The tumbling orange leaves of fall are here, and the icy chill of winter is right around the corner. It’s time to get the jump on PR for the holidays! It seems like the winter holiday season creeps further and further backward towards January, so gear your campaign towards taking advantage of it!
Find Holiday Trends
There’s always something big going on when it comes to the holidays. As soon as, say, a new toy catches on, it seems to totally take over the market. These trends are notoriously difficult to predict; who in their right mind could’ve seen Furby selling like it did?
You can get a head start, though. Scour the trades, magazines, websites, etc in your intended field; the talk about the holidays should have already started. If your business, a growing decorative lampshade maker, is wondering how to expand their market in the season, scour through housekeeping blogs and discussion threads.
If you find something, use it in your pitch! Talk about how you’ve noticed a trend towards people wanting decorative items in their homes, and make sure to cite examples. Magazines’ main interest is to sell magazines, so if they know people will read it, the better off you’ll be.
Make the Trends
Forget following trends, try making them! Generating a little buzz can only help you in the long run. Before pitching your new product to major publications, consider working your way up to them.
Your lampshade company can take the initiative by designing some custom holiday lampshades. Next, submit to any blogs you can find that might even consider taking a look at the product. Interact with commenters and build a relationship with your potential customers. Eventually you’ll see buzz is building about your product just by casual discourse.
Now you can use the Internet buzz in your pitch to the major publications.
Notes on the Pitch
Of course it’s perfectly written and edited down to be razor sharp, but do you have that holiday hook? Remember, even the smallest publication gets a zillion queries every single day. If yours doesn’t stand out, it won’t make it through the initial stages.
Since we’re getting a jump on the holiday pitch, make sure that readily stands out, possibly in your headline. If you don’t, the poor intern who reads it may skip over it entirely. While you’re at it, beef up your opening paragraph a little more so that’s not what kills your chances of getting published.
Don’t get funny or fancy with your pitch. If it’s a good one, it’ll stick with the journalist who reads it. Don’t just send it your story out to anyone and everyone you can think of, either: carefully pick the best ones who might actually give your piece the time of day.
Other rules of pitching work here, too, like try to get to know the journalist first (they’re bound to be online somewhere) and offer to help them with other stories. Eventually you’ll gain their trust and you’ll be a shoe in for the next publication.
Which is your biggest selling holiday?
About the Author: Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases, the online leader in affordable PR distribution since 1998.
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