The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the busiest time, too. From rushing to and from events, fitting in end-of-year projects, and shopping for loved ones, there is a lot going on.
However, for journalists, the holidays often mean a break in the busy news cycle as sources take time off and businesses have less news to report. This creates a content hole for reporters, giving you the perfect opportunity to step in and gift news outlets with story ideas and interviews.
By leveraging a time that many are too busy for, you can stand out and drive business with a solid public relations strategy during of the holidays.
Have evergreen story ideas and pitches ready to go
Reporters are aggressively looking for stories from about mid-December to early January. Not many press releases are coming in, except for holiday events, and this is the perfect time to pitch stories that might have previously gone ignored. Reporters are more likely to grasp onto a story if it is unique, impactful, and relevant, so this is the perfect time to pitch those light-hearted features or thought-leadership opportunities. The timeliness of your story isn’t as important during the holidays and reporters tend to gravitate toward evergreen pitches due to time-off and coverage gaps.
Send out a recap of the year and new year predictions
More people are consuming media over the holidays and reporters are hungry for content, so give them something to talk about. Many publications, especially trade outlets, have annual new year predictions lists and end-of-year recaps; these are great opportunities to secure placement in top outlets as an expert. Consider trends and ways your company has grown over the past year as a part of your public relations strategy during the holidays. These pitches can seem overdone, but they can be an easy and effective way to secure high-profile coverage.
Don’t send out holiday-focused pitches
By mid-December, many of us start to get tired of being served holiday-centric advertisements and the constant Christmas music everywhere we go. The same can be said for holiday-themed pitches if you work in the media. Most editorial calendars are full of holiday events or stories, and you are less likely to get a holiday-focused pitch secured unless it is a unique angle or impactful event. So, sticking to regular news is the best way to stand out this time of year. You are more likely to get a reporter to notice your story because it is not like everything else coming into their inbox. Plus, the chances of you being the top story for the 5 p.m. newscasts are also greater because your story could be the only hard news of the day in smaller communities.
Follow up in a timely manner
After sending out an initial round of outreach, follow up on your pitches within 48 hours. It is so important not to go dark after pitching during the holidays. Journalists are in and out of the office and they are more likely to see your pitch if your send a follow up. If you just send out a pitch and sign off for the holidays, the chances of your story getting noticed go down. Time is of the essence if you want to get noticed and secure top-tier opportunities. Also, make sure to take the time and thank your contacts for their consideration. This goes a long way with reporters.
By taking the time to plan out a public relations strategy during the holidays, you will be more than prepared to leverage media opportunities during a time of year many are too busy to participate in. Learn more on how Chartwell Agency’s public relations team can develop a winning strategy to boost your visibility and achieve your business goals.