We are just celebrating Halloween, but I’m sure you’ve seen the stores are filling with holiday decor, Thanksgiving travel plans are underway, and the festivities of the winter holiday season will soon be tickling the minds of families, retailers, and the media alike. While the summer months may historically be a bit slower as far as news goes, anyone in the industry will tell you that pitching never takes a holiday. So if you wait too long to start planning your holiday pitches, you’re likely going to find yourself left out in the cold.
With holiday pitching there is even more noise than usual. You have to cut through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and carve out your space in media contacts’ inboxes. The flip side of this is, you still need to follow the golden rules of honesty, authenticity, and respect for one’s time and attention.
Here are four insider tips that we use here at KT Media to help get you started on the perfect holiday pitch.
Think outside the box
The most common holiday themes are gifting, food, decor, and travel. Do you fit into any one of these categories? If so, how can you create a new angle that hasn’t been overdone? What is new, unique, or interesting about the product you have available? What would make it the perfect holiday gift? As far as food goes, are there new takes on old classics, mindset tips to handle holiday temptations, cultural nuances to explore and pay homage to at family gatherings? How can decor be sustainable? What unexpected color pallets can still speak to the
season without falling into the same old pattern of black and orange, silver and blue, or green and red? How can you use items you already have, create conversation pieces from family heirlooms, or decorate like celebrities while sticking to a budget? How can you find deals for travel, carry on beloved traditions when you are far from home, or what spooky/historic/significant destination should be on your list this fall and winter season?
If you, your brand, or your messaging don’t fit with the hot topics mentioned above, where can you offer your expertise to make it make sense? Are you a mental health provider who can provide tips for those experiencing phobias or fears with the scary and unsettling content that Halloween can present? How about tips for handling strained relationships, grief and loss, or finding yourself this holiday season? Are you a financial advisor who can break down the do’s and don’ts of holiday spending? Are you a realtor who can discuss how to properly stage a home for the holidays? How about a fitness professional teaching the balance of moderation and indulgence or healthier takes on holiday treats? Maybe you are a career coach or professional speaker who wants to help those in leadership honor the various cultures represented by their employee pool this holiday season in a way that is authentic and meaningful. Whoever you are, and whatever you do, there is likely an opportunity for you to market your message to fit in with the media needs this holiday season.
Stay In Your Lane
This may seem a bit counterintuitive considering our first tip was to think outside of the box. But this really speaks to balance. Think outside the box, but not so far outside the box, that you find yourself in a totally different department. If you are a financial advisor, don’t send your “how to invest” course to a holiday gift guide for moms… but maybe you do consider marketing your “how to invest” course to a column featuring unique gift ideas for those who have everything (that is everything but a firm understanding of the stock market maybe). If you are a health coach, maybe you wouldn’t be the best fit for a vegan website featuring celebrity chefs and restaurants catering to a vegan lifestyle, but you might be a great fit for a similar website that focuses on women’s health or activities and tips for raising a fit and active family. If you are a doctor, you might not want to comment on a contact’s need for trendy holiday home design (even though yours might be flawless) but maybe instead you focus on ways to lower holiday stress or boost the immune system so you don’t have to miss out on family gatherings this season. The point is, that you want to be relevant to your own expertise. If something feels like too far a stretch, it’s likely not worth wasting your time or wasting the time of the media contact or outlet.
Make It Current
Focus on current trends in your industry. Maybe you work in the field of women’s health or women’s rights and you want to pitch ideas for gifts that support female-focused causes. Maybe you work in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and you want to shed light on some of the ways corporations and large companies can honor the diversity of their workplace in their holiday celebrations. Or maybe your brand focuses on green initiatives in gifting and decor as we continue discussions on the climate crisis. Ask yourself what trends and topics are current in your industry. Then ask yourself if there is a way to meaningfully connect those trends and topics to holiday content.
Keep It Light
This tip is an extension of keeping things current. Yes, we want to stay relevant and on top of what is trending, but we don’t want to do so in a way that makes our pitches feel too heavy. Politics, current events, legislation, finances, global unrest… these are necessary, meaningful, and heavy topics. If something doesn’t feel like it can be discussed in a way that ties comfortably into holiday editorial needs, then don’t try to force the fit. Pitch those topics where they belong. They don’t have to be ignored or done away with through the holiday season, they just need to be pitched where they make sense. Holiday editorial needs tend to focus more on the feel-good aspects of life. Friends, family, food, hope, happiness, social events, etc. Find a way to create a pitch that falls in line with the spirit of the season or you might just risk it falling flat.