in: Public Relations - Pitching Holidays
by: Sabina Hitchen
For the most part, there are two ways you're going to be pitching products for Valentine's Day: print and TV.
SEE ALSO: How to Pitch the Press for Valentine's Day
Sending your product/products directly to a magazine editor for print coverage.
This is a straight product pitch, which will go to monthly magazines for "long lead," and then eventually websites, blogs, newspapers and weekly magazines for "short lead" (TV will more than likely require a segment, which we discuss below).
FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES:
1. Create a brief Valentine's Day elevator pitch about your product.
Include a quick introduction regarding you, your company, your product, and why it is a great gift for Valentine's Day for their viewers/readers/listeners. Even if you use the same basic pitch, make sure you craft your pitch copy to specifically address that outlet and their audience.
2. This pitch should show how your product is unique.
You can quickly show how your product is unlike any they've ever seen before by including this information:
- include the price
- where to buy
- a link to where it's found on your website
- a brief thank you at the end.
End your pitch by mentioning that you'd love to share more information or images, and that you can provide samples.
3. Link to the product online, or embed an image in the pitch.
Do not attach anything unless you know the contact already. Sending attachments without permission is a big pitching no-no. But you can embed an image in your email. There is a difference.
4. Send this customized pitch to every short lead outlet you picture your product in.
Just be sure you only send it to media who you truly can picture your product or story in. Nothing hurts media relationships more than unnecessary or irrelevant pitches, so be honest with yourself about you pitch and whether or not the outlet is going to be interested in it.
If you'd like to pitch by phone first, be sure you use this pitch as a script to guide you - this will prevent any moment of pitching amnesia when you're on the phone.
After pitching, give the outlet at least a week before you follow up. Editors and reporters are busy, and many have cut staff due to the recession so they're already overworked. They also may be keeping you on file as they flesh out their holiday stories, so patience is key here. Record each pitch as you execute it, and then move on. If you haven't heard in two weeks, then you can follow up. But include new information or a new spin on your old pitch in the follow up so you aren't simply calling to ask "did you get my pitch?" This would be a good time to see if they'd like a sample, etc.
TRAINING CLASS AVAILABLE!:
Stream Tin Shingle's training class TuneUp with special Guest Expert Jamie Werner, PR Director at Moderne Press: How to Pitch Short Lead Media (blogs, weekly magazines, newspapers) for Valentine's Day
Pitching a Product for TV Coverage for Valentine's Day
Producers don't want to have two minutes of air time turn into a commerical for your brand. For that reason, most holiday segments include multiple product features. To accomplish this, you can do things like:
1. Create segments with multiple brands and products - not just your own.
As an entrepreneur, you are bound to know countless other companies who you could partner with to create a full Valentine's Day segment. If you are a member of Tin Shingle you can also reach out to other members and "posse up" on a pitch! Example of pitch ideas include
- "Move over candy hearts, here are 5 must-have foods for love"
- "Valentine's Day Gifts for under 100.00"
- "DIY Valentine's Day Gifts"
- "Valentine's Day Finds for Kids"
- "Must-have Jewelry by Los Angeles Designers"
2. Keep your outreach focused on sharing your brand with magazines, websites and other top shopping or product trendsetters or guides.
Often television stations will bring in editors or experts on a regular basis to do these segments for them, and if you get to know these experts and editors, and they get to know your brand, your chances of being taken on the show with them increase.
3. Connect with regular on-air experts who will most likely be doing segments on these topics.
For example, on-air lifestyle experts (& members of Tin Shingle) Pamela Pekerman and Dawn Del Russo often do holiday shopping segments. The more they get to know your brand or product, the more likely they will think of it when a new segment opportunity comes up. They may also send out a query looking for a specific type of product, and if she knows about your business, there's a good chance your company will be on the list.
It's also a good idea to pitch the shopping experts, stylists and regular shopping and holiday contributors nearly as much as traditional media outlets are pitched. How do you figure out who these people are? By getting to know the outlets and segments you want to land placements in or on!