Mother's Day Gift Guides are some of the most coveted spots in print and on TV for your press campaign. As with any gift guide, you're going to be working with different lead times, so hopefully you are reading this article in time! If not, make a note of it in your Media Outreach Template here at Tin Shingle for when you need to start pitching the right outlets.
First of all, let's set a few things straight about your pitching timeline:
- Print Magazines (long lead): If you're targeting Real Simple, Rachael Ray or other national monthly magazines, you need to start 3-6 months in advance of the holiday. So for Mother's Day, this time is November - January.
- Blogs, TV, Daily Newspaper, Weekly Rags (short lead): If you're targeting the website version of Real Simple or Rachael Ray, or your local newspaper, blog or newspaper, or even a celebrity weekly gossip magazine like US Weekly, you have less harsh of a deadline, and that is a month or two out. So for Mother's Day, think March and April.
These gift guides are becoming more and more popular, so I’m here to help you figure out the best strategy to pitching out your brand. Below I’m going to discuss some tips and strategies to help you secure all of the press you can for Mother’s Day!
COMPANION WEBINAR: Kelly gives the ins and outs of pitching for Mother’s Day Gift Guides in this webinar that you will love, "How to Pitch Mother's Day Stories and Gift Guides".
First of all, most of the coverage comes in the form of weekly magazines. Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely coverage in some of the woman’s monthly magazines too (Woman’s Day, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, etc) too, but weeklies (US Weekly, People Magazine, Life & Style, Closer Weekly, etc) all have big coverage in their issues. With that being said, they tend to be geared towards celebrity moms. Consider these valuable happenings:
- Has a celebrity used your product?
- Do you have a picture of them with it?
- A testimonial from them?
This is all gold, so be sure to include that when pitching your brand. Please be sure to correctly note how the celebrity used your product. If this was in a gifting suite, and they did not buy your product, then do note that they "held" your product or "used" it if they actually used it. It is best to always get permission from the celebrity's team before you use this in your marketing materials.
Second, take a close look at what you’re pitching. Is it really a gift for mom, or a gift to make life easier for mom (aka something for the kids)? Most of these print publications are looking for something special for mom. But, don’t get discouraged! If you have a product to help moms or maybe something for the kiddos, think about pitching it to the online version of the magazine, or perhaps a blog. Because the medium is online, there are more and more opportunities for press. Some outlets will even do 10 or 15 different gift guides for mom. Under $25, For the Sporty Mom, For the Mom on the Go, Gifts for New Moms, Jewelry For Moms, The Mom that Likes to Cook, and so on! I like to visit Google and search different outlets and “Mother’s Day Gift Guides” to see what they have covered in the past too, so I can tailor my pitching strategy accordingly.
Third of all, think about combining your pitch efforts with another brand. Maybe your lotion or bath product would be pitched perfectly with some PJs and Slippers. Find another small biz or entrepreneur on Instagram or here on Tin Shingle and collaborate! That would make a perfect little vignette (Relaxing Gifts for Mom or Destress Mom) and you could cover more ground together. Plus, editors love it when they get a bundle pitch too - it’s like a little gift for them!
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Finally, it’s important to realize if you are pitching a celebrity-focused magazine, a price conscious magazine or a parenting magazine. You can’t blanket pitch these publications, meaning, you don't want to send the same exact pitch to each publication. So always think about who your target demographic is and where your brand fits in. Know your brand and admit to yourself if that publication is in line with the core of your brand. If Woman’s Day is focusing on under $50 gifts for mom, they probably won’t include your pricey (but fabulous) necklace that retails for $300.
So all in all, do your homework and once you’ve done some good research, get out there and pitch away! Have an open mind and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. These editors are getting hundreds of pitches a day so be creative and your hard work will pay off! And hey, if you are nervous about following up with an editor to see if they liked your pitch, listen to Tin Shingle's TuneUp webinar, "How to Follow Up with the Media the Right Way - Scenarios, Strategies & Success-Minded Answers"