Top tips to gain seasonal press



To many the editorial calendar is a thing of mystery. After all, who on earth is thinking about Christmas in July? Editors, that’s who. With editorial shoots and printing schedules to consider, some publications are compiling seasonal features up to six months in advance.

Mother’s Day is just a month away, but there’s still time to get your products into some short-lead and online features. It can all seem like a bit of a minefield, so if you’re feeling a little lost we’ve compiled a list of top tips for landing a seasonal feature for your brand.

So what’s so great about seasonal press?

Seasonal features are great for boosting traffic and sometimes even sales. We’ve all been casually reminded of Valentine’s Day the week before (cue instant panic), and many shoppers turn to gift guides for ideas for even the most difficult of recipients – who knows what to buy your dad’s brother’s wife for Christmas anyway? As with any good press, it can also increase your credibility and boost awareness of your brand among your target customers. Win, win!

It’s February, so why am I thinking about Father’s Day?

You can know all the tricks of the trade, but a lot of the time getting press has a lot to do with luck – frustrating, we know! This is especially true for seasonal features i.e. Valentine’s Day and Christmas. That said, you can increase your chances of being called in for a feature simply by contacting editors at the right time.

Different types of magazines start getting their seasonal features together at different times. Monthly magazines such as ELLE and Vogue start working on features up to six months in advance of the issue’s publication date, so editors for Valentine’s features might be actively searching for products from September onwards. Weekly magazines have a much shorter lead time, and daily and online publications even shorter than that. You can read more about magazine lead times in our previous blog post.

We recommend keeping a press calendar of key dates so you can be sure to pitch your products to the right people at the right time. We’ve even made a free one, so feel free to print it off or add it to your electronic calendar to get your pitching off to a flying start.

Tailor your approach 

This point is maybe the most important of all. Editors get hundreds if not thousands of emails a day, so tailoring your approach makes getting noticed that bit more likely - try to refrain from using too much copy & paste. Make sure to research each and every feature – editors will be able to tell from a mile off if you’ve never so much as picked up a copy of the publication you’re pitching to. Be sure to only send your pitches via email: editors are all about visuals, and they won’t be able to see if your product is right for them over the phone.

Trust us when we say that going that extra mile will yield greater results. You might send fewer emails, but showing you’ve done your research will increase your response rate dramatically.

First impressions count

It may sound trivial, but the subject line of an email could be the difference between an editor opening your pitch or sending it straight to Junk (harsh, we know!). It’s the first opportunity to show you have done your research, and a boring title will only end up unopened, no matter how well your email is drafted. Get to the point and give the reader a glimpse of what your email is about, while showing off a bit of your brand’s personality. Your subject line is your first impression, so make it count.

Be relevant

When pitching for a specific feature, make sure you highlight how your brand is relevant. Your red lingerie brand may be perfect for Valentine’s, but probably won’t be quite right for GQ’s Father’s Day gift guide. When you’ve narrowed down who you’re pitching to, be sure to keep your email short and to the point. Editors tend to be time poor, so now is not the time to talk them through your life story - keep the content of your email as relevant as possible. Don’t forget to link to your website, give them a bit of information on your product and your price point, attach a low-res image, and be sure to reference the feature you are pitching to.

Be prepared to follow up, and follow up again

So you’ve done everything we told you to; you did your research, pitched to the right publications at the right time, tailor made a short and sweet email pitch and nothing. Nada. Zilch. Days have passed and you haven’t received a single response or call in. This may seem like a failure, but this is perfectly normal. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge for editors to pick up on your email.

A week or two after your initial email is a reasonable amount of time to wait before sending a short but concise follow up. A few sentences is enough - the goal here is to get their attention back to your product. If they still don’t get back to you, don’t send another follow up email straight away. Instead, put your focus on other features and try again when there’s another relevant date in your calendar. Successful PR takes patience, but persistence eventually pays off, so don’t lose heart.

So now it’s time to get pitching. For contacts, publication details and a course jam packed with tips just like these, simply choose your PR Dispatch category and watch as your PR plan begins to unfold. Best of luck, and if you need some gentle encouragement be sure to check out some of the amazing coverage that brands just like yours have secured for themselves with the help of PR Dispatch.

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PR storiesCharline Catteeuw