Good Coverage Takes Time
It’s been a busy few months. I’m pleased to say, after an initial period of uncertainty about when they could open, 2020 was a startling success for Catsfield Christmas Tree Farm. On top of that, we’ve taken on some new clients and helped our existing clients as they negotiate the difficult COVID-lockdown landscape.
This has particularly been true with Melted Inside. Candy Bowles launched this online store when she found she couldn’t access a good range of artisan food and drink products with clear provenance near her home county of East Sussex. She realised there was an opportunity for an online marketplace that brought together all the best artisan suppliers, and which gave consumers clarity over provenance. Melted Inside provides a simple and enjoyable way to find high-quality products at reasonable prices.
We began working with Melted Inside shortly after Candy launched the site last summer. Our principal task, in addition to driving more traffic to the website, was to attract new producers. In around six months, the site has become a fixture on many foodie’s favourites list. In her January newsletter, Candy announced that they had taken on almost 60 new suppliers since the previous newsletter in November.
This brings me to an important point about public relations – it isn’t always a fast process.
Getting Coverage in the Right Places
I’m glad to report that at the start of February 2021, two of Melted Inside’s products, 5th Season Freeze-Dried Fabulous Fruit Salad and Pep & Lekker Seed Snacks, featured in The Independent’s “15 best gluten-free snacks to have on the go.” A week later, another Melted Inside product, Luisa's Vegan Chocolates 72% Single Origin Award-Winning Bean-to-Bar Dark Chocolate Bundle, featured in the same publication’s, “13 best vegan chocolate bars that mean you’ll never miss dairy.”
This coverage follows more great exposure in the HuffPost for Bath Culture House’s Activated Charcoal Cashew Cheese, part of the Vegan Cultured Cheese Selection Box, and The Cosy Chocolate Company’s Original Recipe Drinking Chocolate, reviewed by BBC Good Food.
Coverage like this is brilliant for a new business, especially a website, particularly when the articles include a direct link to where the customer can buy the product.
It is not, however, always easy to get this kind of coverage. It begins with us building relationships with journalists and influencers. This may seem simple, but it isn’t always a smooth process. I found that one influencer/journalist was happy to receive samples, but no coverage appeared. Artisan producers, by their very nature, are not large companies and so they cannot afford to be giving away products for nothing. When I went onto a forum for other public relations professionals, I found that the same problem had been encountered by other people when working with this individual. I am now working with my client to complain to The Metro who the journalist claimed she was writing for as we feel strongly that the journalist didn’t meet her end of the deal. In short, she asked for products and then didn’t write about them. She should have offered to return the products or given some explanation about why she wasn’t able to write about them. Thankfully this sort of thing doesn’t happen very often.
Targeting Your Audience
It’s also important to ensure you are targeting the right publications. Melted Inside promotes specialist products for consumers with a discerning palate. We therefore needed to be certain the readership could afford the products and did not mind spending money on high-quality foods and drinks. This same target audience is also the one that would be most concerned with provenance.
It was therefore ideal that we managed to get a long article about Melted Inside in Forbes. Published in January 2021, the article covered the launch of Melted Inside, its aims, and included several products (with links). While Forbes publishes content for all audiences, it primarily focuses on six core segments: women, under 30s, business and tech decision makers, high-net-worth investors and buyers, business owners, and CEOs. This makes it the ideal audience for Melted Inside products.
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
I’m glad to say that the coverage we have gained for Melted Inside is now starting to directly influence sales, but this has been a 6+ months process. Business owners that want a quick-fix solution from public relations will often be disappointed. To get full value out of public relations, you have to understand it is often a slow-burn that requires long-term investment. When a business owner budgets for this, the effect upon their business can be remarkable.
Blueberry PR has considerable experience in helping businesses achieve credible results in the world of public relations. If you have any questions about how we can help your business, contact Suzi by calling 01323 449744 or e-mailing email@example.com