Why Quality Media Coverage Is Possible During the Holidays

For agency folks, it’s THAT time of year again (the holiday season) which means clients are looking for quick wins for their brand like quality media coverage,  last-minute projects, in-studio interviews etc.  The agency world is doing everything they can to end the year with one final big win for their clients, as they try to earn and retain client business.

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The problem
 The end of year holiday season in media is like a giant NYC traffic jam when you have a finite amount of time to get to your destination in mid-town Manhattan from JFK ( I actually just experienced this and it was nerve-racking to say the least). Consumer brands often save money in their budgets for the fourth quarter holidays to drive foot traffic and e-commerce revenue. Because of this, the media is inundated with a variety of options to air on their networks, post on their websites, and feature in their publications. So pitching earned media becomes even more difficult for media relations folks during this time!

The negatives  (I like to start with the negative purposefully so that we can end on a good note.)

  • You’ve set the standard of excellence all year long.
  • Your team is inundated with a variety of projects from other clients who have similar high expectations.
  • Earned options are scarce unless you have a killer topic or spokesperson.
  • Paid option are even more costly compared to other times of year.
  • Much of how your year will be remembered depends on the success of this final holiday push! No pressure.

The positives

  • Your client has budget to spend!
  • Your client has budget to spend!
  • You have access to some great vendors that specialize in media relations.

I think we can all agree that pitching media isn’t easy as we continue to look for new angles to capture media interest.

The solution(s)
So, what is the solution?  Well…there’s never just one solution to a problem so I’ll give you three:

  1. Convince your client that they need to bring on a celebrity talent. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a handful of celebrities this year and it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to book out an entire project with quality earned media in just a few days, mostly hinged on the quality talent booking.
  2. Use alternative means to find the win for your client. Often a client will come to us wanting to do a standard execution media tour to garner media coverage and we will suggest a variety of alternative solutions if we think there is a better tactic suited for the project.  Some alternative tactics we often suggest include guaranteed media tacticsinternet media tours or experiential projects.
  3. Conduct a PR Survey/ Consumer Poll. The biggest factor, after quality talent, that has the ability to capture media attention is a quality “media hook” or the topic (see our 4T filter).  A quick PR survey can be conducted and can generate quality media hooks to use for pitching earned media, writing press releases, and/or developing content for marketing/sales. It’s important to consider our tips on how to craft a PR survey questions to ensure efficacy.

It is possible to execute successful holiday campaigns, but there are a few things to consider so you don’t end up wasting precious budget.

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