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Meghan Ely Photo by Aaron Watson Photography

When a Media Outlet Shuts Down: Action Steps for Event Professionals

Popular wedding "inspiration" blog Style Me Pretty is calling it quits--how wedding pros can regroup and move forward.

Earlier this week, wedding media giant Style Me Pretty announced it was going offline effective April 30. After the initial buzz died down, the inevitable question was asked across a multitude of platforms: What am I supposed to do now?

It can be jarring when a media outlet suddenly changes direction, or exits the industry entirely. This is especially the case when sites go dark, leaving thousands of event professionals without their beloved features, or equally coveted back links.

If you find yourself one of the growing number of event professionals clamoring for guidance as the end of the month nears, simply take the following steps to ensure you have protected your features, as well as your work:

1. Get organized.
Your first priority will be to create a spreadsheet to map out the features and press mentions you’ll be lose on April 30. For real weddings and inspiration shoots, be sure to note the direct URL, identifying content (names, location, event date) and the publish date.

If Style Me Pretty was a large part of your promotional plans and you find yourself overwhelmed with the sheer number of features, stick to those published in the last two years as well as any of your absolute favorites. Take screenshots of each feature and save them to a shared drive so you can access them as needed.

2. Resubmit.
If you have features less than a year old, consider resubmitting it to another wedding blog or magazine. As it stands, countless editors are already declaring that they are willing to temporarily waive exclusivity policies to accept Style Me Pretty weddings that fit their criteria. If you have events older than a year, consider one of the many self-submit sites that might be flexible with criteria.

3. Promote.
There may be hesitation to promote a feature on a soon-to-be defunct site, but the fact of the matter is, Style Me Pretty is an iconic platform that will not soon be forgotten. So take those screenshots and add them to your press page. Include that badge for the foreseeable future.

People may not be able to enjoy the feature in its entirety elsewhere, but draw them to your own site, where you can showcase your good work.

4. Recycle.
In addition to real weddings and inspiration shoots, Style Me Pretty was a hub for endless wedding articles, many of which featured professionals all over the globe. There are very few benefits to a site shutting down completely but given the content will no longer be available, consider reworking your insight and re-pitching the story with a fresh angle. If you find yourself short on time, recycle it on your own blog.

5. Evolve and learn from the past.
If this week’s news is impacting you considerably, it’s a tell-tale sign that you’re focusing too much on one marketing effort.

There are a wealth of solid, national media outlets, as well as robust boutique and regional sites eager for great content. There are burgeoning platforms, such as podcasts and social media streaming. There are conferences to attend and associations to a join. Let this be an example in the importance of diversifying.

Above all, don’t let the news discourage you. The wedding media landscape is still alive and well.

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.

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