High-Lights: Our Tech PR POV

Three Mistakes You’re Making with Holiday Gift Guide Pitching

Summer is here and most are packing bathing suits for summer getaways. But for consumer PR pros, July means one thing: time to start pitching gift guides. That’s right — it’s Christmas in July. However, when it comes to gift guide pitching, there are three common mistakes that result in coal under the tree (and unhappy clients):

Mistake 1: Starting Late (And Quitting Too Soon)

Though we’re still wearing sandals, long lead pitching for holiday gift guides starts in the July/August timeframe. Continue pitching long lead throughout the fall and pick up short lead outreach in September. Most importantly, keep pitching throughout the rest of the year. There are plenty of last-minute gift guides in December, plus your product can be featured in New Year, New You roundups in January.

Mistake 2: Forgetting the Basics

Try multiple angles for each product. This is a great opportunity to create relationships with reporters outside your friendly list. For example, if your product is inexpensive, try pitching deals and steals editors for 50 under $50 roundups. When you reach out to media, make sure to give them everything and the kitchen sink upfront. Include links to product, images and sample offers in your initial outreach. Reporters don’t want to have to ask for follow up; it’s our job to make their lives as easy as possible so we can land ink.

Mistake 3: Not Measuring the Results

All your work is for naught if you don’t measure the results. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to directly tie PR efforts to sales results by using UTM codes or Google Analytics. Don’t just use the data to measure this year’s result; use it to strategize for next year, too. Did any of your placements drive an especially high amount of traffic? Consider paid options in that publication for next year. Any hits that didn’t move the needle? Move that publication down on your hit list for 2019.

Trying to avoid these mistakes? Start pitching early, try multiple angles, and have trackings in place to measure the results. Looking for more ideas on how you can uplevel your gift guide pitching? Get in touch with Highwire consumer team at hi@highwirepr.com.