To earn your products media coverage during the holidays, pitch for the holiday gift guides now.
It’s indeed still hot in the summer, so it’s challenging to think ahead to the holiday season. However, if you want your products to be featured in magazines’ holiday gift guides, the time to pitch is now (August). Most national magazines work on a 3-6 month lead time in terms of lining up the articles they’ll include in each issue. That means media relations strategists have Christmas sales and promotions on their minds as early as July and August. With this lead time in mind, here are 5 tips for pitching for holiday gift guides to reporters to earn media coverage that boosts your Christmas sales. Plus, coverage during the holidays can carry over into January sales, which of course sets your New Year off on a good start.
- Invest in high-resolution, professional photos of your products that you’ll share with the media. For print purposes, photos must be a minimum of 300 dpi. I recommend both photos of just the product and also more lifestyle photos, so people can see the product in a real setting. For services, determine a way to illustrate the benefits of your service and photograph that.
- Pull together a list of publications, TV and radio shows, and bloggers who cover your type of product or service. Identify the right reporter or show producer to contact and collect their phone numbers and emails. Become knowledgeable about the types of stories they cover.
- Research the outlets’ deadline for holiday stories. Again, national magazines need 3-6 months advance notice, while bloggers typically want your holiday pitch in November. TV and radio stations tend to fall in the middle of that range, but a bit early on these pitches is better than too late. Schedule your media pitching accordingly.
- Draft your standard media pitch, emphasizing your product/service’s uniqueness. Write an email subject line that really grabs attention and is specific to your product. Then, tailor your pitch to each media outlet that you’re targeting. For example, let’s consider pitching an organization’s holiday cookies that are nut-free and gluten-free, and the baker will donate a portion of the proceeds to a non-profit organization. A publication like Martha Stewart Living magazine might take an interest in the non-profit donations as it aligns with the magazine’s social responsibility effort. A local TV station, on the other hand, might like samples to test taste, along with a pitch focused on supporting local business and a local charity, especially if the charity is one that the TV host also supports.
- Make a list of ways your product/service can be used during the holidays and into the New Year. Hire a graphic designer to layout the list in a clever way. Prepare to share that list with targeted journalists as another graphic they can use or fodder for the reporters’ own stories.
Pitching for holiday gift guides is typically successful when you follow these steps.