Using PR to Build a Beauty Business
Even in a down economy beauty sells. The cosmetic industry was born in the Great Depression. This is one industry where it pays to promote when things are good, but pays even more to market aggressively when times are tough. As in the fields of entertainment and fashion, a strong public relations campaign is critical when it comes to establishing a beauty product or cosmetic brand. It’s important to develop a basic game plan and work it on a weekly basis.
Initially, your most important job is to come up with compelling, interesting stories. How is your product different? Do any celebrities use your product? How does it make your customers feel? Is there an interesting story around how you developed and launched the company that you can use? Come up with as many angles and pitches as you can. Make sure to have good visuals both of the product and of people using your products. Strong before and after photos are always a plus. Once you have your stories ready to go, come up with a target media list.
When we launch a beauty-oriented PR campaign, we generally start with local print media, we then branch out to the national beauty and style-oriented publications followed by print publications in Los Angeles and New York. From there we drill down to other regions.
As the brand builds and you are able to develop compelling, visual stories, you want to start focusing on TV coverage, from local NBC, CBS and ABC coverage to the cable networks such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox, to the national outlets such as the Today Show, Good Morning America and the View.
As you start to land print coverage in magazines and newspapers, utilize that media online via social media and blogging to magnify that coverage and generate media interest and start establishing the brand. Do some brainstorming and develop a social media strategy, to capitalize on your TV and print media coverage. Utilize social media as a tool to help maximize your overall marketing efforts.
It’s important to develop a steady build and to have the pieces in place to be able to capitalize on the media as it comes. For example, in the past when we’ve placed clients on Oprah, the Today Show, or the NBC Evening News, we’ve worked with the client to make sure that they are ready to successfully utilize that type of exposure. It’s possible to land major media coverage before you’re ready. The exposure can be too much too soon. We had one client who was launching a product. He didn’t explain how small his company was and encouraged me to pitch the national TV media. We landed a prime spot on the national news and received half a million calls in a month. The trouble was he was in no shape to answer or process all of those calls. That’s an example of why it’s important to be realistic and launch a campaign that will offer you a slow, steady manageable build.
If you can hire a public relations firm, that’s your best choice, but if you’re not in a position to do so, don’t wait. Launch a basic campaign on your own and bring in a PR company to help, once you’re in a position to do so. If you develop a good marketing and PR strategy, it will pay off for you in a big way. Not only will it sell products and grow your customer base, it will establish your products, build your brand and grow your company.