‘Tis the Season to Rock Your PR
‘Tis the season for decorations, shopping for gifts, office holiday parties… and pitching the media?
Too often, folks use the holidays as an excuse for why they can’t pitch the media or distribute a press release. But, that’s not always the case. And we’re here to say there’s a lot you can do during the holiday season to move your PR effort forward.
Reporters and editors always welcome unique and relevant story ideas and sources; this is particularly true around the holidays as business news often slows amidst the bustle of the season. This time can be used to your advantage by feeding the media’s appetite. While your friends and competitors are indulging in too much eggnog, you could be securing media placements.
Here are a few quick reminders for a successful holiday media strategy:
• Year-End Round Ups & New Year Outlook – Year-in-review and preview pieces may seem trite, but they continue to prove effective at securing media placements. Many publications – particularly trade outlets – have annual review and new year prediction articles, giving PR pros a chance to showcase their clients’ expertise.
• Prepare for New Announcements in the New Year – December is the busiest month of the year for everyone, not just Santa. Avoid making important business announcements during the peak weeks of December, as the media is winding down for the year and often already in holiday-mode. Aim to have your major announcements released in early December or January to make sure reporters are available.
• Follow Up – Maybe you pitched a reporter in December and received an out-of-office response – don’t forget to follow up after the holiday. Make a note of when the reporter returns and be sure to be personable and ask about their time away. Just as important, sit back and wait a day or two to let them ease back in – their inboxes are likely full and they’ll be catching up on what they missed. Be a resource, and be sure to brush up on these tips to follow up without being annoying.
• Start Planning – It’s always a good idea to get a jump on the year ahead. Use this time to start planning your PR goals and strategies for 2018. Review strengths and weaknesses, and evaluate how you can take the next step. Brainstorm how you would like to be positioned in the next year and what is needed to achieve that goal. Looking back at past coverage can also be helpful to determine which outlets and audiences to engage with moving forward.
• Media Training – While reporters and editors may be hard to reach around the holidays, it can be a great time to conduct media training for your company’s thought leaders and spokespeople. Whether it be a formal media training program, or a quick refresher for interview pros, everyone can benefit from additional rehearsals and tips.
• Crisis Planning – Similar to media training, another internal activity that can be worked on around the holidays is a crisis communications plan. All businesses and organizations will face a serious crisis at some point in their history. A crisis plan won’t prevent a disaster, but it will help you prevent making it worse with poor communications.
Before you get to wrapping all those gifts, now is the time to take advantage of the holidays to gain media coverage for your business and to plan for the upcoming year. The holidays offer a unique opportunity to grow relationships with the media, secure placements, and plan for the year ahead. Remember these tips and they will help you achieve new goals and deliver timely results.