Leverage your strengths in PR campaigns
A case history by Crowdy House
Every month we highlight one of our customers and ask them to explain their process for external communication. This month we asked designer marketplace Crowdy House to explain how they leverage their own strengths to create their PR campaigns, step by step.
CROWDY HOUSE is the premiere (launch) platform and marketplace for the world’s best designers and makers. As a marketplace, we don't only help designers launch and sell their products, but we also provide them services that help them get publicity and recognition.
We do this by promoting their premieres on social media, in our newsletter and by selecting the most newsworthy products for press releases.
So how do we get the press release done exactly?
1. Find products to promote
At CROWDY HOUSE, the Operations team scouts designers. They have the best insight into products and interior trends. They recommend products for press release that are newsworthy, exclusive or fitting for current trends.
2. Assigns tasks
The PR & Affiliate manager oversees all PR operations. We use Trello, a project organizer software to plan and keep track of press releases. If the PR & Affiliate Manager approves of the products, then they are assigned to the appropriate people.
The direct internal communication about this is either in person, or via Slack, a software that allows all your team communication in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go.
3. Familiarise with the product
When the assignee gets the task assigned to him/herself on Trello, the assignee checks out all the available information about the designer and the product. This is important to do before the first contact, so the assignee is fully prepared, and can have an efficient and clear conversation.
4. Collect required information
The first contact with the designer should be clear and efficient. The assignee briefly introduces him/herself and describes why he/she is calling. The requirements and conditions should be clearly communicated and agreed upon, and the deadlines given should be respected.
Information required from designers for a press release are extra and exclusive insights; inspiration, production methods, personal motivations, resources, quotes. Required visuals are HR images for the possible publications of the designer, products, and production. Additionally video footage, depending on the product.
5. Find angle and tone of voice
Before anything is written, the newsworthiness needs to be decided. This is the place to ask questions related to writing a press release:
- Is this newsworthy?
- Does it have human interest?
- Is it something new, trendy, or exclusive?
- If yes, who is the target audience?
- What is the angle, what is the story that is going to be told?
All these questions should be clearly answered before the press release is drafted up. The content, the story and the angle must match the target audience. If the designer does not speak English well enough or does not have English information available, all the information must be translated and checked. Has it been a while since you wrote a press release? Refresh your knowledge before you get started!
Check out some great collections about press releases on Gibbon, to collect and share knowledge with your team or the whole world.
6. Create first draft
After the information is reviewed as fitting for a press release, all resources are available, and all agreements are clearly made with the designer, the first draft can be written. At CROWDY HOUSE, we use GoogleDrive to share files within the company; with Google Sheets and Google Docs, we are able to edit together in multiple documents and sharing, checking and working is much easier.
The first draft is written just in Word, as a plain text. The first draft for the full press release is accompanied by a draft for a personal message to the publications we approach personally, and why we think this particular press release would interest them. This is very important for a successful press release. Keep the target audience in mind; they don’t know what you know of the designer and the product.
The press release draft needs to be reviewed by the PR & Affiliate Manager and the assignee. Every fact must be checked, spelling and information given must be correct. Edits should be made according to the reviews. Depending on the target audience and the possible publications and magazines, the final version of the full English press release needs to be appropriately translated.
8. Set up press materials
The full press release is part of all the materials we compile for the press. This includes all press materials; the full press release in all available languages, the HR Images, and the additional visual or audio footage, and quotes. These files are shared with every participant of our press list through pr.co. After adding the final version and all appropriate press materials to the site, we plan the date and might implement an embargo. This is great for allowing publishers to work on the article beforehand, and plan their publications accordingly.
When everything is checked, reviewed, tested, added, and agreed on by the designer (we do that with sending a sample press release in an email) – then you are finally ready to publish! By the time you publish your press release, you should have your KPIs ready – setting a goals gives a clear objective to what you want to achieve with each publication.
For the Matali Crasset launch, we have set goals that we expect to be in at least 3 big magazines, 2 newspapers, 10 blogs, to be published on 15 websites, and at least 100 social media messages about the launch, Matali Crasset and/or the products.
We can proudly say that the results were much better, and that there has been a lot of publicity, so our press release has been picked up by the press. We were featured in magazines such as Elle Decoration, Grazia and Fastcodesign.
10. Follow up
After the sending of the press release, it is important to keep track of the results. Important publishers, magazines, bloggers or influencers should be personally reminded of the press release a week after it was sent – this is especially powerful if the press release has been picked up by a bigger name or publication.
This is where the KPIs set come in handy, because they work as a monitoring or check-back point for us, and allow us to measure the reach and success of the publication. We use Insightly, a CRM tool that allows us to keep a database of our press contacts, and manage them accordingly.
Recap: the tools we use
To conclude, writing a press release is much more than just the writing. It is a collaborative process that involves multiple people and processes within the company.
It requires planning and foresight, and newsworthy materials to work with.
A method that works well should be established in mutual agreement, but the company should not shy away from improvements and new possibilities.
When writing the press release, there are many important factors that play a role, and there are many options to go with. Always stay objective, and keep your audience in mind. Use a platform, like pr.co, that allows you to share your work with the press, your peers and get the press attention that your work deserves.