There’s something magical about the holiday season. The days are white, the lights are bright… oh wait! The colder temps are only just starting to kick in. So why are we talking about holiday? In the world of PR, the magical mayhem of holiday pitching starts way earlier than for the rest of the world. They don’t call it Christmas in July for nothing. And just because it’s too early to hang your holiday lights, there’s no time to grinch about it — by golly, be jolly!
At Resound, this is in no way our “First Christmas.” As an established agency, we like to say we have come to “own” the holiday hustle. The to-do lists are long, but with the support of a strong PR partner you won’t have to get your tinsel in a tangle. We’ll work with you to design an effective PR strategy…with all the trimmings!
Read on for a handy holly-day checklist to ensure your products are topping all the wish lists when shoppers are logging on to Amazon or heading out to the stores for holiday shopping. Don’t want to go it alone? Just click the button below to find out more about our holiday PR and influencer programs.
Be the Reason for the Season, Start Early
We “Resound elves” kickstart our holiday PR efforts as early as June. Summer is a great time to get in front of editors — you’ll find they start planning for their long lead print publications as early as July. Parents magazine even starts collecting toys for their awards program in May! We’ve made it a practice to always prioritize long lead efforts first to ensure our clients’ key drivers are on their radar well before these magazines go to print. Plus, some of our favorite media pitch events take place in June, so it’s a perfect time to start the festivities.
You’ll also find that by mid-September, major retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon have already released their lists of the hottest toys and holiday gifts. Short lead media quickly follows suit with their guides — taking the retailers’ lists into consideration, but also being mindful of the products they’ve been pitched. For instance, just this year, both HuffPost and POPSUGAR reported on Target’s and Amazon’s lists days after they were released. Getting an early start can mean the difference between being the hottest product of the year, like WowWee’s Fingerlings… or being left off those coveted shopping guides. After all, no one wants to feel like they made the naughty list!
Make Your List, And Check it Twice
Email blasts are a thing of the past, and as much as we’d love to think our media list from last year’s holiday efforts will do, the constant movement among media publications ensures this is certainly not the case. We are constantly refreshing our lists to ensure we’re pitching the correct contacts, and providing them with content that’s both timely and relevant to their coverage.
And, with shoppers increasingly consuming news on social platforms like Instagram and YouTube, more and more of our holiday efforts now include micro and/or macro influencers. While there are many search tools like Klear or Traackr you can use to build your lists, Resound prefers a more thoughtful, careful approach to searching for and identifying influencers who are the right fit for your brand, and reach your target audience with genuine content that impacts buyer behaviors.
‘Tis the Season of Giving
Most editors won’t consider a product for holiday guides without first testing it out themselves – which is why having product samples available for top-tier media is absolutely critical during holiday season. We like to zhuzh up our boxes by adding a personal touch…for example, when promoting the now perhaps infamous Baby Shark toys from WowWee’s Pinkfong licensed line, we found moms whose children or family members adore Baby Shark and made sure to send them packages their kids would love. But it doesn’t always have to be about the kids. There’s something for everyone – coffee lovers, cat lovers, you name it! We see non-traditional products on holiday wish lists more and more, so there’s more opportunities than ever to explore every angle to see how it may be a fit. For example, client Java House received a lot of holiday love last season as an entertaining must-have or gift for a coffee lover.
Spread the Holiday Cheer
Editors’ schedules tend to get crazy leading into the holidays, but that doesn’t mean they won’t take the time to meet – especially if you make it worth their while. Meeting the media where they work is typically welcomed visits as long as the product you’re bringing along could actually be a fit for their coverage. Of course, we’ve been known to sweeten the pot by bringing along special guests or snacks that make our visit truly unforgettable…like that time we bought a fortune teller to meet with TODAY show producers to introduce them to accessory brand Lucky Fortune, or when we completely took over the kitchen and fridge at Well + Good and other media outlets to restock them with Harmless Harvest and other healthy snacks!
To discuss how our team can make noise for your brand or product during the holidays, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.