Dear PR professionals who work with companies looking to reach the wedding industry,
I know your job is difficult and largely thankless. Your clients have specific goals and usually a gross misunderstanding of how the press and media actually work. Many think a big mention is going to catapult them to zillionaire status overnight while their phones ring off the hook from celebrities begging them to do their next wedding. Still, even with all this, you have to deliver results. As someone who receives dozens of press releases every week from people hoping to land a mention on my blog, here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Know who you are pitching. This is easy: every blog has an about page with the blogger’s name on it. We’re big believers in Dale Carnegie's theory that people like the sound of their own name. Use it. Spell it right.
2. Do not cc or bcc the entire list of wedding bloggers. Do not make threats. We’re friends. We talk to each other. Your emails get forwarded and pretty soon you have 30 women who want nothing to do with you because you treated one of us poorly.
3. We don’t think you personally are evil. However, pretty much every PR pro who has gone before you in the voyage to clutter our inboxes with irrelevant crap (bridal diet pills, special gel - I'll let you figure that one out, television shows about brides fighting for a terrible wedding with joke vendors) hasn’t done you any favors. No, it’s not fair, but it is what it is. If you want to get press on a wedding blog, it's at the point where you're going to have to do it the old fashioned way – by building actual relationships with the bloggers.
4. Your creative ideas are usually not that creative. Also, they typically display a complete ignorance for the wedding industry and what brides today are actually like. The 1950’s are gone along with the manipulative princess bride of the 1980’s. You actually want us to run a story on how brides can manipulate their "reluctant grooms-to-be" into proposing so that they can win a $15,000 ring? (Not making this up - this was a real pitch.) Seriously, you realize that women today are highly educated and have been paying their mortgages and bills with their own hard-earned money long before they met the man of their dreams, right? Also, with the divorce rate being at 50%, perhaps it's a bit irresponsible to be encouraging men who aren't ready to pop the question to just go ahead and settle down already.
Wedding bloggers need content. We're happy to hear about things that our readers would be genuinely interested in. But treating us as an impersonal checkbox on your to-do list is not the way to get your client press.