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Best Wedding Publicity Tips for Small Business Owners

By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting

Ready to take over the world with your brand extraordinaire? Have accomplishments you’re just dying to share with your audience? Get the word out and gain the attention you seek by investing some time and effort in your business’ public relations campaigns. I’ll even make it a bit easier for you to get started with my top tips for getting the ball rolling and making sure your PR efforts stick.

Be Prepared
Before you can begin your first pitch, you need to have something amazing to share. Create a system for gathering background details from your clients, awesome images from photographers, complete vendor lists and consent from all parties as you will need all three before you are able to submit the most common form of public relations for an event business: real wedding submissions. When you find the time to put your submissions together, you’ll always have everything you need right at your fingertips.

Research Possible Publisher Matches
Consider what type of couples your target audience includes and research which print and online publications they frequent most. Those are the publishers you want to target with your campaigns, so add them to your “Media Wish List”. Put together a strategic list of the important contacts for each one, including specifications they might have for PR submissions, as well as deadlines and other restrictions. This will allow you to effectively target your PR efforts at the times you’re most likely to get attention and to exactly the right staff.

Use Free or Low Cost Tools
Make your efforts more efficient by streamlining your process through the use of various tools. Some of my favorites include Talkwalker Alerts which notifies you via email when your feature has been posted so you can promote it and Wufoo, a platform that lets you create questionnaires that you can use to solicit valuable feedback from your clientele.

My very favorite, though, is HARO, short for Help a Reporter Out. This tool brings alerts you, via email, to reporters looking for expert commentary on a huge variety of topics, including weddings. Press opportunities are delivered directly to your doorstep and all you need to do is reach out when you find a good match.

Be Prepared to Promote
When a submission is successful and you discover you have been published, promote your feature via every channel available to you. Post links on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds and add one to your Pinterest page. Write up a quick blog post too, pointing out the feature and including the link to the full piece. You can maximize each exposure by putting your own outreach to work and spreading the word.

Never Give Up
As difficult as it is to hear, “No” is part of the process. You will get rejected by as many media outlets as will accept your submissions, so don’t let “no” get you down. Consider it an honor to have been considered at all, and think of every “no” as a right of passage.

Follow these five simple tips to jumpstart your PR efforts and start seeing the results of reaching your target audience with news that is relevant to them very soon. Take out that to-do list right now and move public relations efforts to the very top. You will not regret it!

 

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. She recently launched wedding PR membership site, the OFD Collective, which combines education with action.

Nurturing Relationships with Creative Partners to Build Your Wedding Business

By Kevin Dennis, WeddingIQ 

I probably don’t have to tell you how important your network is, but here goes – the people you know in the industry truly have the power to take your business to the next level. From creating mastermind groups to bringing in (and doling out!) vendor referrals, the benefits of having strong, long-lasting relationships with industry peers are undeniable.

However, how is a pro to build and nurture relationships when they’re already busy with their day-to-day company work? While it may take some careful juggling, rest assured that the relationships that you create will pay tenfold down the line. Here are some ways to make an impact and be a great friendor.

Make Time

Sure, you may be balancing a busy week of events, appointments, staff onboarding and the like, but making time to build your relationships should be a necessary to-do for every business owner. Attend as many local networking meeting as you can and, when you can’t, find a way to make your presence known, be it through contributing your products to the design or simply sending your regrets on social media and promising to be there for the next meeting. Nobody is too busy to spend five minutes connecting on social media!

Be Responsive

As an event professional, you surely know how frustrating it can be when you can’t get ahold of a creative partner. Don’t play that game with others – instead, be responsive and aim to reply to your emails within 24 hours. Even if you don’t have the answer right away, a quick mail to let someone know that you’re working on it is enough. Many people associate responsiveness with professionalism, so it’s important to stay on top of your communications.

Remember the Golden Rule

“Do to others what you want them to do to you.” This saying rings true in the event industry, as it does in many other aspects of life. If you gave somebody a vendor referral and they didn’t reciprocate with even a ‘thank you,’ would you be bothered? Treat others with respect and dignity, just as you would want them to treat you. It’s as simple as that!

Go Above and Beyond

Don’t hesitate to go the extra mile with your creative partners – trust that they will appreciate your effort! It doesn’t need to be a major investment of time or money; it just needs to be something that tells them that they’re on your mind. We like to send popsicles to our partners in the thick of the summer, as well as holiday cards at the end of the year. Think of unique ways to really make a mark on your partners’ day.

Remember: You should never be too busy to grow your industry relationships. If you find that you can’t make the time for it, you may need to look at scaling back the work that take on – for your own sake! 

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current chapter president for Silicon Valley NACE, and the immediate past national president for WIPA.

 

Creative Ways to Stay Inspired as a Wedding Pro

By Fabrice Orlando, Cocoon Events Management Group 

As wedding professionals, we have all experienced a creative block. Getting inspiration from photos, quotes, colors, cinema, and other sources is a big part of our business, and it can be easy to get frustrated or discouraged when you find yourself staring at a blank sheet of paper. The good news? There are all kinds of ways to get your creative juices flowing again- you just have to think outside of the box!

Below are some of my tried and true tips and tricks for sparking some creative energy:

Get Some Fresh Air

This may sound counterintuitive, but get up from your desk and go outside for some fresh air. It can help clear the mind and lessen your stress. Go for a walk around the block- better yet, head downtown for a stroll through town to take in the sights and sounds, because you never know what or who you might see that will give you a new idea.

While you’re out and about, take in the local architecture to see what shapes and textures inspire you. Catch a movie, local play or read a book. You may feel like you aren’t being productive, but all of these activities are exposing you to new and innovative ways of thinking that you can channel once you’re back at your desk.

Take Inspiration from Other Industries

Be sure that you are always keeping up with trends in other industries besides weddings. Interior design, fashion and architecture all tend to stay on the cutting edge of what’s coming next, and can provide endless amounts of inspiration for not only you, but for couples that are planning their wedding.

Write Everything Down

I don’t go anywhere without a small pencil and notebook in hand. You never know when a moment of creativity or inspiration is going to hit, and sometimes it can leave you as quickly as it hit you if you don’t write it down. Whether it’s from a conversation with a friend or client, or a trip to the museum, jot down your thoughts and then fully flesh them out later when you get home.

Remember that creativity is a personal process, and is not going to be the same for everyone. For me, being outside and moving around is that works best, but there are also those that like the tranquility of a quiet office. You may have to do a little experimenting until you figure out what works best for you.

Fabrice Orlando is the CEO of Cocoon Events Management Group, a luxury event planning company based in Marrakech, Morocco that specializes in high-end weddings and special events worldwide.

 

Real Wedding Submission Tips

By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting

Building a presence both online and in print has quickly become an essential part of any wedding professional’s business plan. Couples today are doing tons of research before ever calling a wedding vendor to chat, and having an impressive press portfolio will help add value to your services and stand out from other competition.

So, how do you start building that portfolio? Wedding blogs and magazines everywhere are always on the hunt for fresh new weddings full of gorgeous details and a new perspective, giving wedding pros an opportunity to get featured. Let’s take a look at some of my best tips and tricks for sending in real wedding submissions.

Get Permission

Getting permission from clients should be something you do the moment they sign the contract. To make sure you’ve got all of your ducks in a row, be sure that you’ve had an attorney include verbiage giving you the right to use their images for promotional purposes, as well as discussing it with them in person so that everyone is on the same page. Additionally, if you are not the photographer, you’re going to need to get their permission before doing anything, as they own the photos.

Details, Details, Details

While images of the couple are an important part of wedding submissions, blogs are really looking to inspire their readers with fresh and inspiring details. Weddings that have the cake, florals, table settings, décor details, etc. are all going to be more likely to get picked up. When deciding what to send in, also remember to select weddings that are up-to-date in terms of trends and style. Mason jars are out, no matter how much you love that wedding, and most blogs are likely not going think they’re the right fit for their readers.

Develop a Story

Great photography is important, but it’s the couple’s story that’s going to make them stand out to editors. Ask the couple to give you some background on their love story as well as what inspired them while planning their wedding. Favorite décor details, DIY projects, and memories from the day are also great questions to ask- the couple will appreciate being part of the process!

Vendor List

No wedding is successful without the hard work of a lot of different vendors. Be sure that you are giving credit to all those that helped make the day a success and including them in the submission. Not only does this help to keep your relationships strong with other wedding pros, but when the submission is published, they are also likely to promote it, expanding your audience.

Keeping these tips and tricks in mind will no doubt have your press portfolio quickly expanding and impressing potential clients everywhere.  

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. She recently launched the OFD Collective, a wedding PR membership site that offers continuing education, press opportunities and real wedding submissions.

Get to Know the Pro | Jennifer Rovansek

Meet Jennifer Rovansek, owner of Bride Beautiful Bridal Salon.

How long have you been working in the industry? 17 years

Where are you originally from? Statesboro, GA

Married? Kids? I’ve been married to Kyle for 11 years. We have a fur baby named Toby and we are expecting a little sister for him this June!

What was your wedding like? Would you change anything? Being from a small town, I had a very traditional wedding at the church. I wore an Allure bridals ballgown with beaded adornments and a veil to match. We had a great time and hosted nearly 250 guests. Looking back, I would definitely have gone with a smaller, more intimate wedding. That being said, I loved my wedding and really would not change it!

If you were not working in the wedding industry, you would be…? An attorney. I am very analytical and love to debate!

What do you like to do when you’re not working? When I am not working you can either find me at my church, on my couch or spending time with family and friends. I try to stay active in my church and community to help others. I am an extrovert and I love food so I try to get out with friends whenever I can. Otherwise, I am in my yoga pants catching up on my DVR.

Favorite place in Atlanta for dinner? One of my favorite places is Eclipse di Luna on Miami Circle. I love the tapas and they have the best mojitos. Not to mention the atmosphere is so lively and fun!

Favorite place to vacation? I love the beach! I enjoy the sun, the pool, the ocean, fresh seafood (told you I love food!) and beach cocktails.

Morning person or night person? Morning person! I am so type A that I love to get up and get the day started. If I sleep past 9, I feel like I have wasted the whole day. I enjoy breakfast and coffee and having some quite time before my day gets too hectic.

Favorite wedding trend? Dimensional colors. A bride is always beautiful in solid white or ivory but I am obsessed with some of the new colors that gowns are available in. Since lace is so popular the layering of these colors is very subtle and it really shows off the patterns in the fabric.

Favorite wedding tradition? The reading of the vows. Whether you recite traditional vows and write your own, I think this is such an important part of the wedding. That moment when you commit to your spouse and then seal it with a kiss. I’m such a romantic!

Favorite wedding cake flavor? Being a true Southern girl, I don’t think you could ever go wrong with red velvet cake and cream cheese icing. Who does not love that?!?

Contact Jennifer at Bride Beautiful by phone 404.250.4330 or email at bride@bridebeautifulinc.com

Bride Beautiful has been in business for over 40 years. They pride themselves in carrying the major designers of the bridal industry along with many private designers that are exclusive to their store. Their sales consultants and staff have  been working in the bridal industry for many years. Therefore, we provide you with a variety of knowledge and experience not found at many other stores. In addition to bridal attire, Bride Beautiful offers other services such as bridal shoe dyeing and gown preservation.

Bride Beautiful is located at 6690 Roswell Rd NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. Visit them online at bridebeautifulinc.com 

Say Yes to Bridal Extravaganza this August!

Say YES to Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta on Sunday, August 13, 2017 at our new location, Southern Exchange at 200 Peachtree. The show is a phenomenal marketing opportunity created to give your business the most optimal exposure to brides and the industry! 

Your bridal show marketing package includes: 

1. Premiere Exhibit Space! Whether you need a 10×10, 10×20, 10×30 or 20×20, we have the space to showcase your business! 

 
exhibits bridal extravaganza
 
 

2. Social Media 24/7! We market your business before and after the show.

  • Posts featuring your company on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram
  • Vendor spotlights highlighting your expertise on our blog to brides & industry pros
  • 6 month listing on the Be A Bride website
  • Vendor spotlights in our weekly emails to 8,000 brides. 
  • Your business featured on “Get to Know the Pros” on our wedding industry blog and email to 6000 wedding professionals. 
  • Exclusive Bridal Leads List with Name, Address, Email, Wedding Date, etc. provided less than one week after the show.  

3. Exhibit Design Advice! We have amazing vendor partners that can help you create an exhibit that “wows” brides. Whether you need floral design, beautiful furniture or promotional materials we can connect you with the right resources. 

 

4. Inspiring! Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta is known as the “South’s Most Beautiful Design-Trend Wedding Event.” View photos from our past shows here. We are not your typical “booth after booth” boring show! Our exhibitors bring the WOW factor!

 

5. Connections! Meet Atlanta’s top wedding professionals. We showcase over 100 of Atlanta’s best. Make lasting connections with your fellow industry pros while meeting brides! 

 

6. More Media Coverage! Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta is featured in The Knot, Modern Luxury Weddings Atlanta, AtlantaBridal.com, Here Comes The Guide, The Celebration Society, Southern Bride, MyWedding.com and WeddingWire.com.  

 

We’re Locally Grown & Experienced!  We know Georgia!  We are a professional bridal show production team with affiliations in WIPA, ILEA & NACE*. We’ve worked with local wedding pros since 1999. You are guaranteed to get the show experience you expect in exchange for your marketing dollars. 

With our  strong community ties and savvy marketing experience, we offer more exposure for our exhibitors than any other bridal show. Trust the professionals who can take your business from ordinary to extraordinary TODAY! Register here!