Archive for the ‘mumpreneur’ Category

How to… get in the local press

The professional image which got the attention of the local press

So I’m launching a new business/product/event – to me it’s the centre of my universe, surely my local newspaper will want to cover it…

Nope. To them it’s not news – loads of new businesses launch every day. Thousands of new products hit the market each week. So how do you get decent publicity for your business without paying a fortune in advertising?

Well, all I can tell you is what worked for Words by Fiona Kyle. Obviously to me launching a brand new copywriting and proofreading business was a huge deal. But let’s be brutally honest – my business is not newsworthy. Plenty of people offer a similar service (although not in quite the same way or to the same standard I would obviously argue!). Yet my story appeared in the Yorkshire Post and on thebusinessdesk.com which my fellow Yorkshire-types will know is a fairly big deal for the Yorkshire business world.

The simple answer is you have to work out what is newsworthy about your particular story.

Case study – the Yorkshire Post

The Yorkshire Post did a fantastic article about my business and those belonging to my friends Gaby and Emma. I got in touch with a journalist who works for the paper and explained that we were all mothers who had set up our businesses after working together on a local event as volunteers and that I was keen to set up a local networking group for ‘mumpreneurs’. The paper was interested in the debate around the term mumpreneur and we got a great feature out of it.

Case study – thebusinessdesk.com

I was lucky in this case that I went to school with a key player at the businessdesk.com so I had an easy ‘in’. Building relationships with journalists can be a great way to learn about what they really want from a story and for them to come to trust you as a source (so don’t just ply them with any old stories!). Again though, my story is not newsworthy on its own but combined with Gaby’s much more glamorous business, the human interest of our friendship together with a professionally taken image of the two of us and we got some more great coverage from it.

Hints and tips

  • Think before you start out on a PR campaign – is my story newsworthy? If not, is there another angle I can approach it from which makes it seem more unusual.
  • Write a press release but keep it to one side of A4. Email it through to a contact at a local paper. Follow it up with a phone call a few days later to check it was received and see if it was of interest.
  • Get a professional image taken  – resources in local news can be really stretched so if you send a great picture they can use, your story is much more likely to get in.

If you would like to chat about more tips like this, or need help writing a press release or finding an interesting angle to approach it from, please get in touch on info@wordsbyfionakyle.co.uk

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Never underestimate the power of words

Jenny (right), the girls, babies and their GUMIGEMs

I’m proud to welcome Jenny McLaughlan of GUMIGEM, the original UK teething necklace. Jenny has written a fascinating guest blog about the importance of communication for a small business.

As a new business with limited finance to spend on advertisements, I rely heavily on the use of social media, editorials and the content of my site to get my message heard. It is only since discovering Words by Fiona Kyle I have finally recognised the value in taking time and thought around this area. I know it sounds daft, of course you should be careful and thoughtful about what and how you communicate, but as a small enterprise it can be a real struggle. With so many things to juggle, you just tweet, post, update your site and send emails without really considering what they are saying!

One challenge is that you think as you write and although you’re sending out the right message and informing people about your products, sometimes when you have a product and a business that you know inside out, your communications have a certain level of assumed knowledge in them without even realising you’re doing it. So when you think you’re being clear about how to enter a competition or indeed certain key points about your product, it is vital to get another pair of eyes to have a look. They don’t have that same insider knowledge and can quickly assess and identify gaps in your communication. An example I would give of this is my first ever batch of flyers which had the words ‘for mum to wear…. and baby to enjoy!’ What does that mean? Well to me it made sense, but in actual fact to everybody else it did not! It did not tell anyone what the product actually was.

Social media has been the main source of attracting customers to my site, and this too needs careful thought. On Twitter you are limited to just 140 characters, something I personally find so difficult as I always have a lot to say! So how do you get something that is punchy but also interesting? The aim is to engage people and encourage them to follow you, visit your site and ideally become a customer. That’s a lot to achieve in just 140 characters. Talk too much about your own business and you put people off, focus on more personal issues and you don’t get them making a trip to your site. So getting the balance right is key and this is something I am still learning about! The way we do business is changing as technology advances. This has many advantages as it frees up our time as we are able to engage and reach customers far faster than the traditional way of having to seek out face to face engagements. The disadvantage is that the words we choose and how we communicate, just like first impressions, last. They build up your personality and send people a message about who you are and what you are about. So never underestimate the power of words.

For me I am very guilty of being rushed, this means you don’t pay as much attention to the detail as you should. Newsletters with spelling mistakes and poor grammar just send out the wrong message and can look so unprofessional. Another reason for just taking a step back once in a while and asking for someone to give it the once over, it may be frustrating you have to wait another day to get that exciting newsletter out there, but then at least it’s right, looks professional and will have more impact.

It’s a learning curve and like all things in life, we won’t get it right all of the time. Some people like Coke and others Pepsi, some will like your chosen style of communication, others won’t. But as a business you want to aim for communication that has interest, impact and is heard and not drowned out by all the other tweets, posts and websites out there. So my lesson and one I am still very much learning is that what we say and how we say it is as important to a business as the products we sell. Without the right words and communication, we won’t succeed.

Thanks so much Jenny for your guest blog and a really interesting insight into getting your message heard as a new, small business. For more information about GUMIGEM visit http://www.gumigem.co.uk or email sales@gumigem.co.uk

If you want to chat about how to get your message out there, please drop me a line on fiona@wordsbyfionakyle.co.uk

Why I love print

Call me old fashioned but there is something I just love about printed communications. Whether it’s newsletters, magazines, prospectuses, a shiny corporate brochure or even a plain old flyer, when a job comes in from the printers, there is something really special about it.

I am really glad to know that one of my clients has a corporate brochure in the pipeline for me at the moment. Although I am a copywriter, I will be a project manager for the brochure and am looking for a graphic designer to team up with to produce something that will really blow the client’s socks off. And don’t get me wrong, I sincerely hope that I can help him out with his website too and I will put everything into that and it will look just as great and read just as well but… Anyone else feel the same?

It’s the combination of nerves and excitement as the guy from the printing company brings your samples into the office for you and you open the package and know you’ve done a good job and the client will love it.

Obviously there is less need on today’s world for printed communications. But I have worked with many companies where they still love tangible publications – whether it’s because they enjoy reading them while travelling for business, taking them home to share with their families or because they spend all day sitting at a computer and want to take time out to look at them.

Now, there are some wonderful digital communications out there too. My old company produced some AMAZING digital magazines and websites for companies like T-Mobile and it would be great to have the opportunity to work on something like that again. If I get enough of them at Words by Fiona Kyle maybe I will change my mind!