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Your Public Relations Toolbox

By: Debra Locker
Posted: January 5, 2011, from the January 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

So, you wake up one morning and say, “I am ready to do PR!” If only it was that simple. A well-executed public relations (PR) program requires many steps and a great deal of time and attention, so an effective PR toolbox is a key part of any media strategy. No hammers and saws here; instead, your tools are well-conceived words in creative packages. The two most important tools are a press kit and an online press room.

1. A press kit—Usually printed or digital on CD or DVD, effective press kits include bios and high-resolution pictures of spokespeople, as well as company fact sheets, press releases, photography highlighting the facility, story ideas and PR contact details.

2. Online press room—The content housed here is similar to that in a press kit: press releases, PR contact information, spokespeople bios, company fact sheets, notable facts and figures, and downloadable high-resolution and low-resolution images.

These both form a basis for your PR program. There are plenty of additional tools and tactics for helping your spa stay top of mind with journalists, including the following.

Press releases and story pitches. Timely and newsworthy pitches and releases position your spa as a trusted contact in the eyes of the media. Pitches and releases should be generated throughout the year and can focus on holidays, specific events or promotions, new offerings, and innovative treatments and programs. Remember, lead times vary with different types of press. Websites often can post things almost immediately, while magazines usually need at least two-months’ notice. For example, if you want to submit a press release for a Valentine’s Day program, consider sending it to a magazine in December. (Editor's note: Here are Skin Inc. magazine's press release submission contacts.)