Have you dreamed of seeing your products on your favorite website, blog or media outlet? Are you ready to expand your audience? Believe it or not, it’s easier than you think. Getting promoted on Shapeways is always a great start; and by targeting publications and outlets with audiences that align with your target customer base, you can really see your sales go through the roof. Write out the checklist below and seek holiday press, one article can make you thousands of dollars; really.
Seven Steps to PR Success:
1) List Your Dream Publications to be Featured in: Where have you always wanted to have been featured? What would validate your company or give you bragging rights amongst those less familiar with how great your business is. Make the wishlist of publications you want to be featured it, you’ll check them off over time, I promise. Plus, visualizing where you want to be helps make it happen.
2) Identify the Reporters that Cover Your Niche: Almost all reporters have topics or “beats” that they cover. Make a list of 1-2 journalists at the publications that you want to be featured in to target for coverage of your work. Communicating with the right people at a media outlet is essential to you getting featured and saves everyone time.
3) Find and Document Ways to Reach Reporters: Twitter handles, news tip forms, and individual emails are all great ways to get in touch with journalists. I have found that twitter handles are often the fastest way to get in touch with someone, followed by email. Platforms that journalists check in real-time are always best. Make a list or spreadsheet of these.
4) Engage with Reporters BEFORE you Ask for Coverage: In order to get what you want (coverage) you need to give (engage). Follow those journalists online and interact with the content they create. Comment on their articles, share those you and your audience will find relevant and make yourself known on their radar before you ask for a feature.
5) Ask for Attention: The notion that if you model it the journalists will come is naive. Everyone is overwhelmed by the amount of content online, and the best way to stand out is to contact writers directly. For example, if you design camera parts, tagging the reporter at Engadget that reviews cameras and saying “Hi John, loved your article on DLSR’s last week, I made this mod for my Canon,” etc. are great ways to get the conversation about you started.
6) Post Your Products on Platforms Journalists Often Search: You may not get a journalists attention the first time you reach out, but since what you’re creating is so cool, they’ll notice the buzz you stir up. Getting an existing online community excited about your work, like we discussed in last week’s forum tips, can really boost the exposure of your products to journalists and potential shoppers alike.
7) If at First You Don’t Succeed: Try, try again! Journalists are busy and on tight deadlines. Just because they don’t cover you today, doesn’t mean they won’t cover you next week. Share your latest creations with them, reminding the writer why their audience will love to hear about what you’ve done.
There are Shop Owners already doing a great job with this, and you can too! Some great recent examples include:
- Melissa Ng of Lumecluster was recently featured in Forbes with her 3D printed prosthetics after meeting reporter TJ McCure at our factory
- Paul Liaw of NeoNouveau was featured in 3D Printing Industry after targeting a reporter there he knew would be interested in his new jewelry line
- Fernando Sosa of Amznfx was featured in TechCrunch and a bunch of other tech publications when he responsively modeled a bent iPhone case it attracted a lot of attention on reddit
- Steve Fox and Ittyblox was featured in Gizmodo’s Toyland column as the “Sim City IRL”
Remember, both your products and your story as a 3D designer are noteworthy. Don’t be bashful, start growing your audience today!
Bonus challenge: Share your list of target outlets and reporters in our Marketing Your Shapeways Shop forum thread – the more we all work towards getting exposure for our work, the more journalistic interest there will be in all of us. One lucky list sharer will get $25 Shapeways credit.