Advertising is great. Free advertising is even better. Media coverage is the equivalent of free advertising, so learning how to work with the media to get coverage can be a valuable tool for your business.
Helen Rittersporn of Helen’s Scrapbooking Studio in Hampstead, North Carolina has been really making the most of her opportunities for free media coverage in the past few months, both in local media and trade publications.
Throughout 2009, starting with the studio’s opening, Rittersporn courted coverage in the area’s Topsail Magazine. The studio was mentioned or featured in three articles throughout the year, including a profile of the business and also having Rittersporn’s custom Topsail Island sticker set featured in a product pick article.
Rittersporn and her dog Cuddy, who is her studio’s mascot, were featured on Dec. 18th in an article in the Wilmington Star-News about local portrait photographer Dick Parrott who shoots pet portraits. The article quotes Rittersporn extensively, and includes references to her studio and an upcoming Humane Society fundraiser being hosted there. The article is a great example of a combination business profile/public interest story that will have a much higher chance of getting press coverage than just a simple event notice. Coordinating the profile of the photographer so that it was actually also a mini-profile of Rittersporn and promoted the fundraiser was a brilliant move on both their parts because it added a unique twist to a traditional business profile.
But Rittersporn didn’t stop there with her publicity blitz. She told Scrapbook Business magazine the story of how she started up her somewhat unusual scrapbook store, which is more focused on events and custom album scrapping than a traditional scrapbook store is. Their profile of her business – which is more a very informative article that reveals some of the secrets of her success than a biography – appears in the January/February 2010 issue of Scrapbook Business. That issue is currently hitting subscriber mailboxes and will be distributed at CHA-Winter 2010 as well. If you’d like to get a sneak read of the article, Rittersporn has made a pdf available on her website.
And to top it all off, she inspired Scrapbook Update to write about her too, by telling me about all the media she has been doing and impressing me with her example.
Rittersporn is making the most of media opportunities…are you?
[FTC Disclosure: The lovely Helen is my roommate for CHA and if I’m not nice to her she might hog all the hot water and closet space. But I’d think she’s brilliant anyway.]