As I’ve made mention before, exclusivity reins supreme when it comes to real wedding submissions. Blogs and magazines alike often prefer to showcase fresh content in an ongoing effort to deliver the latest inspiration to their readers.
While a seemingly straightforward request at first consideration, the wedding PR waters start to get rather murky quite quickly.
After all, what counts as exclusive content? Can the wedding be blogged about by the photographer? The wedding planner? The really excited mother of the bride who just got their hands on her favorite shots?
So in no particular order, here are my rules for the wedding PR road. Although admittedly unofficial guidelines they’ve always steered myself, as well as my clients, in the right direction:
For the wedding photographer-
1) Blog away! The media as a whole recognizes that a wedding photographer’s blog and web site are some of their most effective marketing tools so unless a particular wedding blog or magazine specifically states it, you are welcome to go ahead and give that wedding the bloggity love it deserves.
2) Put the brakes on sharing, for now. I’ve always contended that one of the very best things that a wedding photographer can do is share their images with other wedding professionals that made up the team for a particular event. Your colleagues will no doubt be anxious to add the images to their portfolio so try to tide them over with a comprehensive blog post that does justice to everyone’s collective efforts.
Share, but with stipulations. For those photographers that simply want to get this off their plate, consider sharing photographs with vendors with the stipulation to please hold off on using them to market online until the submission has been picked up and featured.
3) If you do plan on submitting, make it a top priority on your to do list. It’s one thing to hold off on sharing a wedding for the sake of wedding publicity, but it’s then in your best interest to make it happen. The longer you wait, the more the vendor requests will start pouring in.
For the wedding professional (non photographer edition)-
1) Sit tight and make the best of it. While you aren’t necessarily in the best case scenario, the good news is that you may be able to ultimately enjoy a wedding PR win thanks to the submission efforts of the photographer. If you’ve been told that the images will be made available at a later date, than the very best thing you can do is put on your patience pants. If you are one of the lucky ones whose photographer does take to their own blog to feature the event then by all means share it with your own prospects and clients as applicable.
Additionally, if your desire for event images in no way conflicts with the submission process (ie: you’d like images for a bridal show or for brochures), then have an honest talk with the wedding photographer, outlining your initial needs and strategies and see if you can be the exception to the rule.
And just remember- there’s nothing like a good dose of perspective to keep things in check. Better to have a gorgeous wedding waiting in the wings, then none at all.
So how do you handle your wedding images when it comes to real wedding submission? Feel free to share in the comments!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive wedding pr columnist to wedding marketing journal WedLock magazine and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. She loves ruffle table runners and Royal Wedding Tchotchkes. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding pr, please contact us today.
Photo credit: Meghan McSweeney Photography