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Holiday Gift Guide Pitching Season is Upon Us

Holiday gift guides are the most coveted real estate of media coverage, and summer is the time to get ready for the important end-of-year gift-giving season. Editorial staffs at major digital and print publications are gearing up for their annual product recommendation pages, and today’s post will discuss the importance of Holiday Gift Guide season, tips on how to produce a successful campaign, and how Cision can help you prepare for an effective gift-giving PR initiative.

First, allow me to refresh your memory with the basics:

What are Holiday Gift Guides?

Holiday gift guides are an assortment of holiday gift suggestions gathered by digital and print editors. They are used for consumer shopping or buyer’s guides that run during the end-of-year holiday season.

Why are Holiday Gift Guides important for you?

Holiday Gift Guides are the ideal product placement pages, where your clients’ products will not only be highlighted, but most likely bought by the readers. Having a product highlighted in a gift guide is the perfect way to garner awareness during a time when consumer spending is at its highest.

Why pitch now?

Summer is the perfect time for PR professionals to identify the coverage opportunities for their products, and clearly understand their outlets’ and influencers’ deadlines and guidelines. Most publications work with a long lead time, up to six months in some cases, and securing editorial coverage for a December issue starts now.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, follow the tips below and ensure a successful gift-giving campaign.

  • Find the right outlet for your audience: Determine what publications they read, and what makes them tick. Do they prefer online media or print? Are they reading mostly blogs, or do they get their info via social media? Once you determine the right outlets, find the best value for your audience.  This will help you determine in advance when and where your campaign will have the most value.  Augment your research with Cision’s Social Influencer Search to find out who’s tweeting, sharing or blogging about your audience’s favorite interest.
  • Know your product: If you don’t know the ins and outs of what your pitching, how can you convince a journalist your product is worth their readers’ time? Be prepared to answer all questions about your product and be ready to send samples and photos, if requested.
  • Pitch the right person: Most publications publishing a gift guide have allocated gift guide editors who are responsible for putting together the pages. Find that person. A great place to start is the Cision Media Database, where you will find the right contacts along with their deadlines, lead times and contact information. And if you want your pitch to be noticed in a flood of product releases, know when to send it. You can find that information in a journalist’s profile and pitching preferences.

I will share many more great tips for a successful Holiday Gift Guide campaign during Cision’s special holiday gift giving webinar, on Wednesday July 30 at 2pm CT. I will be discussing, among other things, how to pitch new media, why timeliness is important, and why checking a publication’s editorial calendar could make or break your pitch. Be sure to sign up for the PR Pro’s Guide to the Holidays Webinar and learn more.

You can also download Cision’s free Holiday Gift Guide Pitching Kit, where you’ll find contact information and pitching tips from gift guide editors, data on holiday gift guide opportunities and more.


Photo via Flickr. 

About Anna Marevska

Anna Marevska is an editor and writer for Cision Blog, and writes media updates, media influencer and industry features. She is also manager of content and research at Cision’s research department, and the editor of Find her on Twitter at @Anna_Mar3.

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