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. Spotify announced their aptly named “Spotify Wrapped” stats of the most streamed artists of 2018 and are giving subscribers playlists of their personal top songs. It didn’t take long before Spotify started trending on Twitter and featured in top outlets like TechCrunch, CNET, and Newsweek. 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 companies top 10 predictions for 2019? 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, Marriott had a tough week when it revealed that some 500 million customers’ data had been breached. In this CNN story, the CEO of Atlantic.net, a cloud computing and hosting services provider, stepped in and shared great tips on how consumers can protect themselves. Another example: as shopping season reigns lately, Amazon has been heavily promoting their AR feature in their mobile app. 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! Eight years ago, American Express never expected their PR campaign Small Business Saturday, a promotion meant to be a holiday shopping alternative to Black Friday would turn into an annual event in local communities across the US. AmEx is still reaping the PR benefits, with outlets like Fortune and CNBC praising the credit card company on the impact of Small Business Saturday. Even celebrities from former US President Barack Obama to composer Lin Manuel-Miranda are urging people to shop local for the holidays and use AmEx to do so.
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. Take your followers behind the scenes to see what’s going on in your office this time of year. See if you can give something away to your customers as a note of thanks this holiday season.
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.