Top tips on getting your products featured in magazine and newspaper Christmas Gift Guides
The UK press produces some of the most comprehensive and exciting Christmas Gift Guides in the world and each year millions of people turn to the gift guides to help source presents, meaning they have a huge reach and are extremely powerful. Being featured can increase your brand awareness and credibility and generate traffic and sales.
Want to maximise your press opportunities and tap into people’s shopping mindset? Follow these 6 steps from PR Dispatch to find out how you can pitch your products to the Christmas Gift Guides and gain the coverage they deserve.
Step 1. Have the right images ready
First impressions count. That’s why getting your imagery right is crucial and should be your main priority. The most relevant images for Christmas press usage are cut out images. Cut outs are shot on a completely white or clear background and have to be a minimum of 300 dpi. [Learn how to take better product shots here – https://blog.folksy.com/category/seller-tips/handmade-photography-tips]
A few gift guides are styled within a shoot and on these occasions the editor will call in samples opposed to images. Samples should always be returned to you, but make sure you include a lending sheet with your samples and double check the return date to avoid any misunderstandings.
Step 2. Timing is everything
Thinking about Christmas while it’s still summer might seem a bit odd, however, now this is the time to start thinking about the gift guides. Magazines start getting their Christmas features together at slightly different times, but generally speaking, long-lead publications start compiling their gift guides from July onwards, short-lead from September onwards and online from October onwards. Being aware of the lead times will ensure that you’re fully prepared and will make sure that you won’t miss out on any key opportunities.
Step 3. Do your research
This might seem obvious, however, the more research you put in the better you will be at tailoring your pitches, which again will increase your chances of Christmas press success. Plus, editors will be able to tell if you’ve never picked up a copy of the publication you’re pitching to. A few things to consider are:
- Which publications would my products be a good fit for?
- Who is the editor in charge of compiling the gift guide?
- What price point is right for this publication?
- What is the readership of the publication and does it match my target audience?
Flick through previous gift guides and make a note of the types of products and brands that were featured. The same goes for the themes and categories, as it will give you a good idea of what angles to use. A lot of print content is pulled online so if you can’t get hold of the print publication, see if you can access it on the publication’s online counterpart. Aside from emailing, follow and engage with press via social media. This will help build and strengthen your press relationships further.
Step 4. Pick the right products
Choosing the right products to pitch is essential to ensure you’re maximising your chances of coverage. You need to ensure your product(s) are ‘giftable’. The Christmas Gift Guides have a huge range of product categories and themes, there’s nothing to worry about on that front, you just need to ensure you have one product, at least, that will stand out on a Christmas Gift Guide page. Give your products a Christmas twist, ensure your packing is on point (this is key to gifting!) and attach a feel-good story to really make the editor buy into your product.
Step 5. Perfect your pitch
Tailor your pitches to the gift guide and editor you’re pitching to and keep your emails informal, friendly and concise. Attach the image or images, include the relevant details and credits, and add a hyperlink to your Folksy shop and product where possible.
Another tip is to include easily searchable keywords for the editors to refer back to and make your subject line as specific as possible. Below are a few examples of good email subject lines to give you an idea:
‘For your Christmas Gift Guide: Necklace for the cat lover’
‘Eco-friendly homeware for your Christmas Gift Guide’
‘Christmas gifts for the travel enthusiast’
You basically want to include all the relevant details in the first email to make the editor’s life as easy as possible and increase the chances of your brand being considered or featured.
There’s a fine line between being persistent and ‘spammy’, however, because there are so many different Christmas themes and categories, we recommend pitching different products with different angles where relevant.
Step 6. Be Persistent
Editors are busy people with a full inbox and generally speaking they’ll only get back to you if your products fit their themes. However, never feel like you’re ‘pestering’ an editor. It’s a two-way relationship; you need the press and the press need you.
Send a short follow-up email a week after your initial email to check it didn’t get lost in their inbox. Online press especially tends to run a number of Christmas-related features regularly, so it’s fine to go back to the contact with different products as they might have a few suitable stories in the pipeline.
Sometimes editors won’t respond at all and might just pull a photo directly from your website to use for their gift guide. That’s why it’s always good to have a read through the relevant gift guides (especially the online ones) to see if your product made the cut.
Has an editor requested an image and/or credits? Great! Make sure you track and monitor the potential press coverage and send a nice thank you-email if your product did make it into the gift guide.
It takes a bit of effort and perseverance, but there are some brilliant benefits to having your products feature in the Christmas press.
Ready to get the ball rolling? Last year our brands graced the pages of The Telegraph, Stylist, Evening Standard, Elle and many more. The PR Dispatch Christmas Gift Guide gives you everything you need to pitch your product to Christmas press and you’ll have access to over 85 gift guides until December. There’s only 100 memberships available this year so make sure you sign up now to secure yours and put your best foot forward with Christmas press. Use your exclusive Folksy discount code, folksychristmas19 to get £50 off the Christmas Gift Guide for a limited time only.
We’re also hosting a hands-on and informative workshop on the 17th September – come along and find out how you can achieve Christmas press success, or join our online workshop and learn how to pitch your products from the comfort of your own home here.