Holiday Gift Guide: Insider Pitching Tips and Tricks
If you missed our recent webinar on Holiday Gift Guide Pitching Tips for PR Pros, that's a good place to start. But even if you caught that, we have more insider tips and tricks to share for all of your Holiday Gift Guide pitching needs, courtesy of the webinar Q&A.
On the best time to pitch, and deadlines
Q: When should you pitch Holiday Gift Guides?
A: Overall, if you are pitching the big, monthly glossies, the time is now. Big publications work with longer lead times, so four-five months in advance is an appropriate time. (Translation: Now that it's September, the clock is ticking!)
If you are pitching a digital publication, the time to pitch is around October. But I cannot stress more: Check each individual outlet’s features and pitching deadlines. You can find this information in the Cision database as part of the outlet profiles.
Q: Should you pitch post-deadline?
A: I would not recommend that, especially if you are pitching HGG. Like I mentioned in the webinar, journalists are very strict with their deadlines. You can, however, mention that you pitch is for an issue different than the HGG pages.
Q: What's the best way to determine an editor's or publication's deadline?
A: A great place to start is the Cision Database. We have thousands of premium profiles on both an outlet and contact level, which include deadlines. You can also reach out to the editors you are trying to pitch and ask them for their deadlines. A personal note goes a long way. Media kits also offer outlet deadlines.
On how to pitch (Hint: it's all about relationship building)
Q: From your experience, what type of information should we include in the pitch? E.g., name of product, description, price, where to buy, photos. . .what else?
A: Everything that describes your product and doesn’t leave any questions for the editor. Also, add for what type of guide you are pitching, i.e. A gift guide pitch for products under $50. Also, try and explain why it’s useful/good fit for the outlet’s audience.
Q: Where or how can I start building relationships with editors if I’m brand new to this?
A: Reach out, introduce yourself and tell them you are new and trying to build relationships. Ask them what they cover and what they are working on. Honesty is your best policy and I guarantee you editors will appreciate you taking the time to reach out.
Other related tips? Once you know an editor, keep track of their preferences for how to receive pitches, how often they like to be followed up with, how they prefer to receive assets or samples, and more.
On who to pitch, or how to find the Holiday Gift Guide editors
Q: Not all traditional media have HGG editors listed. How do we find them?
A: You can start by searching the Cision Debase for contacts covering HGG or gifts. And be sure to download our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide Pitch kit here.
Q: What other titles do HGG editors go by?
A: Many national outlets do indeed have a dedicated HGG contact. If you search the Cision Database for contacts covering HGG you will find many contact specifically dedicated to HGG or cover gifts in general. But you are correct, sometimes the market editors also cover gifts, even some assistant editors.
Q: Who do you pitch if there isn't someone specifically covers HGG?
A: If it’s a smaller publication I would default to the main editor since it’s very likely that all pitches go through that person. If it’s a larger publication, however, find the editor of the section you are trying to pitch, i.e. if you are sending travel related products to a big consumer pub, find the travel editor, or a travel contact at that outlet.
Sarah A. Parker is the Content Marketing Manager for TrendKite, a Cision company, where she can be found planning, producing and curating content across channels. She previously managed content and social media for several brands, in addition to working as a freelance writer. Find her on Twitter @SparkerWorks where she is happy to talk all things integrated PR and social media strategy, and mastiffs.
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