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. Illustration courtesy of Brandeis University.
Frequently Asked Questions
How THE NIBBLE™ Can Help You
The purpose of this FAQ is to answer any questions you may have about working with THE NIBBLE™. Since our goal is to support specialty food producers, please click here to send us all of your questions and suggestions. We’ll try, but can’t promise, to respond to each question individually. We will publish the most generally-applicable questions here, anonymously—so you can send us your questions in confidence.
Current topic categories include:
- Sending Products For Review On The Nibble
- Obtaining Press Coverage For Your Products
- Getting Marketing Advice
Sending Products For Review
Q. Do you accept unsolicited products for review?
Yes. You can read complete details here.
Q. How do you decide what products get included in THE NIBBLE™?
You can read about our process and policy here.
Obtaining Press Coverage For Your Products
Q. How do I get my product written about in the press/how does the media decide what to report on?
First, reporters and editors have to be aware of your product. Then, they need to be able to obtain all of the information—facts and photos—the minute they need it. They generally operate on tight deadlines, and the company that responds first often is the company that gets written up.
- Have an online media kit. While it’s critical to return phone calls and emails from journalists ASAP, you significantly increase your chances of being written up by having a downloadable media kit and jpgs on your website. This way, journalists can generally get the information they need without having to reach you.
- If you don’t have the time or skill set to put one together or the money to hire a public relations agency or a freelance PR consultant, call a college with a good communications department and ask the PR professor to recommend an intern. For a modest honorarium (ask the professor what going rates are), the intern will be able to call in other media kits in your category and pull together something for you, build your media list, even get out a press release. It won’t be at the strategic and sophistication level of an experienced professional, but as long as it’s factual and spelled right, it’s better to have something than nothing.
To view the basic components of a media kit, click here.
Q. How can I be found by the press?
Being found in the search engines is important, and it’s also very competitive. Read SearchEngineWatch.com to get an idea of exactly how difficult it is. Both Google and Yahoo have details on their websites that explain how their ranking systems work. You can try to conform to their protocols to raise your rankings in the search engines. The engines are also very sensitive to scammers: if you try to trick them to raise your rankings, you can be blacklisted.
If you can’t afford a top search engine consultant (and it’s an ongoing expense, since search engine algorithms change often), do what you can. Know that a web developer is not the same as a search engine consultant: search engine optimization is a special skill, like neurosurgery. The people who practice it only do that one thing. Never hire a consultant who guarantees you a top position in the rankings—there are many hustlers out there preying on small businesses that are desparate to raise their ranking. Some tips:
- Buy keywords. For relatively little money, you may be able to get a combination of keywords (e.g. gourmet + maple syrup) that will not only drive customers but attract media attention as well. We check out everything.
- Name your photos strategically. At THE NIBBLE™, we source products via Google Images. Searching through 10 pages of photos is much, much faster than checking checking through 50 pages of website listings; and the photo leads us directly to the manufacturer’s website, which could be buried in the listings. Thus, it’s critical how you name your photos. Be as explicit as you would be in a web search. E.g., calling the photo “wedding cookie” or “cow cookie” instead of just “cookie” or “sugar cookie” will make the difference in our finding you.
- Have a blog. It’s time-consuming; but if you have something to say about trends in your industry, or tips for consumers, get blog software and make frequent entries. Spiders like blogs and move them to the top of the search engine rankings. Reporters like to read blogs for trends and tips.
Q. How can I attract more media attention at trade shows?
Most trade shows are huge and exhausting, and there are more exhibitors than journalists can see. Most start in the media center (or press room) and look at the press kits and news releases for items of interest. That's why it's very important for you to have materials there.
Click here to read our tips on how to get the most out of a trade show.