Getting press coverage for your gifts is a great way to introduce your products to a wider audience.
You can market specific gifts for specific gifting seasons, exactly when your customers are looking to buy. You can also build up your brand image in the eyes of your target market – there is nothing quite like saying “as featured in The Times Gift Guide” to give customers reassurance. All of this increased awareness is sure to boost your traffic and your sales.
If you’d like to generate press coverage for your business but don’t know where to start, take a look at our five-step guide:
Know Your Audience and Your Publications
Who is your target market and what publications do they like to read? Regularly read the publications you think appeal to your target audience. Only over the course of a few weeks or months can you really get a feel for the content they create and the style in which they present products. You can then build a shortlist of publications that fit well with your products line. Identify individual pages and sections in which you could be featured and contact the journalists responsible for those pages directly when pitching your gifts.
Plan in Advance – Seasonal pitching
Seasonal pitching for the key gifting seasons is critical for gift companies. Think beyond Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. There’s also the wedding season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, Back to School and Travel season to take advantage of. When doing these time-sensitive pitches you need to be sure of the “lead times” of the mags and blogs you are targeting. Lead times means how far ahead a publication works. Some magazines work to create content six months in advance of publication so pitching Christmas gifts at the start of December is unlikely to generate much coverage apart from perhaps some very last minute blog posts. With this information you can plan your pitch in advance and give the publication plenty of time to feature it in a relevant edition and generate the maximum coverage across the gift guides in the process.
Write Your Email Pitch
Your email pitch has to be well-written, engaging and chatty – try to get your personality across. Journalists and publishers will be receiving hundreds of requests over the course of a week so you need to make your pitch stand out from the crowd. You’ll need an eye-grabbing title line, an introduction to your company and a description of new product lines. Name drop some of their latest articles to show you have read their magazines and also consider following on social media too.
Your email pitch should include some image of your gifts. Ideally, these will be cutouts on a white background. Send low resolution images with your first email but inform your contact that you have high res images available to send upon request. Also, inform them that you are able to send out products if they prefer to shoot their own images in-house.
Offer samples where possible
I would highly recommend sending samples where you have the budget. In our experience, it can double the likelihood of getting featured and make the process much easier. If a journalist can get hold of your product and they love it, it then stays in the front of their mind much more than a product where they have only seen an image.
Securing press coverage for your gifts can be a long process. You’ll need to be persistent and really hone your pitch. Don’t be too disheartened at rejection, keep finding new publications to target and keep sending those emails to maximise your chances of getting your gifts featured in the press.