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5 Ways to Generate Buzz During the Holidays

Generating buzz during the countdown to the holidays is no easy feat.

But you, dear PR professional, can do it. You have the skills and the chops, and you don’t even have to hide yourself on some shelf and hope for a kid to find you. Nope. Your campaigns are more like Barney’s storefront windows: on display 24/7, full center.

How are you going to generate that buzz? Here are some ideas to get you going:

1. Partner with a local cause.

If your business has been considering cause marketing, the holidays are the perfect time to wade into the waters. The tactic produces a sort of “halo effect,” bestowing goodwill on you and benefiting your supported cause.

Keys to success are partnering with an active cause; the effort won’t succeed unless both you and the cause promote it. Also report on your holiday campaign. Sharing tangible outcomes with your donors and target audiences as well as the media will increase awareness and interest during and after the holidays.

Finally, consider a long-term partnership with the cause. Doing so reveals your commitment, increases your brand favorability and gives you opportunities to build momentum going into the future.

2. Host an event.

Generate Holiday Buzz for PR - Event

Events are one of the best PR tactics out there. You can promote them, create content for them, and generate third-party content.

Holiday events don’t have to be a large to-do. Consider hosting an invitation-only event for your influencers or best customers. Invite the press, particularly if you’re offering a sneak peek at an upcoming product or service or highlighting a well-known keynote.

Also consider localizing the event. The holidays are a busy time, which means you’re likely to see more attendees if you keep the event local. If the event is tied to your cause marketing in some way, share the outcomes following the event to produce additional online buzz and media mentions.

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3. Pitch to online gift guides.

Everybody has that person they struggle to buy for. Your product or service could be the perfect gift but only if that person knows it exists. Look for influencers and outlets where you can pitch your product or service and get it listed in their holiday gift guides. You’ll gain not only brand buzz but also lead generation.

4. Create a year-end round up.

Generate Buzz at the End of the Year - 2014

Year-end round ups typically are a crowd pleaser. You can report on industry happenings or, depending on the audience, events at your company. Maybe you hit several milestones or were featured in a key publication.

Don’t limit yourself to text when issuing an annual round up; consider visual media. Your piece will be shared, published by the media and influencers, and talked about more often if you present it in a fun format such as an infographic, video or SlideShare.

5. Futurecast.

Futurecasting is a great tactic, too, and one ideally suited to establishing your brand as a thought leader. Talk about how your industry has changed in 2014 and what that means for 2015.

Be creative; again, don’t rely solely on text. Use visual media and video if possible. You’ll see greater response and engagement. Remember to pitch the content and any accompanying pieces, too. The effort to get it placed will put you on the right foot as you head into 2015 PR planning.

What do you do to generate buzz during the holidays? Let us know!

Want more holiday PR content? Click here!

Images: Nicholas Jones (Creative Commons)

About Erin Feldman

Erin Feldman is the director of editorial services at Tenacity5 Media. When she isn’t researching, writing, and editing blog posts and white papers, she writes poetry and essays, draws her favorite Write Right character, and plans what art form to study next. She’s based in Austin, Texas and can be found on Twitter @erinmfeldman.

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