How To Successfully Set Year End Goals For Your PR Clients During Q3 and Q4Jun 13, 2022
The heat of summer is here, and it’s time for PR pros to start planning ahead for the rest of the year. In Q3 and Q4, you need to hone in on specific year end goals and switch up your strategy to match them. Once you do, you’ll be set up to sail through the rest of the year, generating epic results for your clients along the way!
But if you want to achieve the best results in Q3 and Q4, you need to set the right year end goals for your clients. You can’t craft a targeted pitching strategy without those goals! Here, I’m breaking down the process into 4 super easy steps that you can follow no matter your niche.
#1: Set Aside Time to Plan Year End Goals for Your Clients
The first step towards building your perfect Q3 and Q4 press plan is to actually set aside time to work on your clients’ year end goals. It’s not enough to just brainstorm! The best way to lock in on targeted, specific goals is to dedicate time to building them.
And as amazing as the flexible PR pro schedule may be, you can’t let it get away from you. Make an appointment on your calendar (whether it’s just for yourself or you’re collaborating with your team) to focus on setting your clients’ year end goals. Think about what you want to achieve, then break it down into manageable steps to build an action plan.
Give serious, careful thought to how the year end goals you’re setting align with your clients’ overall business vision.
#2: Create a Press Plan to Achieve Your Year End Goals
The next step? Take those year end goals and build them out into a Q3- and Q4-focused press plan. Even if you already have a year-long press plan in place for each of your clients, it’s super beneficial to have one just for the end of the year. Plus, you can use what you already have on file to jumpstart your Q3 and Q4 plan!
Press plans let you show clients your initiative and how proactive you are when it comes to generating results for their brand. You’ll show them that they have your full support and you’re ready to get ahead of the game for Q3 and Q4.
To create your Q3 and Q4 press plan, you’ll need to include a few key layers.
Layer #1: What’s Set In Stone
The first layer is all about what’s already set in stone. Think about the specific holiday and seasonal trends or themes you know you want to highlight in your Q3 and Q4 pitches. You should’ve already nailed these down when building your year end goals and action plan!
Is there an ingredient you want to focus on? Or does the client’s product make the perfect gift for a super-specific customer? Take what you’ve already decided to prioritize and build from there.
Layer #2: Launches and Marketing Initiatives
The next layer of your press plan includes any launches or marketing initiatives that your client has on deck for the holiday season. Now is the time to check in with them and see what they’re planning.
But they may not be working as far ahead as you are, and that’s okay! Get as much info from them as you can and create a timeline to the best of your ability, even if they don’t have specific launch dates locked in yet.
Collaborating with your client’s marketing team is essential when building your Q3 and Q4 press plan. You need enough time to get the necessary assets for each launch and set yourself up for success when the launches finally come around.
Nothing’s worse than being fully unprepared for holiday pitching! You need that solid runway to plan your pitches way in advance.
Layer #3: Short- and Long-Lead Pitches That Align With Your Year End Goals
In this last layer, you’ll include the short- and long-lead pitches you’re planning for the end of the year. Make sure they align with the year end goals you’ve already set!
Even if you’ve checked in with your client and they’re not planning any launches for the end of the year, you still need to keep the media buzz going about them. You’re responsible for keeping your pitches fresh and relevant at the end of the year to take advantage of all the holiday press coverage possible.
Do you have any “hero products” that you can push this time of year? Chat with your client to see if they have any tips or new ways to use them, or see if there’s a benefit or ingredient that hasn’t been featured before. Don’t forget that you have Black Friday and holiday gift guides to pitch for!
#3: Start Pitching!
Time to start pitching! Once you’ve articulated your year end goals and have a press plan strategy in place, it’s time to get pitching.
For Q3 and Q4, your main focus should be gift guides — and those long-leads should be pitched in July, August, and September, so get working now! Lots of major publications close their holiday gift guide submission windows early, so do your research and be prepared if there are any specific placements you know you want to pitch.
For short-lead gift guides, you have much more time. Instead of sending out pitches 5 or 6 months before the holidays, you can submit to these gift guides right up to Christmas. Of course, it’s best to be prepared to pitch super early, but if you get a new client or an existing client creates a last-minute marketing campaign, you know you have these opportunities to fall back on.
When it comes to gift guides, you need to know your audience: certain editors, especially for online publications, don’t start working on their gift guides until as late as October. You can still pitch early to get ahead of the game, but make sure you’ve done your research so you can follow up at the perfect time to maximize your chances of being featured.
#4: Hone Your Holiday Pitching Skills
Honing your pitching skills is something that naturally comes with PR experience, but honing your holiday pitching skills takes extra preparation. Your usual angles won’t work for Q3 and Q4!
Improving your pitch-writing is one of the best ways to prepare for the holiday season. Honestly, refining your skills can be one of your personal year end goals!
Take everything you already know about writing killer pitches (make sure they’re personalized, call out affiliate programs, you know the drill!) and turn it up to 10. You need to craft clear, targeted pitches to land that all-important gift guide coverage, but creativity is key. You need to communicate exactly why your client’s product would be the perfect addition to the publication’s gift guide, so make sure you know the outlet’s target audience!
And if you want to truly hone your pitching skills and stay up-to-date with the best pitching strategies, make sure to join us inside The Pitch Lab! It’s an EPIC monthly membership where you get core content stacks to refine your skills, tons of bonuses, resources, and masterclasses, and even comprehensive month execution plans you can use to make every month amazing for your clients.
Once you’ve got your holiday pitching skills down, you’ll be all set up to achieve your year end goals and deliver incredible results to your clients.
The holiday season is one of the most important times of the year for PR; writing those gift guide pitches may seem intimidating, but it’s so manageable once you break it down! It all goes back to locking in your clients’ year end goals early on so you can set everyone up for a HUGE Q3 and Q4.