Timing is everything: pitching for the holidays

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October is always the time of year when we, as consumers, start thinking about the holidays coming in the next few months. Fall has finally arrived, temperatures are dropping, and the leaves are changing color. As the excitement for the upcoming season fills our mind, we often forget that now is the most important time to get focused, and get critical work done in order to reap the rewards in the upcoming holiday season. 

You’re still in luck: digital is normally more widely read, and it’s not too late to be considered for any online gift guides. 

Why should I pitch during the holidays at all? 

Consumers start looking for their gifts as early as mid-summer and 53% of them research before making a purchase. Your media exposure and visibility becomes very important in the months that they’re looking and narrowing down their decisions because they’re open and receptive to trying new products and brands. Features lend to the legitimacy they are looking for in the pages of the content they consume, in both print and digital. While it’s too late to pitch for print, you’re still in luck: digital is normally more widely read, and it’s not too late to be considered for any online gift guides. 

Why should I pitch editors now when the holidays are still two-three months away? 

We have said this many times here at FACTEUR, but timing is so very critical to success. If you don’t start now, you are going to be too late in most cases. 

Editors for large publications, especially publications with print editions, begin work on their holiday edition in July. Work slows down for them in December, and their work is finalized way before then. So, if you’re sending your press mailers to editors in November, they probably already gave your spot to someone someone who sent theirs now – in early October. 

Editors are getting hundreds of pitches, what will make me stand out, and ultimately get featured in their holiday content?

A good thing to keep in mind when pitching is that you have something that editors need or want (or don’t know they need or want yet). Their sites have to be full of the best or most interesting products and services, and they’re working extra hard to bring the most relevant and best of the best to their audience. Sounds a lot like what you’ve got, doesn't it?! 

We recently discussed in the office that it is more effective to come to the editor with a solution rather than a question when pitching. If you have the perfect fit for that one very specific gift for that one very specific person- let them know! Consider adding phrases like “this would be perfect to include in a gift guide for your boss,” rather than “would this fit into any of your gift guides?” You may spark even more ideas for their coverage, making them more likely to include you, rather than just sifting through another bland pitch. 

The most important thing to remember is that it is better to be early than anything else, and fashionably late only applies to socialites arriving at a party. As much as we love a good party, as publicists and editors we have to be on top of the game for the best results. 

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