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November 8, 2019

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A Very Merry Guide to PR Campaigns During the Holidays

Move aside Halloween! The holidays are nearly here. Have you been staying on top of editorial calendars and prepping your pitches for upcoming festive features? Running a publicity campaign during the holiday season comes with a whole new set of nuances. Here are Touchwood PR’s top tips for getting your campaigns noticed for some of the most sought after features of the season during some of the busiest editorial months of the year.

Pitch Early.

We all roll our eyes when we start to see holiday displays and decorations in stores before Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed. While the holiday spirit has yet to grip most of the public, it should be on your mind far in advance if you’re planning a publicity campaign toward the end of the year. Many media outlets start planning holiday content months ahead. The planning and curation of gift guides, event listings, and holiday-themed features all start before the snow hits the ground. It’s not a bad idea to start reaching out during the fall to get ahead of the game, or even just to inquire about deadlines and types of content different outlets will be focusing on for the upcoming season.

Mention the Obvious, and Not-So-Obvious Holiday Tie-Ins.

Does your product or event have an obvious connection to the holidays? For instance, Touchwood PR is currently promoting events including Soulpepper Theatre Company’s production of A Christmas Carol, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s live score accompaniment to Home Alone, and a whole roster of holiday film releases. We always make sure to showcase any festive features in our campaigns with a clear subject line and clear messaging in the body of the pitch. You want your message to be easily recognizable as holiday content when editors and producers are gathering their stories for their next timely piece.

Look for natural ways to tie your campaign to the season, even if it’s not immediately obvious link. For example, Cineplex Events is screening The Lord of the Rings trilogy at the end of December. The trilogy may not be an obvious holiday classic, but we learned that there are some fantasy fanatics that love to marathon the films during Christmastime. For some, it’s a tradition that developed over the years. For hardcore fans, it’s because December 25th marks the date that the Fellowship of the Ring begins their perilous journey through Middle Earth. Look for unexpected festive connections to all of the projects you’re working on this season!

Recommend Unique Gifts and Experiences.

Even if your PR campaign doesn’t have a direct link to the holidays, there’s a chance that the things you’re promoting could still be at the top of someone’s wish list. Gift guides are some of the most written and viewed articles during the season. One of the great things about this type of content is that they can be very niche and targeted. Consider the specific target audience that you’re trying to reach and seek out media outlets that cater to them. Whether it’s trend-setting pieces for the fashionista, the latest gadgets for the tech expert, or the coolest toys for the kids, there’s a gift guide for everyone. We even put one together for the amazingly talented publicist in your life!

Support a Good Cause. 

People love a feel-good story, especially during the holidays. If your project doesn’t already have a charitable aspect built-in, consider incorporating a cause that fits with the themes and concepts of your brand and projects. Plenty of family-oriented events implement a toy drive during the holidays. Grocery stores often set up food donation bins. Consider choosing a charity or cause that aligns with the values that your project aims to share, and find a way to support them through your work. Touchwood’s charities are women and children’s shelters. Providing support and goodwill are the true goals here, but the added bonus is that they also give you another angle for your pitches to media.

When all else fails, embrace your inner Scrooge. 

Maybe the project you’re working on just doesn’t have any obvious or indirect ties to the holiday season at all. Depending on what it is, your project may be just right for some of the fun counter-programming articles that come out during this same time period. “Things To Do This Week If You Hate the Holidays,” or “Christmas Music for People Who Hate Christmas Music,” are just some examples the headlines meant for the Scrooges and Grinches of the world who have had enough with all of the festivities. With a cheeky bah-humbug attitude, you may just be able to stand out from the overwhelming festive cheer!

Christmas, Holidays, PR