Yet for those PRs willing to work hard throughout silly season, there are rewards – and not just from Santa – for their efforts.
So how do you capitalize on Christmas from a publicity perspective? Here are some suggestions:
Christmas gift guides: Do you have a client looking to reach consumers with a cool new product? If so, then now is the best time of year for product PR withoutnecessarily having to pay for advertising. Naturally the competition for placement in these gift guides is fierce with many other retailers looking to capitalize on the same opportunity. However if your product is interesting and relevant and you have imagery to showcase its beautiful design, then go for it. Be warned: you’ll want to start your pitching early as some gift guides decide on content in summer.
Freebies: Who doesn’t like free things, especially in December, the season of giving? Certainly no one in my address book. Consider sending ‘stocking fillers’ or other gifts and gadgets from clients as a way of getting media attention. Always provide journalists with a story along with the gift to give them a reason to write about the treat you’ve provided.
News hijacking: Christmas becomes a major focus for many Canadians during December, and that means journalists turn their attention to this topic as well. Capitalize on this interest by pitching story angles relevant to the season. Put forward a quirky angle or offer a perspective that’s unique to your client to heighten your chances of media interest. Trends in particular can generate headlines.
Timing: I’ve noticed a ‘black hole’ appears in the PR scene between Christmas and New Year. Most PRs are on holiday so the number of stories being sent to media is minimal. This is a great opportunity if you’re willing to work. Issuing a news story – so long as it’s relevant and timely – between Christmas and New Year can go further than it typically would. If you decide to telephone pitch you may find you leave a lot of voicemails. However those journalists in the office are almost guaranteed to be having a slow news day and will therefore be more receptive to suggestions than normal.
We all know that December is for planning as well as partying, and work time is spent focusing on 2014 plans for clients. However taking time out for media relations can lead to a spike in coverage, which is always a fantastic way to finish a campaign.
And if all else fails, the New Year is just around the corner, providing a great opportunity to pitch trends and predictions, which works for almost any client from any industry.