Look no further for an excuse to celebrate the most wonderful time of year—in the dead of summer! It may be hard to believe, but the holidays are right around the corner where PR is concerned, and your favorite magazines have already started working on their Christmas spreads. Luckily, you have all the tools you need to get ahead of the game and prepare for one of the busiest seasons of the year.
Here are a few ways to take advantage of long lead times and get in front of consumer media for prime holiday coverage:
Plan, Plan, Plan.
Editorial Calendars are Key
National magazines run anywhere from 4-6 months out, meaning they begin finalizing editorial spreads and features WAY before the publish date. Given that, thinking about Christmas in July starts to make total sense, right? Thankfully, magazines release editorial calendars at the start of each year, outlining all of their closing dates along with specific themes for each issue. This is key to strategically planning and pitching for holiday coverage.
Update All Media Documents
Before you begin pitching, make sure all media-facing documents have been updated and finalized. Once you do receive interest from an editor, they will likely request high-res imagery and/or want to see a media kit to learn more. By having all of this buttoned up ahead of time, you can respond in a timely manner to any media requests without having to scramble.
Think Beyond the Holiday Gift Guide
Get Creative with Unique Product PositioningUnderstandably, as much as we love fresh produce, no one is likely to gift a stalk of celery and prime bunch of berries this Christmas. Thus, as fresh produce advocates and publicists, we face a bit of challenge when it comes to pitching for holiday coverage. Though we don’t have the luxury of pitching flashy new gadgets, we DO have the opportunity to position our brands as a resource to the media. From culinary and chef insights to unique and fresh recipes, we have an abundance of tools to utilize for holiday recipe roundups and entertaining stories.
This is the most wonderful time of year…to think outside the box and get the media more involved with your brand. Forget the email pitch—what better way to get editors’ attention than with a “Christmas feast!” Bring your brands to life and showcase all that fresh produce has to offer with a curated media event full of holiday party and recipe inspiration. This not only helps your brand stand out, but also gives you a chance to connect on a more personal level with editors.
Start Early and Follow Up
The Early Bird Gets the Worm!
By beginning your outreach early, you have more time to follow up, and even tweak your pitch if you aren’t getting the traction you were hoping for. If you are not receiving the desired response from long-lead pitching, you’ll still have time to perfect your pitch for the shorter lead holiday coverage. Getting a head start can also increase your likelihood of receiving a response from an editor who has not yet been flooded with other holiday-themed pitches. Although we will note that it is equally important to avoid getting too far ahead—remember to utilize the editorial calendars and get a plan and timeline in place for successful pitching!
Last but certainly NOT least—follow up! This final step is imperative to your success in securing coverage for your brands, and appropriate timing is key here. Make sure you respect editors’ time and avoid following up two days after you send a pitch: the “sweet spot” is around a week or so. The follow-up period is also a great indicator for knowing if you need to adjust your pitches. For example, if you received zero responses, that is a good sign that you should revisit your pitching strategy and fine-tune everything.
As we head into the heat of summer, don’t forget about the holiday season quickly approaching. Be sure to plan out editorial deadlines, finalize informational documents and perfect your pitches to ensure quality long-lead coverage opportunities!
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