Ah the Holidays – a time full of family, laughter, and let’s not forget presents! Based on the NRF’s annual consumer spending survey, Americans spent an average of $1,007.24 over the holidays last year. It’s no secret that the Q4 holidays are one of the biggest sales opportunities of the year. So, what can you do to maximize your clients’ profits this holiday season?
Holiday Gift Guides are an incredibly powerful tool that have the ability to gather millions of impressions for your client, during a time when consumers are most willing to spend money on gifts. Many refer of this as the “Holy Grail” of product PR. The significance and ROI of gift guides is unparalleled, but how do you secure top tier placements? While there is never a guarantee, here are a few things you can do to help ensure success!
Timing is Everything
Well, let’s first take a step back. I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “Christmas in July”, but to a PR Pro it means something entirely different. With lead times for many of the top tier print publications six months out, your Q4 success actually begins over the summer, starting as early as May! To many, this may sound crazy but alas it is the truth. Editors have deadlines that they need to hit, and it is up to you to work around them. Having access to your client’s product roadmap is crucial here, to make sure that you are pitching the newest and most relevant products.
One key for success is to get yourself organized early on by finding all of the gift guide deadlines for publications that your audience reads (nationwide media as well as targeted verticals). Be sure to research the correct contact at each publication and what they cover in order to maximize your chances. Online publications will have shorter lead times than print publications, but it is still best to be organized well ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss a deadline. As we mentioned above, securing editorial coverage for holiday issues in many publications starts over summer.
Understand Your Product and Where it Fits In
It is also important to be familiar with the pricing structure or theme of holiday gift guides. Many guides are broken down into pricing structures such as “Under $100”, “Under $50”, etc; and into themes such as “Tech”, “Cooking”, “For Him”, or “For Her”. Having a product that fits into one of the common categories will exponentially increase your chances for successful coverage. Everything about your product could be perfect, but if it is priced too high for a category or doesn’t fit the theme, it just won’t be included – it’s as simple as that. Additionally, make sure you know your clients’ product inside and out, and have high res images/videos and product samples available if requested. There are times when a publication won’t include a product in a gift guide without testing it in person beforehand.
A Good Pitch Goes a Long Way
As PR Pros we know how essential a good pitch is, and it is no different when pitching for gift guide coverage. Be creative and show why your product stands out from the rest! We’ve seen incredible results from holiday themed pitches and even holiday themed press releases. Additionally, as editors are very busy it is best respect their time by keeping pitches short.
Have you had success with Holiday Gift Guide pitching? Let us know in the comments!