Christmas might seem a million miles away when you’re enjoying balmy beach days and long summer evenings but for the press, it’s just around the corner and many of them will be already planning their festive features and gift guides, so now is the time to launch your Christmas PR campaigns.
“Christmas in July” is a key moment in the media calendar, a chance for brands to not only showcase their Christmas products and launches but also an opportunity for journalists to understand a brand’s story, paving the way for future opportunities and hopefully building a fruitful relationship which will last well after the Christmas season is over.
Long lead publications can be thinking about Christmas pages and content ideas up to 6 months in advance and from now until the big day itself, journalists will be working hard to pull together festive features and reviews, bumper gift guides and special Christmas editions for print, online and social media.
Great PR is not just for Christmas…….but it does help
Great Christmas press coverage is crucial for a brand’s long-term PR strategy. The right product placement or a glowing review from a respected journalist or influencer can elevate a brand and raise its profile, increase brand awareness, encourage sales and make sure it stands out from the crowd.
With editorial space decreasing and so many brands fighting for the same spot on the page and to be crowned a Christmas must-have, it can be hard to know how to get your campaign noticed to secure great press coverage.
We’ve compiled our top six tips to ensure your brand is on track to get the coverage it deserves over the Christmas period and beyond.
1. Plan ahead
Ensure that you have finalised your Christmas offering before July and are ready to craft a strong press release, keep it concise and be sure to include key messaging and USP’s to bring your launch to life. Make sure you also have information such as website, prices and stockist details ready to go. It may feel early but long leads will already be inundated with Christmas press releases and launch events and journalists will appreciate you being proactive and organised as they will have Christmas deadlines to meet.
2. Images are key
Make sure you have strong high res images available before you reach out to press. Your story or product might be great but without accompanying images to showcase this it will be difficult to get coverage and it could also be frustrating to a journalist who wants to feature your brand.
3. Think outside the box
For example, are you running any charity initiatives or events they might like to cover? Do you work with an expert who could provide quotes for a festive-themed feature or perhaps you have some great seasonal statistics or research which could be of interest.
4. Persistence pays off
Persistence is key, make sure you keep on top of who you’ve spoken to and log any new contacts you make along the way. Does the publication have a designated team compiling the gift guide this year or have they enlisted the support of a freelancer? keep track of who you are reaching out to and remember to follow up and follow up again.
5. Think beyond print
Journalists often work across multi-platforms so if you didn’t make that coveted print feature this time, don’t forget they will be looking for Christmas content for online and social media channels too. From an exclusive sneak peek of a Christmas collection to behind the scenes footage at an event, press will also be looking for creative content for digital.
6. Incorporate Influencers
Hosting a Christmas press event this summer? Expand the guest list beyond just traditional long-lead press to make the most impact. Engaging with key influencers is a great way to reach new audiences with your brand, just make sure you are clear of any embargos if you don’t want launch details revealed before a certain date.
Need some help carving out your story or getting featured? We’ve worked with a wide range of businesses to secure PR coverage throughout the year as well as over the vital Christmas season. To find out how we can help, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Now might also be a good time to book a Power Hour with us for a focused coaching session on Christmas campaigns.
Photo by The Luminous