Friday, June 24, 2022

Shoe Customizer Decisions: 12 Ways To Get In Your Local Newspaper

Current Minnesota University undergrad Chris Hui has caught him yet another news article. If you still don’t know his story definitely give the article a read here: Chris Hui of C2 Customs in the Minnesota Star Tribune. I’ve known his story a good while as I’ve seen it play out, as have many of you that are also shoe customizers, still it does not get old.

Do you think you are just as worthy of such an article? Good chances you are. There are many ways you could go about achieving this simple but rewarding recognition. Read on for a few suggestions:

  • #1 would be to research your local newspapers website contact information for their editor or a writer in the sections like lifestyle, arts, fashion, hobbies, or FYI. Sections it would be an obvious fit. Send them an email with your story, some photos, links to your website, sites like PaintOrThread.com or other blogs with you work.
  • Are you currently in college? I’ll guarantee you your campus’ paper would love to hear your unique story. Use the same search tactics as above. Search on the university online press releases and send their writers an email. This could lead to articles in yearly newsletters, yearbooks, etc. Teachers and administrators go CRAZY for students with extracurricular activities that are creative and productive.
  • Pickup and research those free magazines/papers you see at bars, restaurants, barbershops, gas stations etc. They’ll likely be a bit more interested in art or business related stories of a shoe customizer. Again send an email or a phone call if you want faster results.
  • Get out and put yourself in the public eye. Summer is winding down so events are likely a bit harder to find but put yourself into the local art scene. Go out to art shows, concerts, weekend events but always be wearing your shoes or have someone else wearing them.
  • Localize yourself online: Every opportunity to mention your location, city, state, and hometown should be filled in with you location, city state, and hometown. This includes website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. This can also be done with other sneaker, art, fashion blogs by letting them know where you are from in your emails and conversations.
  • More Emphasis on #5: Local bloggers? Search Twitter for your city and you’ll likely come across some…even search Google for “city name blog or blogger” and you’ll be surprised to find there are probably a few bloggers that would give you a post or more.
  • Think about your friends and associates: What connections may they have? This can go for more than a simple newspaper article so expect more ways to brainstorm your friends’ connections in later Shoe Customizer Decisions entries. But do they know someone at the paper?
  • Local Connections in Social Media: Use Twitter and Facebook to Follow, Like and interact with everything you like or use that is local to your city: restaurants, news stations, newspapers. Twitter for sure…search your city name and go through and follow any businesses or people that look interesting. I’ll go more in depth on Twitter later but you should follow as many people as possible cause it is free…just a little time is all it takes.
  • When is the last time you mailed a hand written letter?: Do that instead of email…it is unique and interesting, definitely memorable. Don’t limit this idea to the goal of this post either.
  • Finally….take those tactics andjust ask for it. Of course it helps to have a unique story. If you began customizing just this summer your selling point would be less than someone who has customized shoes for years. At least have some work under your belt but emphasize being creative, independent, and your passions (passion is a huge BUZZ word these days). Heck…take a look at a few articles from those sections and see what people share about their business or creative endeavors. Something you’ve done because of custom shoes may not have seemed like a big deal to you but it sure could be interesting to other people.
  • Wait…don’t be an annoying, self fulfilling d-bag: The whole premise of this article is somewhat pretentious..”Hey looky at me I’m cool give me an article”…these are only suggestions for getting yourself more exposure. This list is really just a few common sense tactics using the same principles that PR departments of every other business use. Of course you could write some legit press releases write editors but honestly that looks weird, like spam, coming from an individual and is less personable. Please make sure your work is quality before you go out looking to let people know what you do and do not rely on opinions of people that love you…ask strangers or post online to get true reactions to your work. Don’t make it seem like you are fishing for an article, I said Chris caught this latest article but that is likely because it was thrown his way by the writer…for a majority of Chris’ articles he has likely just let this next step be his focus.
  • Ok this should be finally..but it should also be #1: Let your work do the talking. Be humble, confident, approachable, and personable and you’ll be attractive and news worthy to everyone……. If you really bust your ass to create a brilliant custom shoe after brilliant custom shoe that truly are unique I can guarantee your work will get attention for a local news article and more. I’m not going back on my statements and saying not to contact local news reporters, blogging about your city, or making connections in local social media, etc. I suggest you try all of those ideas, but make sure you are coming off as a genuine person in this for the love, not some fame, money, or fortune. People understand you need to use all resources or skills to make a living, but they also know how to read people that are not really in things for the right reasons.

In conclusion to get noticed by your local newspaper follow these two rules: #1 let your work do the talking…but, #2 get yourself out there using the ideas above. The decision is how you show your passion for the art of customizing shoes.

If you have gotten this far I greatly appreciate your time reading the second installment in a continuing series of posts called Shoe Customizer Decisions, writing this has continued to fuel my flame to spread our talents. The purpose of this series will be showing you simple ways to help each other gain exposure of our customizing skills and talents as an individual shoe customizer with an overall purpose to expose the art form of a shoe as a canvas to as many people as possible.  Future topics will include: branding, marketing, advertising, promotions, creativity and more. These posts will only be helpful with your feedback. What did you think of these 12 ideas, good or complete bullshit?

I also want to know if there is a topic you’d like to discuss or see covered, so please leave a comment or send me an email to: [email protected]

Thanks for reading,

Brandon Laskowski

If you missed the first Shoe Customizer Decisions post check it out here here: Shoe Customizer Decisions: Win an 8th Generation Custom Shoes Care Package