Got a story idea with a Christmassy theme? If you’re looking for PR coverage in monthly titles, which generally work several months ahead, you’ve probably missed your chance. You may also be too late for some weeklies. But if you act now, there’s still plenty of time to place festive stories (including post-Christmas stories for January) in some publications/programmes.
Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Look out for Christmassy themed news stories you can ‘piggyback’ onto.
There are many ways of going about this, but the most common approach is to offer yourself (or your client) as an expert voice on the topic.
The great thing about piggybacking is that it isn’t just reactive i.e. responding to current news stories. You can also anticipate stories that will be covered by the media e.g. Christmas adverts, Christmas films/TV shows, Black Friday and so on and start working on ideas days - or even weeks - ahead.
2.Do/say something interesting
Journalists aren't interested in your business or brand - but they might be interested in what you do or what you say.
So launch a campaign, hold an unusual event or offer an interesting opinion (something we haven’t heard a million times before).
People are now covering their beards in glitter for the Ultimate Christmas Look (this genius trend was started by The Gay Beards, who made a video about it, posted pics on Instagram...and the rest is, erm, glistory)...
3.Do some research
Journalists love data, so doing some research around a topical Christmas theme e.g. loneliness, overspending, squabbles with relatives can be very effective. It doesn’t have to be costly either (both in terms of time and money).
You can put together a survey in a couple of hours (or less) using free tools like Survey Monkey or Wufoo. Just remember you need a decent sized sample (1000 is generally cited as the minimum, but if it’s a niche area, you might be able to get away with 5-600) and a fresh or surprising take on a topical theme.
Remember, too, that it’s all about the questions you ask; no one is going to be surprised to hear people spend more or row with their loved ones at Christmas. So what questions could you ask that would get new, more surprising insights...?
Most editors – particularly on online publications – are increasingly hungry for content they don’t have to pay for. And they’re particularly keen to commission thought leadership (opinion) and ‘how to’ articles. Why this isn’t good news for freelance writers for me, it’s great if you’re looking to get coverage for your business or brand.
So how could you use your expertise to ‘teach’ people to deal with Christmas (or the aftermath?).
And, by the way, you can also do this on your own blog/website, as online gym owner Julia Buckley has done here. As well as being great content for your own audience/potential clients, if you can offer good quality video content to go with your copy, editors will be delighted.
5.Share something personal
Sharing personal stories can be great way to get media coverage, as if people feel they can identify with you, they’ll naturally want to know more about your business or brand.
The trick is look at the areas of your life which intersect with your business/work and see what experiences you’ve had that other people will (a) care about (b) want to share with other people (c) will have an opinion on.
Examples might include: your first Christmas without a loved one, experiencing mental/physical illness at Christmas, having no money/being in debt at Christmas, working over Christmas, getting married/divorced at Christmas, having/losing a baby at Christmas and so on…
If you think this all sounds too negative, turn it on its head: your first illness-free Christmas, your first ‘employed’ Christmas (after being out of work), your first Christmas as adoptive parents and so on. The key thing, though, is that it’s a unique story (or at least a unique take on a situation) that people will care about.
Good luck with getting some Christmassy PR coverage for your business or brand. I'd love to hear how you get on, so do drop me a line or leave a comment in the box below with your news.