It’s usually true that the early bird gets the worm.

At lotus823, we concur with this saying, especially when we start to think about holiday gift guide pitching. If you’ve ever worked at a public relations agency then you understand the stresses holiday gift guides can bring to your team starting in the warm months of July and August.

Preparing for media pitching can be a long and daunting task, but if you take the proper approach, you won’t feel so overwhelmed. In the end, if all of your hard work pays off and you see your client’s product featured in a gift guide, it’s an awesome holiday reward to yourself.

Here are the steps for successfully preparing for and #winning at holiday gift guide pitches.

  1. Preparation. Research, research, research! Know your product and know your audience. Once that’s all set, begin creating your media list of outlets you would like to secure coverage in. Do some digging to find the publication’s editorial calendar to organize pitching accordingly.
  2. Find the best contact. You can have an awesome product for a holiday gift guide, but if you’re reaching out to the wrong person, your efforts will be wasted. Again, do some organic research to find out who has covered previous holiday gift guides at that outlet. If this contact is no longer relevant, utilize the “Opportunities” section of Cision (our PR software company of choice). Some contacts found on Cision will note if they have a preference of contact. Be courteous and respect their wishes if they are particular about only receiving emails or phone calls.
  3. Be timely. Take note of gift guide deadlines. Especially when it comes to print publications. Some print opportunities will have July deadlines but most will be in August. Online tend to be a bit later into September and October. Journalists will not wait to get your pitch. Be on time, or it may be a wasted effort.
  4. Craft the perfect pitch. Get creative! Journalists are reading pitches day in and day out. Think of some way to spark their interest – after all, you are only one fish in a sea of emails! Do you have a personal tie to something they’ve already written? Are you an avid reader of their column? Let them know! Personalizing an email pitch can really make your efforts stand out amongst the rest.
  5. Follow up. In all aspects of pitching, it is a wise idea to follow up. Your pitch may have fallen to the wayside and sometimes a polite reminder can secure a media placement.

At lotus823, some of the resources we utilize while compiling our holiday gift guide opportunities are Cision, media contacts we have established a working relationship with, as well as a physical editorial calendar binder. In what ways do you prepare for holiday gift guide pitching?

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