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Sourcebottle v Pressloft – which is best for small business?

We asked the two top DIY marketing services – Pressloft and Sourcebottle – to sell the benefits of their service to small business. Here’s the result.

Pressloft

What is it?

Pressloft.com.au is an online PR platform, helping brands and PR agencies in the homewares, gift and fashion industries generate press coverage for their products. The website groups together high resolution images, caption information and press releases from companies onto one site for journalists to browse and download for articles. Journalists can contact registered brands directly to request further information or samples.

Who’s behind it?

Currently established in London as the largest online press office in the United Kingdom, Fiona Michelon brough the concept to Australia in April. It’s the only product image library that is 100 percent free for media to use. Over 500 brands use the site, including some top names like: Top3 by Design, Sambag, Bathe, Laura Ashley and Raw Space.

Why do the media use it?

Tina Hutton, photo editor at Home Beautiful magazine says Press Loft is an indispensable resource for the magazine. “Where we once would have to contact and cahse individual PR agencies for products we were interested in, we can now simply pop over to the site for up to date information, pricing and high-res images. It doesn’t get much easier than that.” Her comments are borne out by the figures, with an average of 100 images downloaded every day by media.

What’s in it for small business?

Retail and wholesale small businesses, in-house PR’s and PR Agencies use Press Loft as a low-cost, efficient method of gaining nationwide press coverage. Noosh Kids says Press Loft acts as a publicity agent for small business. “[Press Loft] communicates our press releases, product images and information to the media. It’s an affordable and reliable way to ensure our brand is front of mind with the people who can give us invaluable publicity.”

Large brands use the service as an efficient digital platform to manage press images. Raw Space says its online shop has received more traffic since beginning to use Press Loft. “Giving journalists the chance to download images of our unique gift ideas as well as requesting information directly has helped us to expand our online community and invite people to experience Raw Space online.”

How do you get the most out of it?

Looking to get published in a mainstream magazine, daily newspaper or popular blog? Your chances dramatically improve when you have high-quality images. Invest in product photography, so media don’t need to spend time deep-etching images or chasing down high-resolution files. If your images are blurry, cut-off parts of the product or inappropriately styled, your products won’t get a look-in aside bigger brands with strong imagery.

Sourcebottle

What is it?

SourceBottle is a clever service helping journalists, producers and bloggers find sources for features, stories and events. By being a possible source, small business can benefit enormously from editorial exposures. Ther service is free. Anyone can sign up for a twice-daily email of relevant ‘call outs’ called Drink Up! Alerts. There are over 30 categories to register for, such as Lifestyle & Fashion, Retail, Food & Wine, Technology and Small Business to name a few.

Who’s behind it?

The service was developed by former PR consultant Rebecca Derrington. She envisioned a service that could link the media with small business people and brought it to life. “We have over 14,000 SourceBottle subscribers at the moment,” Derrington says. “And more than 11,000 media call outs have been posted.”

Why do the media use it?

Call outs come from Magazines, newspapers, radio shows, TV programs and even event organisers. Media use it for its power to cast a wide net: editors can invite businesses to submit products for a Christmas Gift Guide, or source an expert to talk about the latest trends in the food industry. Event organisers look for speakers, products for gift bags and prizes for special events.

What’s in it for small business?

As testament of its effectiveness, the SourceBottle team put a callout on their own service to find businesses that had generated publicity using the service. Ross Patten, the creator of Rice Cube (a rice-shaper), says he’s had a lot of luck attracting attention with SourceBottle. “PR is the new advertising, and in a world full of ideas and products you need the third-party conversation of PR to kick in that exposure.” Online store Cycle Style has received coverage in The Age, Sunday Age, HealthSmart, Good Health Magazine and a host of other publications.

Most importantly, it can connect isolated small businesses with mainstream media. Karen Keynes runs an eco-friendly kitchenware specialist GreenUrLife based out of Townsville, North Queensland. “I achieved exposure in the Melbourne Age as part of last year’s Father’s Day Gift Guide. The feature generated a large number of orders for my business and priceless exposure. It was a connection I would have found impossible to make, otherwise.”

How do you get the most out of it?

Journalists usually give specific instructions in their call outs. Make sure you follow them to the letter and provide the correct information and images in the required format. Remember, they will receive hundreds of responses to their call out. Make their job as easy as possible and send all the correct information the first time. Don’t make them chase you, and you could receive the kind of publicity money can’t buy.

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