World Tea Expo ‘Speed-Dates’ with the Media; Plus, 5 PR Hacks to Get Your Tea Business Noticed

Before submitting a tea-story idea or a tea product to a magazine or other media outlet, what should you do? How do you approach an editor? Should you consider tea bloggers? What about local media and TV? If you’re looking to generate publicity for your tea business, retail shop or other endeavor, here’s your opportunity to learn tips and tricks from top editors, publishers and writers, as well as a TV personality.

World Tea Expo will host a one-of-a-kind Core Conference session at its upcoming event, June 13-15 in Las Vegas. The session, called “Tea Media Roundtable: Meet & Learn from Top Tea Editors,” is a meet-and-greet session that’s done “speed dating-style.”

The session takes place from 8:30 – 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 14 in room N233 at the Las Vegas Convention Center North Hall in Las Vegas.

Attendees will hear directly from top editors and media representatives. These journalists and publishers will present an overview about their media outlet and the types of stories they like to cover. They’ll give insights on how to best approach them and pitch stories. You’ll learn bad PR (mistakes to avoid) and good PR (the right way to build a relationship with an editor, journalist or blogger). And you’ll get valuable insights that will help your organization generate publicity now and in the future. But most importantly, you’ll be able to ask the media questions face-to-face in an intimate roundtable setting (limited seating available), while building an important new relationship.

Speakers for the Tea Media Roundtable include:

  • Christine Kapperman, Senior Content Director, New Hope Network and World Tea News, @NewHope360 @worldteamedia

5 PR Hacks to Get Your Tea Business Noticed

Here are five tips from some of the speakers at the upcoming Tea Media Roundtable at World Tea Expo 2017.

1. Do Your Research – Lorna Reeves, editor of TeaTime Magazine says: “Before submitting a story idea or a product to a magazine, it’s a good idea to do some research on the editorial focus of the publication as well as its demographic. Most periodicals have a media kit that will provide the necessary information – usually found on the publication’s website. If you can’t find a media kit, then the next best thing is to look through several recent issue of the publication. Editors appreciate pitches that are on-brand.”

2. Create a List of Target Media – Anna Wolfe, editor of The Gourmet Retailer, shares, “Journalists are always on the look-out for: 1. what’s new and 2. Unique and compelling stories about handcrafted products and the people who create them. Research your target publications. Flip through the publications you’re targeting to get an idea of the types of stories they run and how they weave specific products into their feature articles.  Make a list of publications you’d love to be featured in, check their mastheads (staff listings, usually toward the front of the magazine. Online, you’ll find this under Contact Us or About Us) and start creating a list or database of food editor and/or feature editor names and contact information. These become your targets. The same is true of local and regional newspapers, city and regional magazines, restaurant and retail trade publications, radio programs that do special food-oriented shows, etc. Your PR contact list should also include names and addresses of target chefs/restaurateurs and specialty retailers with whom you already do business or with whom you’d like to do business. When you have news to share, they should get it straight from you. Call your key contacts and ask them how they prefer to receive information, what format they prefer to receive it in, what information they’re looking for. Be respectful of the journalist’s time. Make the call short and sweet. You want to establish a long-term relationship with this journalist, and you want them to take your calls.”

3. Remember to Connect with Tea Bloggers – Linda Gaylard, blogger/tea sommelier with The Tea Stylist blog, notes, “Connecting with tea bloggers and those of influence on social media can be an effective way to introduce your tea and tea products to the growing tea market. Make sure to do a little research before approaching bloggers/influencers. Do they primarily do tea reviews; are they interested in tea ware; do they prefer to include teas in the context of another theme? Contact the blogger first to introduce your company and your product. Would they be interested in receiving samples? Don’t make assumptions and send product unsolicited. If you, as a tea retailer, do a bit of ground work, you may find a match and possibly an opportunity to partner on a short term promotion e.g. a contest or recipe using one of your teas. Be respectful of the blogger/influencer’s time and don’t expect a quick turnaround. It’s okay to ask when you might expect a post, but it’s best not to pressure the blogger as they may have a backlog of product to review or write about.”

4. Go Local… Establish Yourself as a Tea Expert in Your Local Community – Crystal Petrello, the nutrition correspondent for FOX TV Las Vegas, suggests, “Establish yourself as a tea expert in your local community with the help of TV media. When you work with TV media, you will do all the work. By work, I mean: research, the pitch and the props. You will want to base your pitch on a hot topic, product or trend from your tea community. A pitch will include: 1. An eye-catching title. 2. Two to three main points you plan on talking about and 3. A take-away recommendation or action item. Make sure to not make the title so spicy that it is misleading. You MUST be trustworthy to the media and your community. Lastly, persistence and professionalism are key to pitching your idea as a tea expert.”

5. Make Friends with the Editors or Media Outlets You Want to Work With – Gail Gastelu, publisher and editor of The Tea House Times, says, “Most tea businesses have one thing in common…they started something with passion and a dream to find success in an industry that connects with others through good health and human interaction over tea; but many start with minimal budget set aside for marketing. It is possible for a DIY type of person to do some PR on their own through well-written press releases (if they research how-to), articles and cross promotions with others, and consistent concise communications with customers and media professionals.  Working with The Tea House Times is super simple and I’d like to say warm and inviting because it is my passion and purpose to help tea businesses stay in business. From inexpensive ads to guest blogging to unique promotions, education and articles in print and online, there are many ways for people to work with us to promote their business and their expertise with an end goal of connecting with others in a positive manner. We offer something for every budget and every comfort level because I know what it’s like to be starting out with limited funding and that consistency and variety come into play for a successful campaign. One more thing…make friends with the editors you want to work with – take them to lunch, establish a relationship, nurture it and chances are that you will stay top-of-mind with them when they are seeking an article or need assistance with other industry related coverage.”

Indeed, PR can build the image and credibility of your organization, reach your target audiences, support search engine visibility, and make you stand out from your competitors. To learn more, attend World Tea Expo’s “Tea Media Roundtable” – a meet-and-greet that’s done “speed dating-style.” The session takes place from 8:30 – 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 14 in room N233. NOTICE: The session will have limited seating. Please register online in advance, if possible.

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