3 Tips to Keep Media Relations on Track During the Holidays
By: Catherine Bormann
Q4 is upon us and that means finishing the year strong for our clients especially when it comes to clinching end of year media hits. To secure Q4 coverage you need a media relations strategy that extends beyond gift guide inclusion. Getting your client on a national gift guide takes months of thoughtful planning and execution. If your holiday pitch effort didn’t kick off in the spring, you probably missed your opportunity to get on the most sought after round-ups.
You may think sending out holiday pitches in April is an incredibly long-lead but the reality is publications have to cater to consumers who are purchasing holiday gifts before Halloween. USA Today already published Best holiday gifts 2022: The ultimate gift guide for everyone on your list! and CBS published their 2022 holiday gift guide: Why you should start shopping for Christmas gifts in August on August 17th saying, “The countdown to the 2022 holiday season has already started.”
They aren’t wrong, according to Salesforce consumers’ desire to snag holiday gifts before prices rise is the top reason that 37% of US shoppers plan to start buying gifts earlier this year. Even more shocking, 50% percent of shoppers began their holiday shopping before October and another 25% expect to begin this month, per Bankrate.
So what does this mean for PR professionals? Can securing coverage during the holidays happen if you didn’t start pitching in the spring? Absolutely! Gift guides should only be one slice of your holiday media relations strategy. Writers are still looking for evergreen content to fill their end of year news holes. Furthermore, your client’s competitors may be winding down their PR efforts which means now is the perfect time to fill the white space and end the year with a win.
Here are 3 ways to increase your chances of coverage amid the holiday season.
- Deck Your Email with Relevant Data
Forecasting is your friend. Whether your client realizes it or not, they have spent an entire year gathering intel from their consumers, employees and competitors. What’s their POV on what the next year will bring? If their perspective is unique, controversial, or opposite of competitors, get to work on an end of year pitch or press release. Positioning your client for a thought leadership opportunity that highlights their unique predictions for the upcoming year is Q4 pitching at its finest. What can make a prediction even stronger? Data to back it up! If you don’t have data it’s not too late to run a survey and pitch the results within a simple digestible infographic to relevant media contacts.
- O Evergreen
Don’t have a way to tie your client to the holidays? You may still be in luck, some publications are looking for evergreen content to break up the frenzy of holiday news. The holidays are a great time for holiday focused stories but an even better time for clever, timely, newsworthy angles to fill the unavoidable news holes editors will face in December. In fact, the holiday season can be an opportunistic time given many companies pause or scale back their proactive pitching effort and publications are looking to fill the gap. A company feature, byline or op-ed may be your ticket to end of year inclusion.
- All I Want for Christmas is a Broadcast Hit
Q4 is the perfect time to pitch your regional broadcast stations. Who doesn’t love a heartwarming story during the holidays? The local news crews certainly do, and they are looking for community driven stories now more than ever. So, gather your team, find the feel-good stories, media train and pitch your local news station!
Now is the perfect time for short-lead pitching execution to secure an amazing hit for your client before the end of the year. You still have time to lock in a results-driven media relations strategy. Just remember, don’t stop pitching, find the news holes, gather the newsworthy content and package it up in a short and sweet pitch to the right media contact. Happy pitching!