The Christmas tree is up, the winds are freezing, and your planner is filled with a string of holiday parties.
Time to wrap up your PR and marketing for the year?
While companies are winding down, and even journalists seem to be taking time off, the holidays are a wonderful season to get even more exposure and media coverage.
PR Opportunities During the Holidays
For one thing, your competitors are probably taking a break. Now’s your chance to one-up them. They won’t know what hit them when the eggnog’s effects wear away and they see your business has gotten all the publicity.
If you’re a B2B company, the holidays are usually a good time to finally get the attention of your desired prospects — precisely because they’re slowing down and taking things easy.
On the other hand, if your competitors have been extra diligent and are continuing their marketing and PR efforts over the holidays, well, you wouldn’t want to be left behind, would you?
Media outlets are usually ravenous for stories and content this time of year. Many reporters and editors are on holiday, which means media aren’t getting the same volume of news they usually do the rest of the year. Yet media don’t close for the holidays, do they?
Ready for one last hurrah before the year ends? Awesome, here are…
7 Holiday PR Ideas
1. Show appreciation to your customers
Did you miss out on showing gratitude to your existing customers on Thanksgiving? Then Christmas time is another opportunity to thank them. Send them a gift card, discount coupon, or outright gift.
2. Talk about charity
If you support charity during the holidays, send a press release about it, or invite journalists to cover the event. It’s good publicity, not only for you, but for the charity or cause you support as well. Of course, don’t do this only to get exposure.
3. Tie your product/service with holiday story ideas
There are several ways you could do this. For example, get your product included in gift guides. Another way is to prepare a holiday-related article connected with your business. If you’re a life coach, for instance, write a piece on how to stay motivated to achieve New Year goals. If you’re a chef, publish your favorite holiday recipes. Ask yourself, “What do I have to offer that my target market is thinking of, worrying about, or looking for right now?”
4. Launch a holiday promo
This is the most common PR and marketing activity around the holidays. Businesses usually give a holiday discount coupon or similar promo. You can also host a holiday-oriented contest. Contests are easy to set up on Facebook or Twitter, so consider using those platforms if you’re short on time and energy.
5. Remember your media friends
Don’t forget to thank the journalists and bloggers who covered you in 2013. A simple handwritten thank-you card is best. There’s no need to send them expensive gifts. Some may even refuse them.
6. Make an exclusive offer
People are looking for something special to give their loved ones or even themselves. Why not put together a holiday-only package of your products and/or services that aren’t available the rest of the year? This is the idea behind gift baskets, and you can use it even if you’re a service provider.
7. Write and pitch year-end or new-year articles
Some topics are always fashionable this time of year. An example is the year’s “best” or “top ___.” For instance, if you have a clothing-related biz, you could write an article on “Best Fashion Accessories of 2013.” Or write an article identifying the year’s biggest news, changes, and developments in your industry.
A variation of this type of story is to look forward to the coming year, such as “B2B Marketing Forecast for 2014.” Notice how everyone makes predictions in January? You can do it, too, just make sure your forecasts are well supported.
I hope this post has motivated you to launch a holiday PR campaign, and given you concrete ideas to implement.
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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