.

633

:

Thank you.

634

:

That's such a nice

positive message to end on.

635

:

Thank you so much.

636

:

Rosie Davies-Smith: No worries.

637

:

Thank you for having me.

638

:

Vicki Weinberg: Thank you

so much for listening right

639

:

to the end of this episode.

640

:

Do remember that you can get the

full back catalogue and lots of free

641

:

resources on my website, vickiweinberg.

642

:

com.

643

:

Please do remember to rate and review

this episode if you've enjoyed it

644

:

and also share it with a friend

who you think might find it useful.

645

:

Thank you again and see you next week.

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