How to Do PR for Your Clients’ Holiday Marketing

Dec 14, 2020

Knowing how to help your clients during the busy holiday season is incredibly powerful. PR can support so many holiday marketing initiatives.  But do you actually know how to support your clients during this season? 

In order to support your clients during the holidays, you need to have a strategic plan. There are so many different things to think about, so getting ahead is important! In today’s post, we’re going to dive into all of the holiday marketing tips you’ll need to make this season successful. Let’s get started!

Start Planning Holiday Marketing Goals Early

One of the very first things that you should be doing with your clients is sitting down early and helping them identify their goals for the holiday season. A lot of the time, clients may not know exactly what goals they have for the holiday marketing season, but you can help them identify strategic goals supported by PR. Although PR is always rooted in conversations with clients about their goals, the holiday season presents a unique opportunity for you to bring your strengths, knowledge, and ideas to the table to craft both a long-lead and short-lead strategy (we’ll talk more about that in a second!) 

Planning ahead also shows your clients that you’re actively thinking about taking care of them and supporting their holiday marketing initiatives. When you start early, your clients may not even be thinking about holiday marketing yet, so you can get the ball rolling on a very concerted effort for holiday promotions. Clients want to feel that personalized care in their experience working with a PR professional. 

You have an opportunity to jump-start their holiday marketing initiatives and frame yourself as a professional highly attuned to the timeline of opportunities for success in marketing. Especially when you are trying to establish yourself as an authority within a certain niche, fostering these conversations early helps you demonstrate your professionalism and build trust with clients—all while setting yourself and your clients up for success with holiday marketing initiatives. 

What are Long-Lead Gift Guides? 

When we talk about gift guides in PR, you're going to be thinking about long-lead gift guides and short-lead gift guides. 

Print magazines are an example of long-lead media because editors are working months ahead of when the finished magazine will be available. When you’re considering long-lead media opportunities for the holidays, remember that print magazines usually are available to purchase about a month before the issue month—a December issue will be available mid-November. 

Starting early allows you to take advantage of long-lead gift guides. This all comes back to client goals and how you can use PR to achieve those goals. If a client’s goal for a long-lead gift guide is to get featured in print, you will need to have those goal-oriented conversations early. 

What Are Short-Lead Gift Guides? 

On the other hand, there are short-lead opportunities with digital media outlets, local media, and daily or weekly news outlets that all work on shorter timelines. While long-lead media need to be pitched months in advance, you can pitch your clients to short-lead media as short as two weeks before a feature. 

Short-lead gift guides often focus on last-minute gift ideas. To create the best experience, encourage your clients to offer expedited shipping when you’re planning to pitch last-minute gift guides. Many times, the trade-off of more expensive shipping for exposure in more gift guide publications is worth it during the holiday season. Especially as more and more people turn to last-minute online shopping, expedited shipping is a great way to ensure that your short-lead media endeavors are successful.  

Beyond last-minute gift guides and expedited shipping, a unique angle is to offer e-gift certificates. If your clients have a way to deliver an e-gift certificate, that's another thing that starts to get promoted super late in the holiday marketing season.

How to Focus on Pitching for Holiday Marketing 

Amazing pitches land great results during the holidays when you plan early. This is something you should start thinking about in the summer, so you can save this post to refer back to later. In the summer, start to chat with your clients about what they have in the works, like any special gift sets or promotions, so that you can start to plan your PR strategy. It is super important to come up with unique pitch angles for whatever they want to promote during the holidays. 

Different kinds of outlets could feature your client's products, so think about the kinds of customers you want to reach and where they're going to be reading. When you connect all of those things, you can start to plan your angles. Both local and national media opportunities can create amazing results, but it all comes back to positioning your client in a unique way for that publication’s specific audience, voice, and goals. 

What products of your client are going to be really effective for holiday marketing? Sometimes, clients put together special holiday gift sets that are perfect for promoting with different gift guides to reach their target audience. 

Many times, long-lead opportunities can feed into short-lead opportunities from the same pitch, but only when you start planning early. You need to think ahead and know what your clients have come down the pipeline so that you can pitch early for the best gift guides to reach that ideal audience. 

Related: How to Figure Out What's Wrong with Your PR Pitches

Holiday marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated, especially when you start planning early with your clients. PR is an amazing way to support different holiday marketing goals, and when you understand the different media opportunities available during the holidays, you can craft an excellent PR strategy that will wow your clients every time.  Many companies rely on the holiday season to generate lots of sales, and your PR skills can support so many holiday marketing initiatives. How will you help support your clients in their marketing goals this holiday season and beyond?