Q. Could you introduce yourself to the yes supply co community?
Hi! I’m Adjoa Atuahene and I’m the Founder of Twelve & Co., which is a brand development agency specializing in building relationships for clients in the sports industries that will help build their digital footprint and increase exposure in their communities. I wanted to bring my knowledge and experience in sports as well as marketing to help change the game for athletes like myself and to bring a different perspective to brands looking to get into the game!
Q. Can you go into more detail of what Twelve & Co. is and what inspired you to start it?
At Twelve & Co., we pride ourselves on delivering creative, innovative solutions that will drive results for our clients whether it is in securing partnerships, building digital and social media strategies or crafting favorable images through public relations. We believe that athletes are more than just a number on the court/field/ice, and we want to prove to the world that athletes can be more than just that by creating lifelong brands and developing substantial relationships.
What inspired me to start I wanted to bring my knowledge and experience in sports as well as marketing to help change the game for athletes like myself and to bring a different perspective to brands looking to get into the game!
Q. Why be your own Publicist?
I regularly get inquiries from people who want to learn more about things they can do themselves to help pitch their new video, clothing line, song, or product without hiring a publicist like myself.
Not everyone is ready for a publicist’s services for their first project or event. The first piece of advice I give to new brands looking to work with a professional publicist is that I think you first have to be able to generate some PR on your own. If you’re hiring a publicist for a 3-6 month campaign surrounding a new clothing line or product, I can get much better results if you’ve managed to get some publicity for yourself in the past rather than if I’m staring at ground zero and building that foundation for you.
With that being said, I’ve put together a list of major key’s that I think just about any new business (musician, fashion designer, entrepreneur) can implement to start getting publicity for themselves and increasing name recognition.
Q. So how does one get their brand in the press?
- Create a Compelling Story
Unless your story is captivating, the press doesn’t really care. Whatever you’re pitching, unless it’s interesting to the readership of the publication you’re pitching to, your pitch will fall flat.
Make your story unique.
- Keep it short & sweet
As an extension of creating a good story, I want to emphasize the importance of keeping your story short. Successful pitches to journalists and bloggers come from 2 or 3 carefully crafted sentences that get straight to the point, tell the journalist why you’re different, and what kind of story you’re offering them that will engage their readership.
This “elevator pitch” approach opens up the door to conversation if a journalist wants to find out more about what you’re doing and how they can write about you.
- Build a Press Kit
Build a press kit of all of the relevant content to your pitch. Pitching content isn’t just about the story – high quality photographs, biographies, and fact-sheets are also critical to success.
You’d be surprised how often the key to getting a great write-up comes from simply being prepared and making the story easy for the journalist to write.
Click here for an easy-to-use press kit template!
- Build a Media Contact List
Media Contact Lists are a major, major key if you’re on a budget and cannot afford to purchase Media Lists. You can use spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel or Google Docs to keep track of the media outlets you’d like to keep contact with or ones that may benefit you in the future.
In my media contact list, I record:
- Publication name
- Publication URL
- Journalist/Blogger name
- Industry they cover
- Email address
- Phone number
- Last date of contact
- Links to stories about my clients
- Maintain Relationships (And Follow Up)
It should go without saying, but if a journalist covers your story, you should reach out and thank them for their time and offer to share the story around on social media and your own website.
If you notice a blogger has syndicated your story from another outlet or has done a fresh write up or opinion about your story, take the time to reach out and thank them for their coverage.
Every few weeks, make a point to reach out to journalists and bloggers who have written about you in the past, even if you don’t have anything to pitch. Keep up with their blogs and stories and compliment the writers whenever something catches your eye.
- Debut Content
When pitching your story, realize that you hold power in offering exclusivity of your story to a single press outlet instead of spreading your press release across the web.
With exclusive content, blogs are able to encourage your fans/followers to visit their website for the story’s debut. In exchange for debuting your story, press outlets expect you to direct your social media and blog traffic to them for curious readers to read about the story.
If you’re ready to make a big announcement, offer to give the story to an industry blog exclusively for them to debut by offering exclusive rights to the story 1 or 2 days ahead of time.
- Personalize Emails
I can’t stress this enough – if you personalize your emails to journalists and bloggers, you’re going to have a much higher success rate than if you don’t.
Every email you send should include basic information about what you’re pitching, but also how you found the journalist, why you think they’d be interested in the story, and how it could benefit their readers.
- Never Give Up – The Art of Finessing
Learning the finesse of pitching stories can take months or even years, but it doesn’t mean that as a local business you can’t get creative with your marketing in local publications until you have the budget to hire a professional publicist that can take your brand to the next level.
Think about all of the aspects of your business that you could pitch and always be paying attention to industry trends to capitalize on buzzing stories in the press.
Social Media Handles:
Instagram: @MissAianna// @TwelveandCo
Twitter: @MissAianna// @TwelveandCo