Anytime you’re quoted or your store is featured in an article in print, online, or on air, it enhances the credibility of your business. The key to successful PR is patience and understanding that every time your name or store name appears in the press, your reputation as a jeweler grows.
Public contact is a form of public relations. Whether you’re standing on the sidelines of your child’s soccer game or attending a meeting of local retail merchants, your demeanor shapes the public’s perception of your business. Just as important is the way potential customers are greeted as they enter your store, no matter their age or attire. One of the wealthiest individuals I know, a scion of a multinational energy firm, wears a long beard and prefers flannel shirts, jeans, and work boots to suits. A few years ago, he and his fiancée visited one of my client’s locations to purchase service for 16—china, sterling silver flatware, and crystal—and the sales associates took one look at him and blew him off. Fortunately, an associate who knew his fiancée learned of the incident, apologized, and salvaged part of the sale.
PR helps influence public perception and ideas. Years ago when I started working for a century-old, independent firm, very few jewelry designers were known by name, much like the fashion industry had been 30 years earlier. Jewelry was still considered something so precious that it was worn only on special occasions. To promote the idea of designer brands, I helped my client craft a series of press releases about the basics of building a jewelry wardrobe. This effort got people thinking about jewelry in a new way—as an accessory—with the buyers’ expertise and designers’ insights supporting the concept. The daily newspaper jumped at the idea of presenting jewelry in a different way and combined the concepts and examples provided in the releases into a full-page feature.
Editorial coverage is influential. Anyone reading consumer fashion publications knows that jewelry, whether precious or costume, has made the leap from ornament to wardrobe staple. When researching local publications for your advertising plans, reach out to those that your clients read. Offer your expertise and inventory to the editors for their fashion photo shoots. I’ve worked with select regional fashion editors to support the thesis that jewelry is fashion, and garnered hundreds of placements for their designers during single calendar years.