Holidays offers a great excuse to write a press release. All you need to do is come up with a newsworthy idea. And voila – you have yourself some exposure.
The media always cover the holidays. And if you happen to be there with a pitch, guess who gets covered?
This is called piggybacking in the news biz, and what makes it so effective is that major holidays are a very slow time in newsrooms. So providing a good story for reporters to use during any holiday will increase your chances of getting coverage.
Here are some ideas to use the holidays to piggyback your way in getting some free publicity:
1) Get involved. One way to get some coverage is to get involved in the holiday celebrations. Make donations in honor of your customers during a specific holiday. I know once coach who gave 10% of all her sales to the American Cancer Society during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If money is an issue, how about volunteering your services?
2) Give something back. Offer an award and present it, picking a special time of the year to make it even grander. Since you are a leader in your industry, it is always good publicity to offer acknowledgement to another rising star. Your local Chamber of Commerce might have already started a Small Business Month, or your state might already celebrate Entrepreneur’s Month. It’s a feasible idea for you to ride on their coattails and offer up an award of your own, complete with a dinner and a ceremony. One company willing to help another is always a newsworthy event.
3) Take a tradition and tie it was something new. Who cares about the origin of Thanksgiving, when there’s a turkeycam? One clever Kansas turkey farmer shined the spotlight on his turkeys and won an article on the pages of Fortune magazine last year.
4) Develop a poll or survey and announce the results. What does the local small business owner really want for the holidays? What’s the biggest complaint people have about holiday shopping? Conduct a poll or survey and let the work know the results.
5) And even if your product or service isn’t a giftable item, there’s a number of other factors, like the end of the tax year, new year’s resolutions, and family time off for the holidays that can be great story angles for reporters.
Local TV stations and cable channels, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, trade publications, and newsletters – both print and electronic – have huge amounts of time and space to fill. And most of the time, these media outlets don’t have the staff or the resources of the ‘Big Guys,’ so if you can truly help them do their jobs, you’ll be repaid with some great publicity.