The Insight: Getting your pop up in the press

2 Oct 2014

Last week we attended a panel session on getting your pop up in the press, hosted by Pop Up Summit. The speakers; Bex Burn Callander, (enterprise editor at The Telegraph), Asa Bennett, (business reporter at Huffington Post) and Alice Revel (founder of Running in Heels) had such good insights, we felt it was only fair to share them with you too.

Newspaper

“Every day I receive over 650 emails and press releases” announced Bex, to a horrified audience. With that in mind, the panel set out to define what was needed to make your pop up stand out and get it in the press. Here’s their low down:

Start early, plan ahead. Alice was quick to remind everyone journalists have healthy social lives, so give them a good few weeks if you want them to come along to your shop opening. They’re unlikely to change their plan with less than a week’s notice. However, a celebrity attending just might sway them… Yes, the power of celebrity is still going strong. If you do have a famous name associated with your brand make sure you shout about it.

Target the right journalists. Think about where you want to be featured and what section you want to be featured in e.g. business, finance, lifestyle. Focus your efforts on reaching out to the relevant journalists. Asa pointed out he’s always surprised about the amount of people who still put effort into pitching him news completely unrelated to his job.

Craft the email pitch. Start by perfecting the subject line. This should be your company name and key points of the story. Think about what your strongest hook is and lead with this. In the main body of the email you should include a personalised message to the journalist you’re targeting - they can spot a copy and paste job a mile off! Think about why your story might be of interest to them, or offer them some exclusive insights.

Think about the key hooks. The panel advised you should aim to have around 3 different ones so that the journalist can pick an angle they want to focus on. Make sure you include all the key hooks in the body copy and ideally get them as near the top as possible.

After you’ve introduced yourself and your concept, copy and paste the full press release below. Apparently journalists are “very lazy” (their words) so make sure you make life for them as simple as possible. Another attachment is another hurdle!

Include great images. Journalists are always on the hunt for a good picture story so this is another easy way to ensure your pop up gets in the press. Make sure your pictures are good quality. Remember don’t try and send your high res images in the pitch email, instead attach a small thumbnail and send the rest separately.

Research the timings. In regards to the best time to send your email, the panelists were quick to point out it depends on the individual journalist - as they’ll all have their own deadlines. Although the panel were in agreement that sending your email on a Wednesday afternoons (less manic), and Sundays (with fewer journalists working), mean you have a better chance of selling an idea in.

Once you’ve sent your email don’t expect a reply straight away - remember, 650 emails everyday! Give them some space and then chase a couple of days later with a follow up email, phone call, or nudge on Twitter. You can also read our 'How To' guide on PR for Pop Ups to find out more insider tips and information. Good luck pitching!

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