Earlier this week, the New York Times Magazine published a long-form diatribe, allegedly analyzing “what teenagers are learning from online porn.” Not surprisingly, the pearl-clutching propaganda piece was off mark in myriad ways, as many smart people from within the industry were quick to point out.
Sadly though, none of that matters.
The mainstream media is committed to a specific narrative about porn. This narrative may occasionally shift, allowing for positive looks at certain types of sex toys and content — so long as it’s content made by an acceptable lady-producer, of course. Ultimately though, porn coverage will continue to serve as clickbait for uninformed, un-invested mainstream media outlets pandering to advertisers. And the public, without a critical framework in place, will continue to ingest the “truths” that are being fed to them by “respectable” and “reputable” news outlets.
Continuing to chase mainstream media coverage within this context will do nothing to change the narrative around adult entertainment — and it will ultimately do nothing to enhance your business. As such, here are a few ideas for finding media and community that may actually care about what it is you’re doing, really.
Reach Out to People Directly
Do the things that people do. Get on Reddit and start interacting. Get on Twitter and start talking. Respond to reviews in a thoughtful and productive manner.
Refine your Press List
I knowwwwww – I want to the lead editors and decision makers checking the info@cnn and tips@huffpo boxes to get my PRs, too. And you know, when you do have that big story, there’s a chance that your subject line might catch their eyes – but what about the rest of the days of the year?
Keep your pie-in-the-sky, full targeted media list, sure; but you need to create a refined press list that includes actual real people and working writers who care about your business and content. This involves branching out to smaller sites with a more precise audience and curating a key targeted media short list. It also requires nurturing relationships with the entities on that list.
Sign up for HARO
HARO provides journalists with a database of sources for upcoming stories and daily opportunities for sources to secure valuable media coverage. Reporters and bloggers can reach out when they need a quick quote or even a full-length article because guess what? Most writers and reporters don’t have contacts in the adult industry. What’s more, lots of people don’t respond to messages – from media and from their moms. If you do, you will secure yourself press coverage.
Start Periscoping, Go Live on Insta
This cannot be stressed enough – share your world. Like I said before, most writers and reporters don’t have contacts in adult. Neither do most people. Pop on Periscope for a few minutes each day, go live on Instagram or do both. You will find more “real people” in your feed day after day — people who actually want to know about the adult industry and adult businesses.
We are in the midst of a cultural shift. Malls are closing, but boutiques are thriving. “Authenticity” is the name of the game. Traffic may still look like king, but that numbers game isn’t converting as effectively as it once was. Step outside the box for 30 minutes a day, and see what you can accomplish — and help take control of the narrative surrounding your community, as well.