Sometimes “bad timing” can be “good timing.”
Conventional wisdom dictates that companies should avoid media pitching and outreach during the holiday season. The belief is that everyone, including consumers, reporters, and editors, is too busy and distracted to hear our story pitches, look at press releases or read news articles. The truth is this is an ideal time. The news cycle is slower, creating content holes for reporters. For companies, the holidays are the perfect time to gift news outlets with story ideas.
Here are 5 tips for getting yourself some coveted coverage during the holiday season:
1. Wrap-up the Year with a Special “Wrapped” List
If your company had a great year, why not celebrate it with your customers? Share how they benefited over the past year with a summary of what they saved, enjoyed, or gained from your business. Ever since Spotify launched their aptly named “Spotify Wrapped” in 2018 – a popular annual feature that gives subscribers playlists of their personal top songs – other top brands have put their own spin on year-end marketing campaigns. Netflix’s quirky 2020 “We Watched It All” ad, Mailchimp’s interactive 2020 Annual Report, and many more have clearly taken inspiration from the “Wrapped” initiative. So, cap off the year with your own version of customer favorites! Turn it into a press release and perhaps even an infographic, and share it with local, trade, and national business press. (Don’t forget to let your own customers know, too, by sending them an email and posting the roundup on your social media networks).
2. Make Predictions – They are Perennial
Onward-looking predictions may seem overdone, but they continue to work. Many publications — particularly technology ones — have annual new year prediction guides. Here’s a chance for C-level executives to position themselves as thought leaders and experts. The key is to stand out from the crowd with trends and forecasts. Maybe a statement on your company’s top 10 predictions for 2022? While you’re at it, consider a video of the CEO forecasting the industry future too!
3. Hop on Hot News & Holiday Trends
Sometimes, other people’s news might become your news too. Newsjacking is the practice of hopping on the coattails of current events to promote your brand. This is even more useful during the holidays as consumers are laser-focused on any news that could impact their holiday plans. Breaking news opens the door, so you can slip in with your opinion on the subject. For example, Snapchat recently announced an AR feature that can create virtual holiday stores for brands – and it’s already captured buy-in from heavy-hitters like Walmart and Coca-Cola. So, if you’re a company that deals with mixed reality, chime in with ideas on how AR could change the way we shop.
4. Package those Feel-Good Stories
Sniff out some positive, light-hearted news to share during the holidays. Corporate social responsibility stories work well here, as do pieces about local community good deeds. It is the Season of Giving after all! Back in 2010, American Express never expected their PR campaign Small Business Saturday, a promotion meant to be a holiday shopping alternative to Black Friday, to turn into an annual event in local communities across the U.S. Twelve years later, AmEx is still reaping the PR benefits, with outlets like Inc., Yahoo!, and Forbes continuing to cover the event.
5. Don’t Forget Social Sharing
First, give your channels a holiday makeover. Your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter covers could use a little dazzle. Spruce them up with holiday-themed headers and profile pictures! Then, spread the holiday spirit and have fun with your posts. Announce new offers with a touch of humor. If your company has gone back to the office, take your followers behind the scenes to see how your employees are getting festive. Or, if you’re still working remotely, share a screenshot from a Zoom holiday party or mock-up a virtual holiday card! See if you can give something away to your customers as a note of thanks this holiday season. Starbucks’ holiday paper cups are a classic example – and the coffee chain has even turned this simple idea into a widely anticipated “Red Cup Day,” when customers can get a free, limited-edition reusable holiday cup with their drink order.
So, don’t go dark during the holidays. The holidays are actually a great time to gain media coverage and reach your target audiences. Media outlets and their readers are hungry for seasonal how-to advice, year-end wrap-ups and inspirational stories that warm their hearts. Wrap up your pitches and posts with polka dot bows and send them to your media friends. Umm, polka dots are optional.
If you would like to find out how to create buzz during the holidays, and how PR can help your business, click below to schedule a call with SKC PR.