The holidays are fast approaching, and retail reporting is in full swing. Holiday retail trends have crept into the news cycle earlier and earlier each year. Now, these trends occupy a major chunk of reporters’ focus through year-end.
For retail and eCommerce brands, this presents a huge opportunity to rise to the top. Securing these coveted placements can help your brand build equity during your most profitable time of year. Unfortunately, the holidays are also the most crowded and competitive time to pitch. To rise above the noise and capture a piece of the conversation this holiday season, here’s what your pitch team should be doing for you:
1. Start pitching early.
As soon as the first leaf fell, the holiday news cycle began. Media coverage during this time is extremely fast-moving, making it crucial to find a newsworthy angle as soon as possible. Pitching early demonstrates that you’re on top of the trends and familiarizes reporters with your spokespeople early on. If your PR team gets this, they’ve been pitching since before Halloween.
2. Make your list and check it twice.
Building your media list is just as important as building your pitch. Rather than spraying your message as far and wide as possible, be hyper-targeted. Spend the bulk of your time on the most strategic outlets and reporters (not just the largest). Intimately familiarize yourself with these reporters’ beats so you can offer relevant resources that will make their jobs easier. Instead of pitching your agenda, try to figure out what value your clients add to the narratives already out there.
3. Be a resource.
Reporters are increasingly spread thin, devoid of resources and being asked to cover more and more. The work we do as PR professionals can make their jobs easier while benefiting our clients and ourselves. Here’s how you can be a resource for your media targets: focus on consistency and transparency in all your communications with the media; always present reporters with smart pitches that provide tangible reporting value; bring research, data and consumer insights to the table when you can. Creating a collaborative relationship with media partners results in great news and quality client coverage that benefits everyone.
4. Do your research.
The best way to deliver valuable insights is to conduct your own research. Proprietary research is the gold standard, but for those with tight budgets this season there are plenty of other affordable options. An original consumer sentiment pulse survey is an easier lift and provides valuable content. If you don’t have the bandwidth for a survey, companies can utilize their own sales data or turn to their PR team to aggregate stats.
5. ‘Tis the season of newsjacking.
Once you have data and resources in your arsenal, you should constantly be on the lookout for relevant trends to latch on to. Expert knowledge of the media landscape combined with timely and insightful angles will yield high-quality coverage. Something that’s trending in early October probably won’t be relevant in December, though, so it’s critical to keep revisiting and reinventing your pitches.
6. Look ahead.
A good story should be future-proof. Make pitches not only holiday-relevant, but also 2023-related. That way, if your pitch isn’t useful to a reporter right away or you miss people while they’re on leave, you can tie it into next year and avoid missing an opportunity.
These six media outreach strategies will help grow client visibility this holiday season. Whether you’re pitching thought leadership or a more product-focused angle, creating a holiday-specific pitching playbook will generate a steady stream of top-tier media coverage during retail’s busiest time of year.
Interested in how your spokespeople and data can be leveraged to garner meaningful media placements? Get in touch with us. We’ll help you create mediagenic insights that elevate your brand when your business needs it most.