Editors love great photography – Outstanding, professional photography is essential. Think about how readers flip through a magazine, pausing at pages that catch their eye. For your spa to be represented photographically over a full page or even double page spread, the images have got to be stunningly beautiful, immaculately taken and very high resolution. Some publications won’t include your spa in editorial if the photography isn’t up to their standards. Invest in your photography, and models, and it will pay you back many times over.
Editors often need immediacy – Press release information detailing your spa’s concept, facilities, treatments, products and anything else that’s relevant, as well as photographs, must be available at a moment’s notice. Editors are often looking for something at the last minute, or simply appreciate an instant reply, so have materials at hand that can be attached to an email and sent without delay.
Editors love spas that stand out – When working on your concept and treatment menu look around at the competition, while keeping to your strengths. See how you can make your spa a little bit different. Be intelligent with your facilities and treatments. Avoid fads and gadgets that add little but a five-minute wow factor, instead make informed choices as to what will help your spa get ahead.
Editors hate being overwhelmed – Do keep editors informed with email news blasts, but don’t send them out every week. Editors get hundreds of press releases each week, and if you bombard them it won’t help you, or them. Control how many bits of information you send out and make sure they are suitable for each editor in particular.
Editors want clarity – In press release information map out your spa’s details in a well-written, clear, logical way. And be real about it. Highlight your strengths, the things that make your spa stand out among the competition, but don’t sensationalize them to the point that they become untrue. If the editor visits your spa you don’t want them to be disappointed with the real thing.
Editors hate exaggeration – Keep it real and use words like “unique”, “best in the world/the country/the region/the area”, “top”, “leading”, “only” with caution, and only having researched the market to find out if what you’re saying is true. Editors are very good at reading between the lines, and don’t appreciate fluff and nonsense. If you cause an editor to publish something that isn’t true, you can kiss goodbye any relationship you have with them going into the future.
Editors love time sensitive information – Be aware of what is going on in the spa industry and if you can respond to a new trend, a piece of news or a new opening with an existing treatment, concept or therapist, then let the editor know. Hooking your spa’s attributes to a current event (over and above Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc) may put you at the top of their mind when they’re looking for a way to respond in their articles.
Editors need information at certain times – Get to understand the lead time of different publications so that you know how far in advance you need to let them know about seasonal treatment promotions, events or product changes without missing the issue you’d ideally like to be mentioned in. Be prepared in good time and it’s more likely you’ll make the pages.
Editors want understanding – They are writing to an editorial calendar, so each issue needs to have different information in it. Don’t expect to be published in the same publication over and over again. Don’t be greedy. If you need to be clear on how much coverage you’ll receive, then ask, especially before you give any complimentary treatments. But don’t ask for too much or you won’t be in the pages.
Editors judge websites – It’s essential to have a professional and visually pleasing website. This is how editors, and many of your clients, will be getting their first impressions of your spa. Make sure it’s clear, easy to navigate, has all the necessary information on it, most importantly including a detailed spa menu, and materials.
Editors love having online access to materials – Create a press page on your website where news, information and images, plus PDFs of previously published articles, can be easily downloaded. This way you only ever have to email a link and they never have to unearth an old press kit from months back, when they need the information.
Editors love an engaging source – Build a relationship with the editor. Let them know how you can help them with materials or additional information if needs be. For example, are you an expert on a kind of treatment or product? Are you willing to answer questions and be quoted in editorial? This will get your spa’s name into an article, and help establish your credibility. Editors on trips hate carrying press releases – The most technology-forward spas are putting their press releases and high resolution images on CDs or even USB keys, and when an editor is on the road the less bulky and heavy kits they have to haul home the better. Plus you’ll be doing the environment a favour too.