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Feb 28, 2013

Embracing "The Shift": It’s Time to Go Digital!

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The past couple years in the wedding industry have been all about “the shift”.  The shift from over the top to DIY, from trendy and bold colors to classic neutrals, and, most importantly, from print to online.  Instead of ripping pages from magazines, brides are pulling the majority of their inspiration online from wedding blogs and sites like Loverly.  Brides are finding vendors from Facebook and Twitter recommendations and making registries from the comfort of their own home.  As a wedding public relations professional, it’s important to not only acknowledge this shift, but jump on board and go digital!

First things first, make sure all of your social media is up to date.  This means being present AND active on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and now Vine (recently launched video sharing app).  Creating accounts on these sites is step one, consistently using these sites is a critical and necessary step two. Use your social media to interact and engage with brides and wedding pros alike. It’s your direct link.

Next, put a schedule into place to ensure your blog is being updated often with images of your work and inspiration for upcoming events.  Brides want to know that your style aligns with their vision before they even meet with you, and what better way to do that than to give them real, accessible examples!  Put aside that old portfolio book and embrace the living portfolio on your blog…it’s time to go digital!

The digital trend continues on into media as well. If you want to be published in anything from a print magazine to an online blog, it’s important to understand the submitting process.  It used to be standard practice to mail a CD of images or contact sheets, or ask to fax documents… but that’s far from what is preferred today.  Outlets receive hundreds of submissions every week, so trust me when I say these editors want the simplest, fastest way to make a decision. Consider sending them a Dropbox link to the submission gallery with the option to download the images.  It’s much easier for them to click a link to bring up a submission to review, than it is sift through files and papers to find your contact sheets. Likewise, if you sent a disc, your images were probably transferred to be stored digitally for easy access… so you might as well save everyone that step.

Finally, embrace electronic communication… and yes, I’m talking about emails. It used to be that emails were cold and in-personal. But with much of our lives now spent online, it makes perfect sense that our communication methods have followed. If you are adamant about only calling someone and speaking on the phone, you may find that this type of correspondence will not get you the results you want.  Emails are standard – you may be more traditional and not agree with this but this is a result of the digital age we are in.  And don’t be alarmed when text messages become a more common form of communication between clients and their wedding teams!  Often time inboxes are so inundated with emails that it is much quicker to get a response on a short text message.

If you refuse to embrace the shift, don’t be surprised when the inquiries slow down. The new generation of brides and grooms coming up have been raised in this new era and will expect you to be digital savvy. Remember.. being kind, flexible and consistent in your tech knowledge will keep you from going extinct. Don’t be a dinosaur! Embracing the shifts (who knows what’s coming our way next!) will keep your business alive and relevant.

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