Now that you have attended this month’s TuesdaysTogether and learned the power of public relations, you’re likely brainstorming on ways to gain both bridal attention and media exposure. If the submission process is new to you, perhaps as a photographer or you’re a wedding planner or another creative who will be assisting in the submission process, these tips are for you! To get your shoots and weddings picked up, you will need to be diligent, patient and grateful!
Be diligent and do your research
1. Does this submission fit aesthetically? Emily Newman recently shared in a Wedding Styling 101 webinar that it takes her only a matter of seconds to determine whether or not a submission is the right fit for Once Wed. Before you begin drafting what you’re going to say in your submission, first ask yourself this question: does this submission fit aesthetically? Become a pro by scrolling through the Instagram feeds of your favorite blogs and magazines and study their submissions guidelines to get a feel for the types of shoots and events they publish. Soon you’ll be able to look at a photo album and know exactly where it will be a fit aesthetically.
2. Complete the perfect package. Remember those submission guidelines we talked about? Don’t take them lightly. If a publication has specific requirements that you don’t adhere to, you’re automatically kissing your chance of getting featured goodbye friends. For example, 100 Layer Cake requires 15-20 images for submissions, while others may require up to 200. Regional requirements, pixel preferences, vendor credits, photography style – if one or two elements are missing or fall short of the requirements for a particular publication, it might be best to submit elsewhere.
Be patient! It’s worth the wait to do it correctly
3. Be mindful of what you share while you’re waiting to hear back on a submission. Blogs and magazines love exclusivity and like to be the first to share a beautiful submission. So when they see it on your blog, social media channels and all the participating vendors’ social media channels, this could be a big turn off. Your chances of getting it published are better if you wait to post any images until the feature is officially live! Most photographers will pull a couple sneak peeks to share on social media in the meantime (which is okay 99% of the time). And if you’re not a patient person, just share a couple BTS iPhone pictures.
4. Don’t mass email your shoot to a handful of publications at once. You might think you’re getting ahead of the game, but what happens when multiple editors accept your submission and then you are forced to turn one of the opportunities down? So long positive first impression! As you can imagine, the editor on the losing end likely won’t want to work with you in the future. Create a prioritized list and reach out to your first choice publication. Only when your shoot has been declined or you don’t hear back within the appropriate amount of time (check the submission guidelines), move on to the next publication on your list. Can it sometimes be a lengthy process? Yes, but it’s well worth the wait!
Be grateful! Make the most of your press coverage.
5. A small thank you goes a long way. When the day arrives and your submission is live, send a quick thank you email (or even better, a hand-written note) to the editor. This sign of appreciate can perhaps even increase your chances of getting featured again, as it opens up the dialogue for future opportunities. Also, online posts with comments have higher click-through rates, so leaving a “thank you” comment on the post helps draw more attention to the article itself – helping both you and your new editor friend.
6. Don’t miss the opportunity to leverage social media. Understand that while being featured on popular blogs and in magazines will get you noticed, if your social media presence doesn’t reflect that same level of creativity and professionalism, public relations activities won’t produce direct sales. The best way to promote that earned feature is through social media. Send the feature to the other vendors involved, asking them to share on social media. And when you’re sharing, don’t forget to tag the outlet to show your appreciation and that you’re helping spread the news. If you can’t directly link to the article (like on Instagram), consider putting a temporary link in your profile to let followers know where they can find it, or include the exact title of the article for them to easily search for it later.