Announcing Our ‘PR Planning’ and Free Press Releases Winners!

Posted by Alexander Irving under General, Getting Started, Strategy

We were going to post earlier, but Sharon was in New York and unlike the song, time was not on our side before the Easter weekend.  Sorry 🙁

We know you’ve been tapping your fingers waiting to find out who receives our free PR planning package.  We won’t keep you in suspense much longer, (you could skip to the bottom right now if you just can’t wait) but we’d like to share the thinking and doing process of PR planning for those of you that didn’t win this time.  What exactly did our winner win?  How can you develop your own PR plan for the year?

I Should Do Something for PR This Month But …

If it isn’t planned, calendared, reviewed with your team, and initiated by you in advance, it isn’t going to happen.  You know that … right?  Life and daily business ‘happenings’ wash over you every day, week, and month of the year.  Only those prioritized projects on the salon/spa calendar get done.  If your PR isn’t on your calendar, laid out in advance alongside your ad schedule, you know it’s not going to happen.  You do know that.  After all, it’s only the PR and I just don’t have time this month.  🙁

Steps Along the Way

(requires a #2 lead pencil and eraser (remember those?)

  1. Number 1 is a most fundamental first step for all of your annual business planning activity.  If you haven’t done it recently, ummmm … I would certainly think now would be a great time to do it.  What are your salon/spa goals and objectives this year? Write them down.  PR is supposed to support your salon/spa marketing objectives.  Don’t think of PR as just a traffic builder.  Public relations should be strategically interwoven to serve all your objectives.
  2. Pencil in the major holidays that may be ‘candidates’ for some newsworthy activity for the next 12 months.
  3. Pencil in a meeting time with your staff to select a ‘local’ cause (causes?) for the year.  The more important (and potentially newsworthy) the ‘local’ cause, the better.  Have everyone ask their clients what ‘local’ causes they like and support.  Have we said local enough?  Big national causes are fine, but important local causes are simply … well … more locally newsworthy.
  4. Pencil in several cause-only related event dates on the calendar.
  5. Pencil in several ‘unique and unusual‘ newsworthy idea type event dates on the calendar.
  6. Pencil a time in on your calendar for at least one photo shoot for your salon’s seasonal hair fashion trend statement.  Spring/Summer goes out in February. Fall/Winter in September.  Plan out lead up activities accordingly.
  7. Don’t worry right now how you’re going make it all happen.  This is only the first draft planning and wish list calendar.  Let your imagination go.
  8. Where are you spending your ad dollars during the year?  Plan to seek editorial support from the media you are thinking of making ad commitments to.
  9. Pencil in the date you will begin developing and refining your ‘signature’ press kit materials.  A handsome press kit is important.  It’s the recipient’s first impression.  Your signature materials are the branding and identify you amidst the many things that cross media people’s desks.  Remember, “look good, feel good” goes for your PR too.
  10. Now, in a separate sit-down, review everything you have on the calendar and decide which of your ‘wish list’ events/activities you can ‘reasonably’ do and which must wait for next year.  Finalize your selections.  Don’t be overly ambitious. PR efforts should be fun and exciting for everyone involved.
  11. With your final PR calendar in front of you, begin creating as many of the detailed plans and budget estimates for whatever you have selected as you can. If your pre-event planning sheets are laid out before the date appears, you can more easily delegate tasks, and you will have less stress.  With life and daily business flying by, you will probably not have as much time as you would like to start planning from scratch and you may start out feeling ‘behind’, or worse, cancel the event because, “it’s just too much”.  Plan ahead to succeed.
  12. Select unique, fun-sounding ‘sound bite’ names/themes for each of the newsworthy event/activity you have scheduled.  Calling your events ‘Cut-a-thons’ and the other old yawners may use a term people know, but it sure doesn’t excite us (or editors) that much … less than thrilling.  Dee Levin coined “Color Clusters” for the special in-salon educational programs she does.  How about the rest of you?  Got any cool names (that aren’t trademarkedJ) you might want to share?  (Play nice and comment below).
  13. Pencil in a week/date to meet with each of your selected media advertising reps.  Plan to share your completed calendar wishes and dreams with them.  You will want to ask them how they can help you achieve your goals.  Ask them to review their editorial calendars for special issues with you.  Where could you fit in?
  14. Don’t over-commit.  Plan and execute for success.  It’s better to do fewer happy and successful events.

OK … that’s enough for now.  We’ve kept up the suspense long enough.  We risk mutiny …

And the Winners Are

  1. Annual PR Planning Package (value $3,000.00) – Sondra Thrasher, Appearances Hair Color & Design Studio in Westminster, CO
  2. Press Release Writing 1 (Value $800.00) – Peg Cribari, Salon Three Thirty in Dallas, TX
  3. Press Release Writing 2 (Value $800.00) – Meghanne Haran, You Salon in Ellicott City, MD

(Audience applause sign flashes on in the background)

What Does a PR Planning Package and Press Release Writing Look Like?

The PR planning package begins with all of us spending time on the phone together to get to know each other.  We need to understand you and your salon or spa, your clients, industry experience, prior PR experiences, your existing body of work, previously successful activities, etc. etc.  Then together, we’ll review any existing goals you have for PR this year and hopefully bring some additional objectives to the process from a fresh and more distant vantage point.  What is it they say, “you’re an expert of you come from more than 100 miles away? 😉

Ultimately, we will offer up some strategies and tactics to get you where you want to go and work with you to ‘nudge’ it all onto a calendar, considering budget limitations and concerns so we’re not talking ‘pie in the sky’.  Everything has to shake out to be affordable and practical.  Last thought … If you don’t use up the 5 hours of phone time included in the ‘package’, just bank the remaining hours for up to a year.  Pre-purchased consulting hours do not expire.

Our press release writing ‘package’ consist of ‘at least’ an hour of phone time for input, discussion and pretty much all of the above getting to know you stuff and to gather what we need to know in order to write.  Then, we’ll write that release.  As always, the offer is good for a year, but we hope you’ll take advantage of us long before that.

Congratulations to Sondra, Peg and Meghanne!!  Let’s have some fun.  We look forward to speaking with you soon.  Call us at 760-414-3370 and we’ll make an appointment to get together.  You don’t have to rush … but of course, if you haven’t got your PR planning done for the year, maybe you’d better get on it?  🙂

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4 responses to “Announcing Our ‘PR Planning’ and Free Press Releases Winners!”

  1. Hey Sharon and Alex. I am so excited about the win for Meghanne. She is my Director of Operations and we will be talking more on this in the AM. 🙂

  2. Alex Irving says:

    We’re glad for Meg, you. and You Salon. We’ll have some fun with that release work together.

  3. Sondra Thrasher says:


    Yay! I am very excited to get started! I will be calling you within the next two weeks. Currently training someone during the week, but after that – you and marketing are my priority! Sondra

  4. Alex Irving says:

    We’re not going anywhere Sondra. We just have to get you setup with a gravatar so people can see what a great looking couple you two are when you drop comments in the blogosphere.

    Get a Gravatar