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Summer 2000

Melanie A. Cissone

Wrangling the consumer’s buying power by grabbing his or her attention with quick and memorable messages is where the future of public relations lies in the jewelry industry. Creating a strategic plan that gets your messages on target is the key to increased sales at a reasonable cost and steady growth.

The Jewelry Information Center and other jewelry organizations recognize the importance of communications. JIC has published and made available the JIC Public Relations Handbook, a basic how-to manual that provides guidelines for developing and incorporating public relations into a business’ marketing effort. The book addresses the topics of Working with the Media; Creating In-Store Excitement; Writing a Press Release; How to Deal with the Media; and Hiring a PR Professional. It includes sample press releases and a special section on using the Internet as a unique marketing tool. In its chapter on How to Create News the handbook suggests writing a gem column for the local newspaper or radio; publicize your interesting hobbies as a human interest story about you or your employees; and have photos taken of yourself at black tie functions, with local celebrities or at trade shows. To members of JIC, the cost of the handbook is $20, to non-members it is $50 and available by calling Carolyn Jacoby at (800) 459-0130.

Jewelers of America (JA) and the Diamond Information Center (DIC) have teamed up to offer Media Training for Jewelers, a 50-page public relations guide to help retail jewelers deal effectively with all types of news media. This handbook features discussions on Identifying and Understanding Various Forms of News Media; Creating and Delivering a Positive Message about Fine Jewelry; Preparing for Interviews; Handling Reporters’ Questions; and Most Common Dos and Don’ts of Media Relations. It is free of charge and available by contacting JA at (800) 223-0673.

JA also has a great line-up of seminars slated for the JA New York Show from July 30th – August 2nd. Among the topics that relate to public relations and communications is The E-Revolution – Changing the Face of the Jewelry Industry and the AGS Education Program’s Differentiating Yourself Through Branding and Selling in Today’s Competitive Market.

Finally, the Public Relations Society of America (http://www.prsa.org) publishes Public Relations Tactics, a monthly magazine with informative articles about p.r. The Society also publishes an annual guide to public relations service firms called the Green Book.

Finally, the Public Relations Society of America (http://www.prsa.org) publishes Public Relations Tactics, a monthly magazine with informative articles about p.r. The Society also publishes an annual guide to public relations service firms called the Green Book.

Basic Guidelines for a Public Relations Program

  1. Determine what your goals are. Be honest, realistic and specific. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish through public relations. Do you want to increase awareness about your company name in general, a new product, a featured designer, your services, a brand, etc. ? Do you want a “mention” or a feature story?
  2. Identify your market. Who do you want to reach? If you are publicizing a specific product or service, like an engagement ring, your market will be different than your market would be for jewelry as a graduation gift. Talk to your customers. Ask them what they expect and why they patronize your business.
  3. Develop specific strategies for your goals. Ask yourself how you will accomplish your defined goals. Will you issue a series of press releases, send out teasers in anticipation of media coverage at gift-giving times of the year, arrange radio, television, newspaper and magazine interviews, etc.? Will you associate yourself with charitable events that bring attention to you or your products?
  4. Hire a public relations professional to advise you and/or to implement a plan that you develop together. It is always helpful to enlist the help of a professional. Not only will a public relations pro have a more objective perspective they will have the media contacts, the infrastructure in place and the ideas that get your name out there.
  5. On your own or under the guidance of a pro, the cost benefit to a public relations effort is tremendous both financially and in lending credibility to your name. It isn’t very difficult to arrange a radio interview on your own, particularly in smaller markets. Perhaps you can advise listeners on how to select a diamond engagement ring. Imagine how little you will have spent reaching thousands.

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