At the end of the year, everyone has the holidays on their mind – and that includes journalists and bloggers looking to satisfy their readers’ craving for holiday content.
By making your business available and and providing strategic pitches to the media, you can enjoy a marketing gift that keeps giving: media publicity. News and blog coverage often stays online for years, meaning that shoppers will find you on search engines whether it’s next week, next June or a holiday season years down the road.
The clock is ticking, so make and customize your pitches now. Here are three easy but effective approaches.
1. Create gift guides
Newspapers, magazines, television shows, blogs, radio programs—just about every media outlet has a Gift Guide feature. These tend to appear anytime from now to the week before Christmas, and are often broken up into categories:
- Tech toys
- Children’s toys
- Items for him/for her
- Value Items
- “Dream Lists”
How to get featured: Send out an online news release with “must-have” holiday items for Gift Guide reporters. Include a high-resolution image, price points, and contact information. Don’t be afraid to reach out to local media either: local coverage is a great way to engage customers in your backyard.
2. Take a picture
Photo features in magazines and newspaper style sections (as well as on blogs and websites) are incredibly popular during the holidays. These include:
- Entertaining pieces featuring restaurants and venues
- Decoration/craft stories (interior design and DIY)
- Fashion features. As well as an opportunity for clothing and jewelry retailers, these are also a publicity opportunity for event venues, hotels and restaurants to feature as the setting for a shoot.
How to get noticed: Send out an online news release with recipes or stories about a family tradition your restaurant brings to your guests. Offer clothes from your boutique to dress people in the community for profiles in the local paper. Let editors and producers know about your venue as a backdrop for any stories and/or photo shoots they might be planning.
3. React to media inquiries
Reacting to publicity opportunities is just as important as creating your own. Making yourself available for the press is great way to get your name out there, and establishes you as a trusted resource for future stories. Reactive PR opportunities during the holidays include:
- Requests for interviews
- Requests for products or samples
- Call for submissions
How to get discovered: Vocus publicity alerts connect businesses with reporters who need their expertise for stories. As well as giving you opportunities to pitch reporters who are actively looking for stories like yours, they can also show what kinds of trends the media is looking out for. As the holidays approach, many reporters will be using this service to source holiday-themed stories on tight deadlines. When you see a request that your business can help with—or a topic that you can weigh in on with a relevant perspective—reach out and pitch your story.