How did you get Oprah to try your product? Carrie Underwood? You have so much good press, how did you get it all?
Getting great media coverage is an art and a science. We have at times paid for PR and at times it has been worth it in spades. Other times it was a massive and painful waste of cash. We have used influencers; both directly and through content management platforms. We have hired videographers, directors, actors, and screenplay writers. We have pitched stories ourselves to magazines and digital platforms. We have written our own pieces and published it through content advertising platforms. Basically, we have done and tried everything. And there is a time and a place for everything. The key is to understand which levers to pull at which time. Each one offers a valuable way to grow brand awareness.
Shortly after we launched, when we were doing our own PR, a Print Magazine called “Real Simple” covered our flagship product, the heel protector. It was so exciting. We felt as though we had made it. I sent a screenshot of the exciting piece to my old boss at Goldman Sachs who replied “that’s great but what about Oprah.”
I cringed and smiled at the response, knowing her intent was to say “keep going, get going, and grow”.
We knew that Gayle King was the Editor in Chief of O Magazine, and best friend to Oprah so we angled that getting products to her might be easier than getting them directly to the queen herself.
Knowing that Gayle loved a particular pizza place in New York City, we ordered some pizza and sent the pizza delivery with our press kit and samples. To our delight, the pizza and the samples were delivered. Unbenoumced to us, Gayle was out of the office that day but the staff enjoyed the pizza and left the press kit on her desk.
The following week, an unknown number began to call Becca’s cell phone. When she finally picked it up, a friendly booming voice exclaimed, “Becca Brown! Becca Brown are you there?” She almost hung up, given she had no idea who the caller was. She paused before she decided to hang up and the voice continued “Becca Brown, this is Gayle King and I would like to host you in 30 seconds on my live radio show”.
She almost dropped her phone, she was in such shock.
Taking a second to gather herself, she replied with glee that she would love to be on the show.
As Gayle went on to tell Becca and her live audience, she had been at a wedding in Los Angeles the previous weekend. The NY based event planner had provided Solemates to all of the well-heeled guests. Both Gayle and Oprah had been at the wedding, and one of them had even done a reading. She had walked up the grassy aisle, wearing Solemates, delighted by how well they worked.
“Our heels didn’t sink! We were wearing heels in the grass and our shoes didn’t sink. It was spectacular!” she had decried.
Gayle went onto say that while she and Oprah both loved the product, on their respective flights home, they could not remember the name of the product. Gayle said she was so frustrated because while she had really liked it and planned on searching it up, she was at a total loss for what it was called.
By chance, or as Gayle said, by virtue of the law of attraction, when she returned to her office the very next day, she found our press kit, samples and a note about how we had sent them up with pizza. She was so excited that she had barely finished going through the samples when she called Becca to bring her onto her radio show.
Months later, a full page feature in O Magazine would follow.
There was almost no way to have created the luck that our hard work created in that incident but it's a great example of how being goal oriented and creative can payoff.
More to come on the other forms of pr we have used in another post!