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Spa Beauty PR 360

By: Pierce Mattie
Posted: February 28, 2011, from the March 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Can you imagine if your spa only did one type of facial? You wouldn’t run your business that way, and you shouldn’t run your PR outreach that way. Consumers typically need to see a message seven times before it resonates with them. In today’s new world of digital communication, those seven points of contact can happen across many media platforms. From magazines, newspapers, television and radio to websites and blogs, consumers seek out information from multiple sources. 

So what constitutes a holistic assortment of press? You will want something close to the following.

  • Magazines: 3–10 a month
  • Television: 1–3 shows per quarter
  • Web/blogs: 4–10 a month
  • Radio: 2–4 shows per quarter

Establish relationships

So how should a spa go about establishing relationships with various media outlets? Here are some basic tips.

  • Tools required. Have a press kit—both printed and online—that includes the basic 5 Ws of PR: who, what, when, where, why and how, as well as images of treatment rooms and the staff.
  • Invite the press. Extend invitations to the media for treatments and comp the service cost. If media representatives have a good reputation and are with established media outlets, they usually will have the treatment, and then consider what type of editorial opportunities they may provide in return.
  • Remain compelling. If there is nothing new or different about your spa, you will not get media coverage. Make the experience unique, whether by applying some over-the-top mask or offering the latest piece of equipment that no one else in town is offering.
  • Treat them the same. You may wonder whether your spa should treat a blogger differently than a magazine editor or a segment producer. The answer is no. Treat them all with five-star service.

A 360° approach

Spa public relations is unique in the sense that it costs very little to get the process initiated if managed correctly. The return on your nominal investment can be high; some spas have been able to renovate, expand into multiple locations and launch their own branded line all due to the media coverage that resulted in more and more clients. The best advice is to avoid dumping all of your energy into one media channel, such as radio or online with social media. Try a 360° approach where you’re reaching your new consumer in print, online and with broadcast.

Pierce Mattie travels the world extensively representing some of the industry’s top spas, salons, resorts and beauty products. He is a graduate of New York University, a licensed esthetician, a published author and lives in Manhattan. His firm, Pierce Mattie PR, has been named one of the fastest-growing companies in America by Inc. magazine several years in a row. Pierce Mattie PR is ranked by O’Dwyer’s as the North American leader in fashion media relations.