Here’s What Happens When You Fiercely Follow Your Dreams

Brand Awareness, business, entepreneur, Fashion Marketing, fashion PR, Marketing Strategy, press coverage, Public Relations Plan

It takes boatloads of courage to act on your gut and it takes an even bigger heroic dose of  bravery to say f-ck no to everything else. The path is dark and full of the dreaded unknown, yet you proceed any way.  Sure, from time-to-time you’re tempted by a false sense of security, of a “job” and an actual paycheck and all the glittery shiny things it can buy.

But this is not the way of the creative warrior, the emerging designer.

No. You hold out.

You just keep building. You just keep creating. You just keep going. You do anything to make it happen.

You hold the standard. Your standard.

This is what bootstrapping a business feels like and what it means to only say hell yes to what you really want.

hell-yeah-hell-no

I’ve been closely involved in the behind the scenes development of fashion brand Orseund Iris for the past two and half years and I am so immensely proud of Alana Johnson, one of my four remarkable bad ass daughters.

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I’ve worked with many big brands but nothing compares to the rapid growth I’ve witnessed with the power of social media.

00-breakout-celebrity-labels10 Celebrity-Approved Contemporary Labels That Made It Big in 2017

Alana Johnson’s New York–based label, Orseund Iris,  was launched several seasons ago, but 2017 was the year it really took off, making the rounds on social media and the street style circuit alike. What began as a collection-based brand that soon developed into a non-seasonal model, it has become a celebrity-approved go-to for reworked classics. Its claim to fame is the corset, which gave way to the three-dimensional bra tops that are every bit as much a hit; whatever the case, both have molded the famous curves of models such as Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski.

Here are three super important tips for new fashion designers to follow –

1. Build your social media following every single damn day. Your business will only be as big and beautiful as the number of people who find you.

2. Press won’t come until you build your own gorgeous content and start confidently shining your own light. So take those snaps, share those stories and connect with your favorites on Instagram and Facebook first.

3. Wear your own designs before you finalize the details., before you cut that first pattern and before you grade.  We know you’re inspired by what’s out there, but what make’s it an original – your design – is the very touches you add that no one else can.

Forge on brave one and hold the standard.

 

xo Madeline Johnson

 

 

How to Get Ongoing PR Coverage For Your Health & Beauty Business

Beauty pr, Brand Awareness, building brand trust, How to Do Your Own PR, Influencer marketing, media relations, press coverage, Public Relations, Uncatergorized

Press ClipsNote: This case study is a summary of a very successful three year public relations and media outreach campaign that I single-handedly created and executed, landing media and influencer mentions in US Weekly, Elle, Shape, Fitness, Allure, W, Health, Prevention and many, many more.  It is packed with story ideas, pitches and ways to reach out to the media and influencers for press coverage for your new brand.  While I love working with health, wellness, fitness and nutrition brands, these tips are for anyone trying to connect with the media and build their market. If you are looking to build press and influencer connections like a pro, you should probably check out my course The PR Playbook.com as well.

Why Vanity Metrics Matter

Everyone knows that influencers can actually sell through your product, bring real return on investment to your conversion funnel and actually have you making some money off your new business, but you tell me, how do you plan on paying for all that sponsored media? You need a balance of both blogger and persuasive top tier mentions and connections to convince and convert.

Same Problem, New Solution

I digitized these press clips and organized them into case studies with helpful tips for you to demonstrate that the news cycle in health, wellness, fitness and nutrition is a continual loop of how to look and feel our best. What is old again, is new again.

How to Pitch Like a PR Pro

It is not enough to tell the world you have built something brand new. You MUST share the problem you solve and why your product is the ultimate solution. In order to do this consistently like I did, with press in every media outlet imaginable – from  Brides to Marie Claire; Town & Country to Oprah and Travel & Leisure to Vogue, you have to be very, very creative. No blogger, vlogger or journalist in their right mind wants a mass blanket pitch.

One of my first clients in beauty was a complex collection of skincare products (read: over 125 SKUs) from a brand called Yon-Ka Paris.

The challenge: Accumulate international brand awareness and celebrity cult-like status for an obscure, botanically-based skin care line created by two eccentric sisters living in the countryside of France without heat, electric or plumbing.

  1. Create an influencer & celebrity worthy experience while delivering five-star results at a world premiere event, like the Cannes Film Festival.

2. Don’t just focus on the masses. Branch out and persistently and consistently land press coverage in specialty (niche) media like I did here with bridal and new moms.

3. Pitch story angles around each individual product for additional reviews and inclusion in specific problem/solution stories.

4. Build upon product coverage and reviews by promoting spa and retail partners to build a clip book of the best of spa and wellness experiences in top tier media outlets, like Allure, Vogue and W.

5. Stay on top of all consumer trends and connect the brand to everything that is “hot”, on newsworthy, while climbing the charts – always sharing with media outlets in a timely fashion.

6. Create a charticle and/or listicle with products that offer solutions for every health and beauty challenge under the sun.

7. Never miss an opportunity to let the world know that your product is coveted by insiders “in the know”. Yon-Ka featured here in The NY Times. 

The NY Times

8. Research, uncover and reveal blogger, vlogger, model, celebrity and influencer hacks, secrets & ways to look and feel their best. Then share it with those who want to look and feel like a star.

9. Highlight and tout exotic ingredients, or even every day house hold items and edibles like grapefruit as the next super food, miracle cure and foundation of youth, while sharing the benefits backed by science.

10. Show everyone short cuts to reduce stress while recreating an at-home mindful spa & wellness experience.

 

More ways to create story ideas around your products and brand . . .

  • People can never have enough ways to eliminate the signs of anxiety and exhaustion.
  • Help followers, customers & prospects pack for travel and another season and reason of self-care.
  • Vet products, curate collections and share other complimentary brands in your story.
  • Offer up new survival tips and products for every day annoying, yet common problems, like dark under eye circles. 
  • Collaborate with all-stars, including  your strategic partners, retailers and professionals for added press coverage. 
  • Reposition your products for a new market – like men’s skin care.
  • Position your more expensive, luxury product as an investment.
  • Make sure your products are in good company and in the hands of professionals – and share their know-how with the world.
  • Niche markets like “pregnancy” may have a shorter customer lifetime value, but they are open to product suggestions and recommendations. Especially when positioning your product as safe and effective for everyone.
  • You’ll build more trust when you sound believable, so keep it really real. Don’t just make up your CEO’s quotes. Let them speak from the heart. Be believable.
  • Popularize a certain part of the body and zone in on care for that one particular area.
  • Promote  soothing, safe, natural ingredients – like botanicals for specific skin conditions.
  • Take an age old problem, and propose a new way to deal and heal it.
  • Sampling sizes always work to give customers the opportunity to try before they buy.
  • Does your product have an exceptional color? texture? Share the beauty of what’s inside the bottle.
  • Understand your customer persona. What is her personality type? Naturalist? Futurist? or maybe just pure Becky. It doesn’t matter, just be sure to pitch to the media he/she reads, views, likes and shares.
  • Go local – Connect with city guides in areas of dominant influence.

 

  • Even in an age of influencers by the dozen, stars and celebrities still have pull.
  • Plan an amazing product giveaway for your audience, fans and followers. 
  • Plan a splurge vs steal story – and include products at every price point.  

 

  • Help people get ready to reveal more for a new season – summer slim down and beach beauty prep.
  • Have experts speak on your behalf. They need the publicity just as much as you do.
  • Promote your product by lifestyle – cross over with fashion and accessories. Create the ultimate beach guide.
  • Notice an ingredient trend before an influencer does? – help them select products for a round up .
  • Have you opened a new retail account? Launched in a new online store? Tweet and share the news.
  • Even if you are not pitching a story or new product it is important that influencers know what you are up to – so they can include you in their upcoming stories. Stay in touch with your VIPs.
  • What happens when you have a fierce sales team, a loyal customer base and a winning marketing team –  it’s a recipe for magic – it’s explosive.Work together.
  • Show people how to relax, de-stress and unwind during distracting times.
  • Help people transform themselves. Read: A complete vegan makeover.
  • Are your products in a new hot destination spot? Promote it.
  • Added tip: Make customization as simple as possible. As a matter of fact. Make everything as simple as possible. 
  • Take one ingredient – like geranium – and promote the hell out of it
  • Get people out of a bind – like when they over tan or burn their skin .
  • Keep it exclusive and promote win its aka “contests” to attract new audiences.
  • Promote B2B and B2C – which also helps boost employee morale.
  • Promote experts from within your company to speak about their skill set.
  • Seed out your products to celebrities.
  • Offer tips on how to choose the best products in a category – like self-tanners.
  • Go niche – pitch to smaller media and combine products with partners for the ultimate story mention.
  • Pimp out celebrity users when they are launching a new movie or track. They need the publicity now more than ever.
  • Reveal confessions. 
  • Ask your followers what their favorites are and report on that.
  • Enter awards for your brand and promote the honors.
  • Focus on problematic issues, like sensitive skin. 

Want more ways to build your brand with media coverage? Check out my on line video course, ThePRPlaybook.com a short cut to learning how to pitch the press like a pro.

Yonka Paris Press 2

The PR Playbook: Fitness Media Coverage for Your Health Brand

Brand Awareness, digital content strategy, Digital Newsroom, Earned Media, editorial know how, Fitness, Fitness Marketing, How do do your own PR, Marketing in the Moment, media relations, press coverage, Public Relations

Watch for tips on how to collaborate with fitness editors, media and influencers. . .

 

When you need to get the word out about your new fitness class, gym, yoga studio or wellness workshop, the fastest way to connect with customers and clients is through influencers and media.  Sign up for ThePRPlaybook.com for more real life lessons on how to build your fitness, health, wellness and nutrition startup.

In this video I show you how to get started, how to find the writers, bloggers and journalists most likely to collaborate with you and report on your launch and how to connect via email and social media.

It’s been just a few weeks and I have already connected the brand with The NY Daily News, Cosmopolitan Magazine, The NY Post, US News & World Report, Well & Good NYC and TimeOut NY.

Time Out NY

timeout-ny

Check out more coverage here NY Daily News and here US News & World Report

hiip-hype-9-exercise

What is H.I.I.P. HYPE?

A new fitness experience in New York, created by artist and personal trainer, Sayco Williams, H.I.I.P. HYPE stands for High Intensity Interval Painting. Many exercise and fitness enthusiasts are familiar with high intensity interval training, where someone performs a given exercise for a short interval followed by a rest interval; it’s a very effective and very efficient means of training that can produce impressive results.

Sweat it Out, Brush it Off

H.I.I.P. HYPE puts a brand new spin on this popular style of training by incorporating acrylic painting on canvas into rest periods, allowing participants to express their creativity in a pressure-free group setting.

An Exercise in Creative Self-Expression

No prior painting experience is required; many participants have never painted before. And while some brief and general instructions are given during the warm-up, the goal is unhindered expression; to flow with whatever comes out.

Fun Fitness for All

The exercise portion is all done with bodyweight exercises, meaning minimal equipment requirements and participants of any fitness level can be happily accommodated.

With Brain Boosting Benefits

This combination of physical activity and creative stimulation leads to an amplified mind-body connection, and is a perfect remedy for the hyper-connected, permanently-stressed culture that permeates the world today. A study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience shows that regular exercisers do better on tests of creativity than their more sedentary peers. Everyone benefits from disconnecting on a regular basis, and taking a HH class is an exhilarating way to reap that benefit and get a great workout in as well.

H.I.I.P Hype classes are also great for people who have become bored with their traditional fitness routine — it’s unlike any other fitness class out there.

Win Over Media & Influencer Like a PR Pro

collaborations, Digital Newsroom, How to Do Your Own PR, Key Messaging and Talking Points, press coverage, Press Kits, The PR Playbook

I am very excited to be editing a course that will help fitness, health, wellness and nutrition startups build their businesses with ThePRPlaybook.com.

This is your essential guide, basically your road map to growing your business while winning over top-tier media and your very favorite influencers.

You know that building buzz and sharing your journey will boost brand awareness and consumer engagement that leads to an increase in sales for you. This is your marketing manual for success and it was created for people who don’t have the time to spend on social media 24/7.

If you are struggling with finding customers & clients, then this course is for you. If you need more eyeballs on your website then enroll your ass in this course right now.

Whether you’ve written a book, built an online course yourself or you’re opening a new retail store, maybe an e-commerce shop or you have created a breakthrough product or service, you will learn the most critical and effective marketing and PR tactics to reach your audience and audiences you never knew you would attract. Yes, that is right, the people who want to buy your stuff.

You will learn how to grow brand awareness about your business with press coverage in leading media like The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch and USA Today and how to collaborate with influential bloggers and vloggers to reach new customers and clients.

I created this course to help startups and new brands cut through the clutter of repetitive, abundant and downright confusing marketing advice and understand and execute only the most productive marketing activities to build upon success.

Who am I?

My name is Madeline Johnson and I am a Marketing & Media Strategist & Consultant based in NYC. I am a no BS PR pro who specializes in health, wellness, fitness & nutrition. I have over 15 years of experience working with amazing brands like Reebok, Fairmont Hotels & Spas, Aveda and startups in the world of health and wellness tech.

I enjoy working with startups and entrepreneurs who are basically creating anything that makes us look and feel great. Send me a Tweet @MarketCouncil

 

Is Your Brand Story Newsworthy?

Brand Awareness, Communications, editorial know how, media relations, media relations expert, press coverage, Press Kits

Almost every entrepreneur and marketing director out there knows that getting press coverage and influential writers to share their start up business story is important. Press coverage can open up their brand to a whole new target market and potential for sales.

What they don’t know is how to pitch a story to a journalist, writer or reporter.

I disagree with some growth strategists when it comes to getting the media and influencers to cover your new brand story.  Some will tell you to start small, contact the less influential bloggers and websites first. That might work if you want to be a one hit wonder, but not if you are building a brand that is built to last.
In my years of experience, all top tier media want the scoop first. Whether it is a writer from The Huffington Post or Fox News, they are looking to be the one to break the news. I have worked with many media members – from editors of The New York Times to Vogue and GQ, and I will tell you right now, they don’t want to be the second or third to share your story.
When planning out your media strategy, target your list of influencers. Create a top target list and pitch them first.
Note: If you have been covered by other websites or influencers and you are pitching those in the big league, let them know. They will appreciate your honesty which will eventually build trust and a long lasting relationship, which is what you want with the media in the first place.
Doing your own public relations and media outreach involves building writer relationships and those relationships start with being open and transparent.
Are these tips helpful to you? Be sure to sign up for The PR Playbook, your essential guide to brand growth  launching this September 2016.

Where to Find Me
As a marketing & public relations expert and social media pro I help businesses grow.
Learn more about my career and professional background here.

Subscribe above to my YouTube channel for sage tips, hacks and recs about marketing and social media and follow me on Twitter for health, wellness and fitness insight & news.

Follow me on Instagram where I post inspiration for startups, entrepreneurs and hustlers in health and wellness. @madelinemariejohnson

Let’s connect on LinkedIn & check out the video wake up call that will increase your self-awareness and storytelling abilities.

For those interested in studying self-awareness, join the growing community at Undisputed Origin.

News Coverage for Your Personal Brand

digital content strategy, Digital Newsroom, Earned Media, editorial know how, media relations, media relations expert, press coverage

Here is an important tip for you to follow when you are reaching out to the media for news coverage. Ask yourself Why??? Why would the audience of USA Today, The New York Times or The Huffington Post care? What stories are they sharing with their friends, family and co-workers and why? Build your story around what matters most to the writer’s audience.

You may have the most remarkable business idea created this year, but it’s just not enough to pitch your startup’s story to a reporter or journalist.

Influencers and journalists want pitches that will get shares. They are looking for news that will be retweeted on Twitter, shared on Facebook, repinned on Pinterest and forwarded through email.

You can increase your chances of news coverage success when you include why the writer, reporter and producer’s audience (their fans and followers) will share the story you are pitching.

So how do you do that? How do you know if your story pitch is a shareable one?

  1. Create an emotive pitch. Get to the heart of the story. Make it moving, inspiring, shocking. Something that will make other’s wake up when they read or watch it.
  2. If you are emailing a pitch to an influencer, craft a headline that arouses curiosity.
  3. Make sure you load it with emotional appeal and if you can leverage some controversy. More from @Jeffbullas here.

Want more tips like these? Subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Sign up for my course www.theprplaybook.com launching this September 2016.

Follow me on Twitter @marketcouncil

The Smartest Way to Get PR Coverage

Earned Media, editorial know how, media relations, media relations expert, press coverage, Public Relations

Media outreach can be the bane of any PR/social media manager’s existence. When it comes to the day-to-day in marketing and PR, there is nothing more frustrating than pitching people who aren’t paying attention.

Even if you have the most fascinating and compelling story ever told, reaching out to incredibly busy influencers and reporters can feel like throwing darts into the dark. Some writers and reporters admit to happily deleting over 500 pitches a day. Some even find the purging quite therapeutic.

Babbler, created by two very smart sisters in the PR world, is a more strategic way to share your story with influential writers, journalists, bloggers and reporters on YouTube.

In this inteview, Hannah Oiknine, co-founder of Babbler explains how the social network for media relations works and why it is easier than a source like H.A.R.O.

Babbler is growing daily. Over 300 small and big brands have joined on, including Yelp and Nike and publicists from agencies of all sizes have brought their connections of over 5,000 media members.

If you are a frustrated digital media manager looking for some vanity credentials for your home page or a public relations professional checking out new tech tools, then sign up for a 30-day free trial of Babbler using the code Madeline Johnson today.

Your Story in the News

How do do your own PR, media relations, press coverage, press liaison, Public Relations, social media marketing, Start up Success

Getting press coverage about your new health, wellness, nutrition or fitness brand will help build trust and fill the credibility gap instantly. This week I had a chance to chat with Adam Brown of Sircle Media about how to approach top tier journalists and reporters on social media.  We get into the tactical and practical of building media lists and what an editor is looking for in a valuable and shareable story.

Are you building your own health and wellness brand? I would love to hear more about it. Comment below and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more.

The Fastest Way to Get Press Coverage

Earned Media, editorial know how, media relations, media relations expert, press coverage

I get asked all the time about how to get top tier press coverage in online outlets like Men’s Health, Shape and Prevention.

You don’t need to hire a PR agency to get media coverage for your new health, wellness and fitness brand. What you need is a fast way to build relevant media contacts. Check out my chat with the co-founder of GoPRIt.com.

Do you have questions about how to grow your health and fitness brand? Comment below, I would be happy to help.

How to Pitch Your Story to the Press

media relations, media relations expert, press coverage, Public Relations, Star Powered PR

Here are a few real tips for developing fresh, new story ideas that will intrigue the media, get you press coverage and include your business, brand, product or service in their story. Your ideas should serve the journalist as well as their reader and viewer.

1.Know who you are pitching and learn what stories are popular
Research what your targeted media reporter or writer has already written. What piece received the most shares? What articles and segments were most popular? Think of new ways to tell the story. New angles. You certainly don’t want to pitch them an idea they have recently covered.

2. Do the research. Save them time.
Do all the difficult background work for the reporter, journalist or writer.
Save the editor time, their most precious commodity. Get your testimonials together, photos, b-roll, everything in one place, before you pitch the story.

3.Remember generic stories don’t sell
Specific stories do. What stories do you have that no one else can offer? What can you give them access to, that no one else has?

4. Be an observer. Take notes and think like a reporter.
Think like a reporter. Be curious. Keep an Evernote file of observations, conversations and every day moments that are distinctive and unique, and also common. Observe what is happening with your clients and customers. Be a spy, listen to conversations. What are they talking about online or in your spa, gym or practice. What stands out?

5. Write and communicate in the style of the media you are approaching.
Pitch in the tone and voice of the particular media outlet you are trying to get coverage in. If their voice is snappy, snarky and a bit skeptical, then serve up your pitch in the same way. Perhaps they report using statistics and studies? Then do the research and site your sources. If they report quick micro-bites of information, then do the same.

6. Always keep your pitch brief.
Keep your story pitch short, sweet and to the point. Include what is important and a quick way to reach you.

7. Stay ahead of your industry
Read trend reports from sources like Mintel, Euromonitor, Trendhunter and Zeitguide. What will be the next new thing in health, wellness, nutrition and fitness? You don’t need to be “trendy” but you need to know what is trending. What’s your take on these trends? Do you offering anything that is similar? Perhaps you know they are just fads. Maybe you have alternatives that work better.

 

 

 

 

and stay ahead of what is trending on Twitter, Google and Pinterest.