July 24, 2015
/ by Anna Marevska
In PR, Christmas comes in July, and gearing up for a successful holiday gift guide season is essential for running one of the most important campaigns of the year. Top print and online publications are starting to accept product submissions for their annual recommendation pages, and summer is the perfect time for PR professionals to identify the coverage opportunities for their products as well as clearly understand their outlets’ and influencers’ deadlines and guidelines. In other words, the time for you to stand out in a flooded inbox is now. Here are five ways to make your pitch and your holiday gift guide campaign irresistible to the media.
Spend part of your time developing your gift guide PR campaign by studying media outlets’ editorial lineup. Editorial calendars remain essential planning tools for magazines, their advertisers and PR professionals looking for good coverage. Often times, publications outline specific products they like for their gift guides, as well as deadlines.
Most publications publishing a gift guide have allocated gift guide editors that are responsible for putting together the pages. Find that person. A good place to start is Cision’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide PR Kit, which outlines holiday gift guide editors for major media outlets in the U.S. along with deadlines, lead times and contact information.
If you want your pitch to be noticed in a flood of product releases, know when to send it. Do your homework and know journalists’ inclinations. The Cision Media Database has thousands of detailed profiles of journalists and their pitching preferences. Learn and respect their deadlines, pitching requirements and follow-up preferences.
If you don’t know the ins and outs of the products you are pitching, how could you expect guide editors to take it seriously? Be prepared to answer all questions about your product and be ready to send samples and photos, if requested. Also, be prepared to be flexible with pricing. Many publications have gift guides broken down into categories: Under $100, Under $50, etc. Lowering a product’s price from $51.99 to $49.99 gives you a better chance of being featured in that Under $50 guide.
Be creative and to the point. Don’t go over one page. Give a reason why your product stands out from the rest, and which guide it would fit best. Then ask if the media contact would like a sample. Editors are very busy and receive countless pitches, so respect their time by sending short and concise news releases.
So don’t wait! The time to pitch is now because having your clients’ product highlighted in a gift guide is the perfect way to garner awareness during a time when consumer spending is at its highest. For more on Holiday Gift Guides, get a copy of Cision’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide Pitching Kit, where you’ll find contact information and pitching tips from influential gift guide editors, data on holiday guide opportunities and more.
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