Monday, October 22, 2018Embroidery's Voice and Vision


Theresa Hegel

Stitchwork is a blog that shines a spotlight on embroidery and related apparel decoration, offering everything from tips to unique stories about people in the industry.

Press Release Pet Peeves

Not too long ago, I was chatting with industry veteran Terry Combs – one of the “2 Regular Guys” on the popular podcast of the same name – about inexpensive marketing ideas, and he mentioned the continued effectiveness of the press release. According to Terry, decorators can easily send out a new press release every month and get a mention in their local paper. And despite what the pundits say, people still read the news – whether in print or online.

The conversation reminded me of my years in daily newspapers, a career I left when I accepted a position with Stitches’ parent company, ASI, over a year ago. For over half a decade, I worked as a regional beat reporter: I covered hotly contested municipal elections, visited a graveyard at midnight with a local ghost-hunting team and profiled a wide range of amazing people, from the volunteer wrestling coach learning to walk again after a serious spinal injury, to the legally blind octogenarian artist still teaching painting to his fellow seniors. One of my biggest pet peeves as a reporter, however, was when readers would call to complain that we hadn’t covered their event. When I asked if they’d called beforehand or sent out a press release, the answer was, more often than not, no.

Of course, I like to think of newspaper reporters as unsung superheroes, sniffing out scoops and championing the underdog, but even Clark Kent needs a heads up now and again. Your local paper is always seeking out content, especially in these days of scant resources. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there.

A lot of decorators don’t believe they’re doing anything newsworthy, but you’d be surprised. Do you ever organize fundraisers or donate to charity? Write a press release. Are you moving to a new location or expanding your existing facility? Write a press release. Are you putting together an unusual or particularly big order? Write a press release.

When we spoke, Terry also suggested setting up community events, with an eye toward media coverage. He gave the example of inviting Girl or Boy Scouts to your shop for a tour. If you do screen printing, for instance, you can set up your manual press with a simple design and have the scouts give the squeegee a try, letting them take home the item they’ve made. Be sure to take lots of good photos during the event, and submit them along with an explanatory press release afterward. My only addition to this great suggestion is to call your local newsroom a few weeks before the planned event to see if the editors might be interested in sending a reporter and photographer out to cover the event.

I like this topic so much, I think I’m going to break it up into two posts. So, stay tuned: next time, I’ll be discussing some press release dos and don’ts.


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