Goodbye Boring Cut-A-Thons!
What is a Newsworthy Salon Fundraiser?
A talented salon owner/manager asked us:
“I think perhaps we are not doing things that are “press” worthy enough for our salon fundraisers. We want to do community salon fundraiser activities, but on a more personal level than just a walk-a-thon. It has been difficult to find a cause to devote our time to, and one that our team really gets into, truly connects with, and cares about. Then it’s about getting everyone on board, or just finding something they are willing it give up a day of their weekend, or an evening to do. Any suggestions on press worthy things we could do? We may be doing some and not even realize it…
Good question Meg, Thanks for asking it. Although you and I will be speaking shortly to discuss that free press release you won, I want to answer you here because so many others have the same dilemmas … a staff that needs to be motivated to get behind ‘something’, and finding ‘something’ unique and different enough to pique the interest of the local press.
But First …
I would be remiss if I didn’t say it isn’t only about how ‘unique’ your event is, it is also about whether the local press already knows about you in some way … and what they know.
- What is their current perception of your salon?
- Do they know of you already?
- What do you believe in?
- What do you really know about style and fashion?
- What does your salon look like?
- What do you look like?
Until they know something about you through your regular news releases, find you credible and worth their reader’s attention, you are just another salon in town pitching a salon fundraiser.
Becoming newsworthy and earning a place in their consciousness is a process, not a happening with a cute name. Part of every proposal we write to secure new clients discusses how important it is to be a ‘player’ in the minds of the local media. That has to be earned over time with a gentle stream of good information. Without good, foundational salon PR going, those lucky hits you might get are but a ‘flash in the pan’ happening that is soon over.
Get Creative … A Couple of Thoughts
OK, let’s assume you have already earned a place in their minds and experience. Now, when your material crosses their desk/inbox, they are more interested in what you have to say. Now that you’re being well read, let’s think about that ‘special event or charitable function.
Here are a couple of thoughts about ‘unusual’ salon events.
I think you get the gist. Make your event more than a yawny cut-a-thon.
Finding That Special Non-Profit
It should be about more than PR for the salon. Look around for something that truly moves and motivates you. Sharon and I have special feelings about supporting developmentally disabled adults. Our best friends feel strongly about children’s cancer, thus they support the area children’s hospital. Supporting the military community is large in many areas. Domestic Abuse is another important social ill that needs help (Look into your local ‘Cut it Out‘ program). Perhaps you have feelings about missing and exploited children. The latter two charities address situations that are often in the news and on people’s minds.
Do Your Homework First
When you believe you’ve found a good candidate cause (or two or three) that you feel strongly about go visit yourself and meet the Executive Director or Development Director (two non-profit organization decision-maker titles you want to ask for when starting out). Then when you think you are in the right place(s) …
Have the Staff Personally Visit
Set up a trip for your staff to go for a tour of the charitable organization. There’s nothing like a personal experience to get people involved. Or, you could bring in a special presenter from the charity to help you motivate your staff. Many bring videos and make special group presentations.
Don’t Be Just Another ‘Cut-A-Thon’ (Yawn)
Call it a “Color Your Life” event to support XXXXXX. Get creative with the name and make it a ‘sound-bite’ the newscaster would love to use.
Those are just a few ideas. Hope they started the old brain cells in some new directions.
Need an Experienced Hand?
Discover ‘PR a la carte’. Sometimes all you need is a good idea and a tool to help implement it. Give us a call at 760-414-3370.
Thank you, Bill. ‘Involvement’ (aka passion) is a key ingredient.
Critical to the PR side of success is the ‘Media Alert’ (news release) sent. That has to be ‘on target’ and immediately communicate the viewer/reader interest factor. It has to cut through the pile of news items pouring onto the TV and paper news desks. That is where most salon pros miss the mark.
Great event theme and great media contact info have the kind result Jessee Skittrall did with his ‘Navy Wives’ event in Everett, Washington.