If your business has been highlighted in a Salon Spotlight®, Sunless Only or Welcome Wagon feature, chances are you can get some free publicity in your local newspaper!
While being featured in ist Magazine can be a big boost to your ego, it can also help your business. How? By generating something called “earned media,” which is defined as favorable publicity gained through promotional efforts other than paid advertising. In other words, free publicity. For those salon pros whose businesses have been featured in ist, this publicity can reach your entire target market right in your local newspaper!
Newspaper reporters are always looking for things occurring in their communities and a local business being featured in a national publication is definitely a headliner. If your salon has recently been featured in ist, let the reporters know about it. To help you, we’ve created an easy-to-use and informative press release – just fill in the blanks and mail/email it with a copy of/link to the story in which your salon was featured. After reviewing the info, there’s a good chance a reporter will contact you with more questions, giving you an opportunity to further discuss your business.
Warning: if you’re going to be interviewed by your local media, remember to NOT make any claims about indoor tanning’s reported health benefits. Regardless of the latest research into tanning and the body’s production of vitamin D3, it is still illegal to make these types of claims about indoor tanning as per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, part 1040 Performance Stands for Light-Emitting Products. This means you can’t even say that indoor tanning is “safe” or “safer than tanning outdoors.” Just focus on your business, its relationship with the community and how honored you feel to have your salon featured in ist and you should be fine. If the reporter starts prodding you with questions designed to trip you up, simply say “Indoor tanning facilities provide a controlled environment for obtaining a cosmetic tan. Sessions are delivered according to each tanner’s individual skin type.”
Being featured in the local paper can create additional marketing opportunities. First and foremost, people in your community will read that your salon was featured in a national tanning trade publication, which might generate some interest in indoor tanning, and your business. And, since most newspapers now have an online version, you can link the article to your salon’s Facebook page so your clients and friends can bear witness to the recognition you’ve acquired. Also, try offering a free gift – upgrade session, sunless spray tan, lotion discount, etc. – to every tanner who links the story to their Facebook page. This will encourage them to share your good news with all of their friends! And it wouldn’t hurt to Tweet about all this, too.
So you see, being featured in ist Magazine can be a great way to get free publicity for your salon with real-world marketing value. Try it and see!
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
articles for IST Magazine and, as Director of Editorial Content, has also
helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
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