Merry Pitchmas: Effectively Pitching During the Holiday Season

HolidayPitchesThe holiday season can be a great time to pitch because the season is frequently targeted for promotional events—especially around Christmas. From product launches and gift guides to events, there are several ways for brands to insert themselves in the holiday news cycle, and it’s our job to make sure these brands are noticed.

Here are some tips to effectively make a pitch during the holidays.

Don’t wait until the last minute.

Christmas is planned in the summer for public relations practitioners.

Several publications will have their holiday content planned out early, so the sooner you plan and submit pitches the better. This will allow more time to determine coverage opportunities and to fully understand outlet and influencer guidelines to make the perfect holiday pitch.

Katie Heck, account executive at Ketchum Chicago, shared her advice on holiday pitching.

You should consider two important times for holiday gift pitching – Black Friday and then anytime in December,” said Heck. “If you’re expected to get holiday coverage in print magazines that require long lead times you should ideally start pitching editors in June or July.”

Research the publication’s editorial calendar.

Editorial calendars are essential tools for planning media coverage. When pitching holiday-related content, it’s important to note deadlines and specific content that the will fit in that publication.

Make your pitch stand out.

Create a pitch that will stand out among the countless holiday pitches. Consider adding visuals to increase coverage and potential social media sharing. Make the pitch personal, include a clever subject line and don’t include unnecessary information. This is true for any pitch but is especially important during the holiday season.

Pitch to the right person.

As with any pitch, research the journalists’ pitching preferences and be sure to meet their requirements, deadlines and follow-up preferences. Publications will often have designated editors for holiday coverage. Pitch to them.

Heck recommends signing up for online services, such as Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and ProfNet, which send media requests directly to your inbox.

In addition to your proactive media outreach, keep your eyes open for these reactive opportunities from reporters and bloggers working on holiday stories,” said Heck.

Follow your story.

Check out your story once it’s released to ensure accuracy. Track multimedia views and shares, social media follower and engagement increases and inbound website traffic. Additionally, set aside  time to understand what your audience wants, schedule your release appropriately and track the reactions to your story. By doing this, you can be sure your release is receiving positive attention.

What advice do you have for holiday-related pitching?

Krista Watson is a member of the PRSSA Chapter at Loyola University Chicago. Follow her on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

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