|by Barbara Bechtel|
In July, I traveled to Kansas City to help a friend produce a yearly indie craft show. Etsy, one of our sponsors, sent us a kit of free goodies to distribute to vendors and customers and among the free goodies was a copy of Recipe for Press by Amy Flurry.
If you've ever wanted to expand your handmade jewelry business and wondered how you can take it a level where your art is reaching the masses through exposure in large websites (i.e. Daily Candy, Refinery 29, Design Sponge) and the BIG magazines (think O!, Better Homes and Gardens, In Style, and the like), the author give insight on public relations for a small business perspective.
Geared towards entrepreneurs and makers, the author emphasizes keeping your publicity and public relations in house, even as your business grows and you may find yourself struggling to keep up with all of the different areas a growing business demands (paperwork, making, marketing, selling, etc)
I have to admit I was a little skeptical when I began to thumb through it as I personally seem to waffle from one end of the spectrum to the other when it comes to self-promotion. On one hand, you have to get your work out there for people to find, but I often shy away from those who are constantly pushing themselves as a brand or businesses who try to elevate and market to be or sell something as a "must-have"
I did take away lots of wonderful information from the book, regardless. It offers interviews with small businesses who have an effective publicity plan, such as makers and chefs.
Flurry discusses social media and how, rather than trying to do it all, i.e. Facebook, Blogging, Twitter, etc. ...to pick one and do it well, and cancel or remove yourself from the outlets that don't resonate with you! Seems simple, right? You mean you don't have to jump on the latest and greatest of EVERY new social media outlet?! Right On!
Another idea that I took away was rather than constantly trying to keep up with your press (in the case of jewelry makers, it could be submitting of tutorials or seasonal merchandise), keep files of ideas and products that are strictly for promotions that you can pull out and send in regularly to obtain new press. This becomes easier to be able to respond quicker to editors if they need ideas ASAP and if you have ideas constantly at the ready for sending out, you will become a trusted source if editors know they can count on you as a quick, informative, and reliable source.
All in all, it's a great primer for those who have no idea where to even start or what basic self promotion and publicity entails.