Be Known as the Best in Town

by Larry H. Oskin, President, Marketing Solutions, Inc.

Media exposure will take you from being one of the best kept secrets to being known as THE BEST in town!

Build your strategic marketing plans with a complete media relations campaign.

Public Relations (PR) effectively builds credibility, respect, reputation, integrity, name brand awareness and best of all, pride for your staff and clients.

The local and national media are always looking for expert information to educate their readers and viewers. Be prepared to make news. With a non-commercial education oriented approach, you will achieve important ongoing local and national media exposure throughout the year.

Annual Marketing and PR Calendars: Develop a comprehensive annual marketing calendar with advertising and promotional plans that are directly supported by ongoing media relations programs. Create a plan noting all of the seasons and holidays. Be ready to promote each salon and spa service category at least once per year.

Media Kits: Create a professional Media Kit to represent you and your salon to editors, TV / radio producers and internet webmasters. Media kits will share your background with your signature services and your salon team. Media kits should include:

Biographies: A one-page brief about you and/or your salon owner.

Business Story: Share what makes your salon unique and distinctively different. Tell about your salon services, staff specialties, state-of-the-art equipment, advanced certifications, education, media honors and community achievements.

Photography: Include a DVD with professional digital high resolution photographs of your salon facility, the exterior and the owners as well as all of your salon and spa services.

Pitch Letters: Personalize cover letters for each media contact, while pitching several creative ideas with your areas of expertise for future feature stories.

Press Releases: Create one-page press announcements with your most important salon news, new haircolor treatments, spa service therapies, special events or your charitable fundraisers. Tell what, when, how, why and where. Do not try to sell anything or tell how much a service is. Write educationally based press releases to pitch you and your salon to their target audiences! Share news that will educate their readers about what they will learn from you and your salon specialties.

Target Media Lists: Create a computerized database with each of the local editors, Internet webmasters, radio and TV producers on it. Include names, titles, addresses, email addresses, websites, fax and telephone numbers. Create a separate database with each of the national editors, Internet webmasters and broadcast producers on it. It is vitally important to build national recognition for yourself and your salon. Once published nationally, share PR reprints with your local media so they will respect you as a nationally recognized expert.

PR and Editorial Calendars: Most publications will have special salon, health, wellness, medical and other related beauty care editorial sections with different themes throughout the year. Offer ideas, expertise and photography to meet the needs of your local and national media targets who pay attention to beauty care, salon and spa experts. These Editorial Calendars are available by visiting their websites. Plan your PR strategies well in advance. Create your PR programs at least three to four months in advance when attempting local, regional or national media coverage to promote your salon.

PR Pitches: Today, you are able to pitch the media with email blasts as well as by traditional mail packages, so use both. Develop a relationship, so you will become a valuable expert salon and spa resource.

Professional Resources: You may be able to create your own PR campaigns. Media representatives will respect you even more when you use a PR agent or agency to represent you. When possible, use a professional PR and marketing agency or writer that specializes in the professional beauty business since they can help you with both local and national resources.

Create Exciting PR Strategies. Create annual PR campaigns that will keep you and your salon in the news. The media will always be interested in beauty, makeovers, seasonal hair fashion trends, gifts of beauty and everything offered at salons. How you use PR long after the PR hit appears, is very important. Most people will not see your PR hit, so plan to create colorful PR reprints every time you and your salon are featured.

Display these PR reprints throughout the salon on your Wall Of Fame. Create a special Media Portfolio for your reception area. Share your PR hits in email blasts and post them on Facebook pages as well as on your website. This Media Portfolio should be used to impress new guests, to help recruit new staff and for any major salon event, when you need to introduce yourself to anyone of importance.

Larry H. Oskin is president of Marketing Solutions, Inc., a full-service marketing, advertising, graphic design and PR agency specializing in the professional beauty industry. For more information call 703-359-6000, Email LOskin@MktgSols.com. Visit www.MktgSols.com and www.ArtBeautique.com.