A lot of companies tend to see only two options for PR around the holidays: holiday story lines and New Year trends. While these may be the perfect recipe for a good holiday PR campaign, it’s time companies think outside the box. As noted in my blog post last year “Tips for Successful Holiday Campaigns”, I do believe the time period between Thanksgiving and the New Year presents an opportunity to leverage the perceived news lull with a year-end or year-beginning storyline. Often editors and bloggers are looking for interesting ideas to fill their “pages” during this holiday down time.
However, as is with every good strategy, over time everyone gravitates to it. So now, the noise around obvious holiday trends is so great, it’s difficult for a company to rise above the crowd. Time for some holiday innovation, how about it?
With the general slow-down in corporate productivity around the holidays, more people are reading news sites, blogs and following social media channels than during busier times of the year. So smart holiday PR campaigning can be a powerful way to get your company noticed. And everyone knows Sales is desperately trying to make their year-end numbers, so give the readers something that will potentially translate to a sale.
Customer case studies, product innovations and discounted products and services are three great alternatives to the holiday trend approach.
#1 – Customer case studies: I can promise you that in your existing customer base there is a hero waiting to rise to the forefront of your PR efforts. Here’s the catch. They don’t have to come from a behemoth company. They just need to have a passion about what they are doing and believe your product is an enabler of their cause. Also, with smaller companies you don’t need to maneuver the dreaded corporate PR watchdogs – many times these spokespeople have an open microphone to speak freely about what they are doing with your product and /or service. Seek them out and then pitch their story. Nothing is more helpful to a customer sale than a great customer testimonial.
#2 – Product Innovation: A lot of companies hold product innovation news until the New Year has rung in. Why not be bold and let potential customers know what your product can do for them now. In the midst of holiday “do’s and don’ts, a strong product announcement is like a breath of fresh air to writers who have been pitched trend stories ad-nauseum. And it certainly won’t hurt your sales team’s efforts.
#3 – Discounted products and services: Let’s face it; we can’t get around this one. Everyone is looking for a bargain during the holidays, so give your customers what they want. With the advent of location-based offers at ridiculous prices, you can’t escape the fact that everyone is expecting at companies will make some incredible offer at some point. Why not during the season of giving? Instead of offering tips, offer a promotion.
Again, I do believe the holidays are great times to announce results of surveys or make predictions about New Year trends – or to consider something a little more catchy or gimmicky as these types of news stunts often seem to fit in better with the sense of sensationalism surrounding the holiday season.
But please, they’ll be enough boxes under trees – don’t let your PR campaigns get stuck in one.
Wishing all of Attain Marketing’s clients, colleagues and friends a safe and truly joyous holiday season!