WARNING: NON-WEDDING-STATIONERY CONTENT

A website featured some of my work a while back and since then I have been inundated with calls and emails about advertising in various publications and on some big-name websites. While the attention is great, I have a HUGE peeve.

I’m very picky about where I advertise and — thankfully — I don’t really have to. Most of my jobs come by word of mouth. Before shelling out any cash, I spend a fair amount of time trying to determine if the magazine or online destination is a good place for me to market à deux. I have to make sure there’s is a clear commitment to stationery and an understanding of what stationers do.

As far as I can tell many of these online outlets don’t really have a lot to say about wedding paper goods. On one blog, there were only 2 posts from last year about invitations (under the blog’s “paper goods” category). A general search on the site for “invitations” produced only a handful more. The lack of paper-related content extends to imagery also. There’s a post about the value of sending “real mail” but the accompanying photo is of a couple instead of the paper products.

The magazines aren’t any better. I got a preview copy of a major wedding magazine and there isn’t a single mention of wedding stationery anywhere in the entire book. Not one photo or caption or credit line. Nothing! But they’re asking me for many thousands of dollars for an ad in a publication that can’t be bothered to write about what their advertisers do. When I mentioned it to the salesperson she said, “The editor doesn’t like the way it looks in photography. It’s too flat.” I just laughed.

Listen up, editors and marketing managers:

  • There wouldn’t be an event without the invitation! Yes, the dress and the flowers and cake and the “tablescape” are pretty and important but the invitation sets the tone for the entire event and provides guests with the information they need to experience all of those other details.
  • Encouraging brides to do it themselves and/or selling your own lines of stationery are immediate advertising turnoffs. Who’s going to pay to compete with your self-promotion?
  • There are literally hundreds of avenues competing for my advertising dollars. I’m only paying for performance.

I’m sorry to lay this out here. Perhaps all of this should be passed on to the editors of these things. Hopefully some of them read this blog. I love magazines and blogs and I think many of them are doing a great job creating outstanding wedding resources. But it’s hard for me to set aside marketing funds for an outlet that isn’t educating brides about stationery. If they’re treating wedding paper products as an afterthought, brides will continue to do the same and my advertisement or directory listing will speak to an uninterested audience. Think about it!

If they don’t “get it” and value what I do, why should I do business with them? I say until wedding-related websites and magazines are willing to commit to more advice and coverage and editorial interest in stationery and paper products IN GENERAL, I’m not interested in advertising with them. Simple, right?

Rant over. Thanks for listening.

2 Comments on On advertising

  1. Ellen
    March 30, 2011 at 8:26 am (6 years ago)

    Bravo! Having wasted thousands of dollars on what I now catagorize as “ego ads” (i.e., I love to see the shop name in the Ritz-Carlton wedding book) I long ago came to the same conclusion.

    Reply
  2. Dondrea
    May 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm (6 years ago)

    I see this was posted a couple of months ago, but I hope that you’ll still get this message. Coming from someone new to the stationery industry, this helped me to take a big, huge breath. I often wonder how people choose the avenues to market their work and how effective those avenues truly are. I truly couldn’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on advertising. If I spend thousands, I’d do it to enhance my product offering! So, thank you for sharing your logic on the topic.

    Reply

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