I was so excited this past weekend when Machiko Yasuda shared with me that the company she works for - Reformation clothing (a line of sustainably produced apparel aka killer clothes that don't kill the environment ) and several of its employees (including herself - see left - the image is a screenshot from Refinery 29) are featured on the millennial focused fashion/lifestyle website Refinery29.com.
This website is on the top of my hit list for wanting to place good bike friendly, walk friendly and transit friendly stories about millennial women who illustrate the new thinking about what it means to be mobile. Why? It's hosts offices in L.A. as well as San Francisco, New York, London and Chicago. So they're interested in stories focused in California. The second reason? Refinery29 connects with over 21 million monthly visitors and 1.9 million email subscribers.
Further the site excels at showcasing style in the very modern less formal aesthetic. The site features real people (albeit very creative and fashion savvy ones) living real lives as much as professional models or celebrities. Now that Machiko is on their radar it might be all that much easier to interest them in a story of how she exemplifies what the New York Time's recently called "the bike to work generation" young women who see biking, walking and transit as perfectly good, economically smart mobility options.
Machiko embodies the savvy, engaged, passionate side of the millennial generation we don't hear enough about. This girl is all about the experience and having the right tools and knowledge to make them happen in a fun, positive, thought provoking way. A former journalist now tech girl, she's constantly learning, delving, stretching. She doesn't consider herself athletic but she didn't get those legs sitting at home on the couch all the time. She lives car free and moves frequently to discover new parts of L.A and new employment adventures. She's a certified bicycle instructor, but rather than teaching classes frequently she's more into helping those close at hand - friends, family, roommates, and neighbors do things that will make it possible for them to feel comfortable biking and walking - helping to repair a bike, showing how to change a flat tire, helping find the right fitting bike, overcoming fears etc. She's also passionate about eating and moving in ways that really work for her particular body for overcoming chronic pain, and sharing what she's learning with those of us who deal with chronic pain too like yours truly.
Personally she coaches and encourages me out of my sometimes overly fluffy promotional style to keep it real. She reminds me of the power of the short sentence. We're working on the Pedal Love Guide together and have deep ongoing conversations about what equity, equality and mindfulness really mean to us personally and how this can help and guide what we're trying to do, and it's one of the most important conversations I've had in a long long time.
And I love that Machiko understands the power of fashion. Her story fits media outlets like the Los Angeles Times fashion and culture sections, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, Glamour, Marie Claire and many more.
Think we're being silly about fashion? According to the CFDA CEO Steven Kolb, “New York leads the way for the American fashion industry. It is the major engine behind the $350 billion (US) apparel industry that employs 4 million workers, which is 3 million more than the car manufacturers – – and more than the U.S. video game industry, fast food industry, and beverage industry.”
Fashion is worth more than car manufacturing to the U.S. economy. Think about that.
Opportunities in Very Focused Media
Just today in doing research on the websites focused at millennials that I should be paying attention to I came across Blavity.com the voice of black millennials. Founded by San Francisco based Morgan Debaun, since it's launch in 2014 Blavity has become the largest digital community of minority millennials in the US reaching over 450,000 urban millennials every month. This is the perfect place to pitch a story about the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition's new Executive Director Tamika Butler and I'll be connecting with their team this week to think best how to do just that.
If I wanted to pitch a story about how bicycling is growing for young African American women across the country (which is a wise strategy and I might well do) I would include someone like Red Bike and Green's Jenna Burton (shown above - image by Lisa Beth Anderson) and Veronica Davis of Black Women Bike. Just yesterday I was thrilled to encounter the art and imagination of Shantell Martin. Martin, originally from London, is getting a lot of press attention right now for being a very hot young artist with cool whimsical thought provoking black and white renderings on almost surface imaginable, including her hand decorated Martone Cyclery bike. Image from Shantell's own Tumblr page. She's taking the art and fashion press by storm. There's much we can learn and be inspired by with her story.
What to Keep in Mind When Putting Together Your Pitches
- Do your homework on the media outlets you'd like to place a story in - know the right segments, the right writers, and study their editorial timelines and calendars
- Pitch someone from your team (or yourself) who is the right age, interests, style demographic for the media you're pitching
- Have good images ready to share with the media outlet - don't send them initially - make your introduction through a short sweet email and follow up by phone asking for permission to send your images. Press releases are for events, policy and request for action. Use a more informal engaging approach when trying to place a personal story.
Interested in collaborating with us to get more stories placed? Right now I'm just beginning to brainstorm on possible media junkets by bike for both Long Beach and Santa Monica in November 2015 focused on placing stories for fall 2015 and spring 2016. Would you like to play a role? Would you like to organize a media junket in your own city? Send me a note!