It’s already that time of year when you have to start planning your holiday strategy. Any consumer product brand knows that holiday gift guides are a key to helping drive credibility and traffic to complement any digital marketing plan you have put together. And this year especially, online presence is a key factor to getting those winning holiday sales.

As PR people we know that the end of the summer doesn’t mean back to school, but as the media works in advance, the holiday season always comes a little earlier for us. Most of our clients are shocked when I tell them the time is already here. Recently, I led a roundtable discussion on the best practices in getting into holiday gift guides with Ruksana Hussain, award-winning tech and travel journalist, and Sasha Lekach, a technology reporter with Mashable. Undoubtedly in that conversation were several gems of advice that I wanted to share with you so that when you dive into holiday pitching you’ll go in armed and dangerous. Here are five keys to holiday success:

  1. Have high quality, accessible images – Hussain says that this is one of the biggest challenges for the media. Having images that are relevant to your pitch is critical. If it’s just a product pitch then make sure they get access to high-resolution product images, if your pitch is lifestyle-related, then ensure your images represent that factor.

  2. COVID related pitches and products will be big this year – Both Lekach and Hussain agree that COVID is top of mind for any pitch guides. If you have an angle there use it.

  3. Be forward-thinking or classic – Lekach suggests that you definitely need to have an “it” factor when getting included in a Mashable gift guide. That factor could be that you’re a classic staple or that you’re ahead of the curve, either way, what’s your key differentiating factor?

  4. Support a cause – If your product is cause-related or gives back to the community in any way, mention it upfront in your pitch. With so many in need during a very confusing time. Goodwill products get a little more attention. You can also target Giving Tuesday with customized pitch angles.

  5. Are you kind of a big deal? Has your product recently been recognized for an award? Has a celebrity been seen using your bejeweled iPhone accessory? Mention it in your pitch or subject line and let the reporter know that people have already spotted the brand and are interested in it.

A few best practices that never get old include always researching the reporter and customizing your pitch as much as possible. The rest will be up to how exciting the pitch is and how much the reporter feels that people will want to hear what your product is about. Remember, the reporter has eyes to feed.

If you have other questions, feel free to submit them to me at ronjini at thesilvertelegram dot com.

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