Every year, we distribute thousands of holiday season press releases. From gift guides and product launches, events and end-of-year wrap ups, there are many ways brands use press releases to successfully insert themselves into the holiday news cycle. After all, smart PR pros understand that press released can directly impact end-of-year, holiday sales.
To help you maximize your holiday PR program, here are six tips from our editorial team.
Timing is Everything
Many PR professionals are unaware that Oct. 15 - Nov. 15, 2014, is an “earnings period,” during which public companies issue quarterly earnings releases. For many companies, these earnings releases generate quite a bit of news, which can compete with your holiday news.
For the 2014 holiday season, the best week to begin holiday news distribution is Nov. 9. This allows your news to reach short-lead and online publications as they prepare for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and so on. To increase visibility of corporate holiday news, we issues weekly holiday news recaps to reporters. All related stories are included, ensuring a second distribution of your news.
Treat Your Release Like A Present
What will surprise or delight your readers? Whether you are B2B or a B2C, write a press release that informs the reader and provides enough excitement to drive social sharing and increase coverage.
So what are the types of press releases do reporters use during the holiday season?
Think Visual! Holiday Content Needs Imagery
If 65% of humans are visual learners, then it makes sense to include images in your release to increase the impact of your news.
To increase readership and build emotional connections, reporters rely on company-provided assets – photos, logos and video to round out their articles.
Take photos of your products, create interactive capsules of your holiday content, add screen shots or PDFs, repurpose last year’s assets, use testimonials, or create Vine videos of your holiday tips in practice. Showcasing your offering visually increases coverage and social sharing opportunities.
Jumpstart Social Sharing
People who open a press release are interested in your news. Turn that interest into action by including calls-to-action such as:
1. Adding in click to tweet to allow readers to share your news — featuring a social friendly headline and hashtags, with one click.
2. Including links to your successful marketing channels – RSS feeds, newsletters, social accounts. Use a written out CTA, vs. hyperlinks, to receive even higher results.
Don’t Pitch On Social – But That Is Where Trends Are Found
Once your release is final, reach out to relevant reporters for placement. However, stay clear of pitching reporters via social platforms. Our media survey showed that while social channels were important for news sharing and gathering, most reporters loathed pitches from these channels. That said, reporters love to see coverage shared on social channels, and why not? It helps them meet their metrics (story views).
So don’t forget to share all coverage of your news to increase impact across online portals.
the Success of Your Holiday Press Release
One big mistake many communicators make is not accounting for all of the action generated from their holiday PR efforts. In addition to coverage, track multimedia views and shares, social activity, marketing channel registrations, social follower increases and inbound website traffic.
Follow these steps this holiday season and watch the ROI of your holiday press release skyrocket. Take the time to understand what your audience is looking for, time your release, include imagery and social action requests, share your coverage, and of course do not forget to track the reactions to your news and create some impact and action this year.
For additional information on how to craft or distribute a successful holiday press release, contact us. Have some tips of your own? Leave them below in the comments.