Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pitching your Craft Business to the Press

Hi there, 
A big part of my job is promoting Craft makers in the Cork area through my day job in Cork Craft & Design . I work really hard during Cork Craft Month each August to promote Cork Craftspeople and I thought I'd share with you some of my advice on getting great press coverage for you and your craft business (if that's your thang !).

Here are some of the things craftspeople can do to increase your chances of seeing their name in print:

Perfect Pitch : 
Your pitch doesn't have to be PERFECT but it does have to be good. If you are not confident writing your own pitch then ask a friend to help you draft 300 – 500 words that describes your work/ background/ inspiration or recent news e.g. New studio space, new product range, working in collaboration with a local business or festival. Don’t forget to use spell-check and have a friend or relative read over your pitch before you send it out.

Carefully select your Target: Sending out lots of emails to everyone hoping that somebody will respond is not a very effective way of marketing yourself. Do some careful research and find out exactly what types of magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc. are appropriate to your story. If you find a publication you’d like to feature in subscribe over a few weeks and pitch your initial proposal to the in the same tone that they use to communicate with their readers.   

Address the recipient by name: Take the time to find out the name of the reporter, blogger or editor that you need to reach with your pitch, and address them personally don’t just ‘copy and paste’ the same letter to all. Take the time to research and in your pitch you may refer to a past article or feature you enjoyed.

Keep it Short & Sweet :  Sending an email with an attached 3,000 word rambling story about your work just isn’t going to work. Send a straightforward, short email ensuring all the relevant information is in the body of the mail and not an attachment. Title your mail with a clear subject line. Be sure to link to your (recently updated) Website, Facebook and Twitter pages so they can learn more.

Picture Perfect:  A picture paints a thousand words – it’s true and never more so than when it comes to promoting art and craft. If your images are poor then no matter how good your story is, you may struggle to get a publication to print your story. Invest in professional photographs or ask a talented friend with a good digital camera to capture some images of your work. When featuring a maker publications like to see an image of the artist at work – ensure you  get a good photograph of you in your studio/workspace. Do not attach images or documents to your initial email (many journalists and editors have robust spam controls in place and emails with attached images may get deleted before they are even opened). Publications may send out their own photographer if they are very interested in your story but it helps to be prepared with your own images.  

Time waits for no man:  If you write a pitch on February 1st with the intention of being included in a story about Valentine’s Day, you are far too late. Pitch your story well ahead of time to be considered.

Make like a Boy Scout and ‘Be Prepared’: Whether your attending a local fair or an international trade show you need to be ready to take advantage of all opportunities.  Journalists cover all types of events big & small. If you have a press kit on hand for them then you’re ahead of the game. If not, you are giving up a great chance to get covered.

Make sure you Follow Up :  Once a member of the press or blogger  has indicated interest in your work then it’s up to you to stay in touch with them. If they contact you be ready to send on more information images, dates or times when your available to be interviewed etc. Don’t just send out your pitch and forget to check your emails for the next fortnight.  If they do not respond to you then do send a gentle reminder message to keep your work and your story in front of them. One of the great things about generating press coverage for yourself and your brand is that once you have gotten press with a publication, they know you and are more likely to come back to you in the future.

Keep Calm & Carry On: It stands to reason that not every pitch will lead to publication. Don’t become disheartened – your story can’t be the perfect fit for every publication or blog. Set yourself a target for how many pitches you’ll make a year (it could be one a week, a month or quarter). Stick to your targets and continue pitching your stories to the media and hopefully one day very soon you’ll see yourself in print. 

Hope to see you back here soon!

All the best, 

Siubhán x x x 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Winter's Coming ....

Brrrrr!!!!!!  I don't need to tell any of you Game of Thrones fans that 'Winter's Coming',

and whilst the rain and winds been pelting us here in Ireland; I've been busy (drooling over that handsome divil Ned Stark and) working away on a warm & wonderful hooky project !
I'm a huge fan of the lovely Lucy over at Attic 24 (DELIGHTED to see her as a regular feature in my monthly Simply Crochet magazine ) Inspired by Lucy's beautiful Blooming Flower Cushion .

I'm making my own winter warmer version with lots of warm reds, oranges, maroons & brown yarns from the bottom of my yarn bag :)

Nearly there and I'm thrilled with its blooming loveliness !

Its going to be a lovely textured cushion cover and I cannot WAIT to get it stuffed
so I can snuggle up to it !

The back will be a simple circle (super quick to crochet & who dosent love a project that eats into your stash ?)

Im thinking about adding a nice button into the centre of the finished cushion - what do you think ?

I'll be sure & share the finished cushion with you when its done.

Thanks for visiting and hope to see you back here again soon :)

Love Siubhán x x x

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

First adventures in Pin-Tucking !

Hello there!

I've become a bit obsessed by pin-tucking over the past few weeks.

Years ago we had two lovely red velevet circular pin-tucked cushions that my mother made in a nightclass.
they looked a bit like this fab cushion from Four Square Walls  ...


I'd forgotten all about these lovely cushions until recently, when I bought this lovely heavy teal velvet remnant in the local Drapery Shop

I went on a Pinterest hunt for some tutorials (pop over & visit my Perfect Pillows & Cool Cushions board )
I love the look of the circular cushions but thought it might be a bit difficult for a first pintuck project (I also DREAD the thought of trying to cover a button !)

All of my sewing machines are on the blink and I'm feeling a bit 'Meh!' about my current crochet project so this is the perfect time to attemp a hand sewing adventure. After only 2 rows I was hooked !

Here's where I am so far ...

Its not perfect but its not bad ! & I've really enjoyed sewing away in front of the TV all this week.

The velvet is such a lovely colour. Would you like to see the back too ?

Not unlike crochet its a nice rythmic task (and easy to see when you've made a mistake !
Now all I need to do is get my sewing machine fixed and I can turn this into a fab cushion for my sitting room. I intend to back the cushion in another fabric - I don't have enough of this velvet and I want to make a matching pair. When I make the next cushion I'll create a tutorial too !

Here's another two of my other favourite pin tucking tutorials for the 'to do' list !

Loving these colours from sew-whats-new.com ...
 ans this hot pink cushion from sewmamasew.com has to be tackled very soon ....

Thanks for visiting & do come back soon !

Love Siubhán x x x

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blue Thursday

Hello there,
I stood in line today for four whole hours today hoping to buy tickets for Garth Brookes planned concerts in Dubliin this coming Summer only to be bitterly dissapponted (sold out!)
and  b..b..b..blue with the cold !!

Never mind ! I made some new friends in the queue (if only for a few hours !)
&  its not just every day you get to start off a (stone-cold-sober) singsong
with a bunch of total strangers on the streets of Cork!!

Lucky I had these little cuties to keep my hands (if not my fingers) toasty warm !

My first time crocheting with bamboo (Sidars Snuggly Baby Bamboo) and it was a really lovely yarn !
I started making up a beautiful wrap (with a pattern I purchased 3 years ago and have yet to use ). As the wrap progresssed I realised that it was going to cost me a small fortune to complete in this particular yarn so I frogged it and came up with a new plan.

I found this pattern online
and modified it somewhat to create my solid blue wrist warmers. I had to modify quite a bit as following the pattern mine were coming out really huge ! I deleted one shell in the round and added a longer wrist section.

I love them , nice and quick to hook up they match my new blue scarf :)
plus theres the added bonus that  I have enough yarn left from two balls to make a spare  :)

Hope your having a good week & do come back soon !

Siubhan x x x

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Blanket Blitz

Hello there,
I know I've been very quiet lately as I feel like I have been doing very little craft.

My sewing machine is on the blink (grrr!)  and there just never seems to be enough hours in the day...

Yet (almost) every evening I'm hooking away at some little project or another and when you gather them all together they make quite a nice little collection.

Meet some of the crochet blankets that have been hanging around our house ...

Lornas Wavy Crochet Blanket , currently adorning her VERY messy room
I loved making this blanket and Lorna does love it - its quite big - covering her bed in squidgy snuggly waves. If youve oodles of time on your hands and you'd like to make a similar blanket you'll find the instructions HERE by the wonderful Lucy at Attic 24. Hers is made in beautiful (but expensive) Cashmerino , mine is made from 'cheap as chips' acrylic yarns.

As the daughter has a blanket, so must the son ...
Here's Gavins Blanket.

Gavins Crochet Blanket - lives in his 'not so messy' room !

Not quite so girly I started this blanket as a way of using up two ENORMOUS balls of grey yarn I bought in Aldi ! Another one of Lucy's patterns you'll find it HERE.

At the moment i seem to be addicted to making baby blankets, Heres a nice wiggly one I made 2 summers ago , it currently resides on my office chair for chilly moments ...

My Office Crochet Blanket - brings in a bit of sunshine on grey days

The next one is a cotton blanket I made for 2 friends who are expecting a new arrival in May,
(we don't know if its a boy or a girl yet!) Much like the blanket I made in this post - I followed the Niki Trench pattern and really enjoyed working in cotton.

When I was in the yarn shop I spotted some lovely pink cottons too and just couldn't resist ! I found this wonderfull snuggly stitch created by Tamara at Moogly. Go visit her page !

Leaping Stripes & Blocks - LOVE this stitch !!!

Baby Blankets - Yup ! I AM tempted to make a blue one !

And finally a sneek peek the blanket I'm working on at present ...
It's very incomplete and taking simply AGES but I'll be sure and come back to share it with you when its done !

Ahhhhh !
Looking at all that colourful crochet goodness has cheered me up on this grey winters day  !
Thanks for visiting & come back soon !

Siubhan x x x

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