The holidays are a wonderful time of year – filled with family, presents, caroling… and brands scraping to get their products included in the many holiday gift guides.
There is no magic formula that will get your product featured in a gift guide, however there are a few simple mistakes you can avoid while pitching. Put down your snowflake cookie for a minute, and take a look at how you can better pitch your brand this holiday season.
Don’t ignore your calendar.
What month is it? The appropriate time to pitch each medium does vary. However, you should begin long-lead pitching for print publications in the summer months, anywhere from about 3-7 months in advance of when the story would be published. As for online and broadcast publications, they may begin pulling together their guides 1-2 months in advance. You’ll want to get started as early as possible, but make sure you’re reaching out to each channel at the right time.
Don’t overthink your subject line.
It’s important to be creative and think of crafty ways to present your product, however when it comes to holiday gift guides, make your subject line as clear as possible. Lead the subject line with “Holiday Gift Guide” and follow it with a quick and easy description of your product. Editors will be getting tons of emails and a clear subject line will let them know what you’re proposing from the start. But if your creative juices need to flow, include the type of guide your product would fit in. For example, “Gift Guide for the Fitness Nut.”
Don’t beat around the bush; get to the point.
This goes beyond holiday gift guide pitching and applies to all pitching – get to the point! When a reporter opens their email and sees a novel on why they should review your product, they are much less likely to read it.
Don’t forget to include pricing, links, and photos.
Along with making sure your email is succinct, make sure you include all of the important information the media person would need to include your product within a holiday round-up or story: share pricing, product links, and an image of your product. This is particularly important for pitching broadcast media – it’s a visual space so you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for them to visualize your product within their segment.
Don’t be a Scrooge. GIVE THEM SAMPLES.
It’s the holiday season, so give the people what they want – FREE STUFF. On a serious note, most reporters and editors will not include your product based on your word; they’re going to want to test it for themselves. Make sure you have samples on hand, and are able to ship them readily to meet any quick deadlines.
If all you want for Christmas is coverage, follow these simple rules: know your audience, have a clear message, and have media samples available for testing. Happy holidays and merry pitch-mas!