How to Leverage Holidays in Your PR Plan

July 14, 2016

Generating interesting and timely hooks that reel in media is the bread and butter of any PR pro. One of the most common ways of doing this is taking advantage of holidays and seasonal trends. Come mid-November, Christmas trees and twinkle lights begin to appear, and there are more promotions than you can wrap your head around. Just as stores and companies begin planning their holiday promotion months in advance, so do those behind holiday-themed PR campaigns.

Here are a couple of PR tips on how to be successful in leveraging the holiday and seasonal topics this year.

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Plan Ahead

We are fortunate that in this day and age there is pretty much a holiday for anything and everything. However, you don’t want to over exhaust your efforts. Be selective – pick and choose the ones that would make the most sense for your client.

For example, before deciding on your plan for a ‘back to school’ strategy, do an audit of all back to school coverage from the previous year. Figure out what kind of stories were told, when media started writing about them, what publications picked them up, etc. If most of the successful back to school campaigns launched in June and July, rather than August and September, you need to start strategizing earlier than initially thought.

Be Different

The majority of companies and brands like to take advantage of holidays because it gives them a chance to connect with media and audience in engaging ways. But because everyone is taking advantage, stray away from the cliché holiday topics like ‘what mom wants for Mother’s day’. The reporters you’re pitching likely have a full inbox of holiday story ideas that are all the same. Come up with a clever way to stand out from everyone else. Instead of pitching a holiday gift guide this Christmas, figure out a way to pitch your client as a thought leader around the holiday. With every new season comes different areas of interest. In the summer people are interested in outdoor activities, safety, and travel. If you’re client can shine light on any of these topics, you can proactively think of a variety of unique angles and stories to pitch the media that are of interest of a client’s audience.

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A great example of planning ahead and thinking differently is the new Anheuser Busch campaign. In May, the company announced it was changing the name of Budweiser to “America”, until the presidential elections are over in November. With their new slogan, “America is in your hands”, Anheuser Busch is spreading awareness of the importance of voting. AB is using a timely topic, in this instance the presidential election, to promote their beer. They beat the crowds of companies that will be running promotions in the few months leading up to the election by starting theirs when there wasn’t as much hype. In turn, their strategy didn’t get lost in the crowd.

Leveraging timely topics and holidays is a great way to create additional PR strategies for your clients. Whether it’s positioning clients as thought leaders or building awareness, the time of the year and recent events around the world, there is always a creative angle you can leverage with the media.

– Marney

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