In Hollywood we had a lot of experience with the press, us chasing them mostly. It's rarely the other way around unless you are an A lister, taking the back stairs or hiding in the bushes to avoid the long lenses of the paparazzi. We knew when we started Venus Cow way back in 2013 getting press is one of the hardest things for any business
, paid promotion or advertorials are one thing but actual media coverage (for free) even with our honed hard core canvassing capabilities, you can write a 1000 press releases and never get a sausage. This month has proved to us whatever you think to be an impossible task you just have to keep going and keep trying, with the goal in firm focus and eventually you will get a hit. The first break came in Urban Fox, a local Leicestershire publication. It was a beautiful piece about Shirley's story, her struggle after losing millions and how the PBL came to be by editor Martina Lenaghan
. We’d sent emails before but nothing beats a face to face pitch opportunity so when Martina’s husband Steve dropped off a few copies of the April issue at Rescue Boutique we had him in the flesh for a few moments and went for it.
Don’t be afraid of rejection when it comes to pitching the media. Set your expectations low (so you avoid disappointment) and go for it is our advice.
Then we got a lucky break for real - a great story. No newspaper will write about your business unless you pay them (advertorial) however if you can genuinely come up with a great angle you may have a shot. When Jacki Gough appeared at Rescue one random Thursday in April this year ready for styling we had no idea she had been given the PBL as a gift from her sister for Christmas and had travelled from Fife in Scotland to visit us and enjoy some designer luxury shopping on a budget, she particularly wanted to try a Jean Muir jacket she had seen online.
Jacki Gough - VC Angel from Fife
Jean Muir Vintage Jacket
She was quite shy but was kind enough to let us snap one picture for our social media as she had travelled so far. Low and behold as soon as we posted the local press were on the phone wanting the story and less than a week later we were front page news.
Once you get the ball rolling people are much more interested all of a sudden and BBC radio was next to jump on the band wagon inviting Shirley in to share highlights of her rags to riches to rags and back to riches again story with Ben Jackson and then Jo Hayward visiting the styling studio to learn about the designer brands available on a budget for Venus Cows for her Breakfast show.
Ben Jackson BBC Radio with social entrepreneur and author Shirley Yanez
So fascinated by Shirley’s incredible journey, the story of Venus Cow and how she started the business on the dole with a £300 loan from the Job Centre Ben Jackson was back last week recording another segment for his show centred around Leicester, Leicester manufacturing and the miracle local fabric that makes the PBL perfect black leggings so perfect.
The moral of this short story, don’t quit writing press releases or trying to engage a journalist because the minute you do you can be sure no one will be talking about you period.
Photo by: Bank Phrom Unsplash