The festive season may seem quite far away as we start to approach summer, but in the media world, Christmas is happening now! Christmas gift guides are a dream to get your products into. Interior and gift brands should aim to be in the best Christmas gift guides to boost sales for the busiest season of the year. If you are wondering how you go about getting in those all important gift guides, we have put together seven top tips to get your products featured in Christmas gift guides for 2021!
1. Be on top of lead times
Remember that long lead magazines can work up to around 4 months in advance (sometimes often the largest titles stretch to 5 or 6 months for Christmas!). Making sure you are organised and prepared to pitch to journalists working this far in advance is crucial. We recommend creating a calendar with lead times for each publication. If you reach out to journalists and ask when they are working on Christmas gift guides they will often let you know. If you have a clear plan of when and what to pitch then you could be in with a great chance of catching the journalist at the perfect time! If you are on Press Loft, make sure you upload your images as soon as possible! Brands that upload their images in June and July tend to receive more downloads than brands that upload them later on in the year.
2. Do your research
Researching before you start to pitch to any journalists is crucial. The first thing you should do is make a list of all of the publications that feature gift guides, you should then take a look at previous gift guides from the publications and check to see which ones will fit with your products. You can research previous gift guides through Readly, issuu and even access some previous gift guides on online publications through their websites! Every publication is different when it comes to gift guides, so make sure you know which products are the right match before pitching. If you do your research correctly, you will find it easier to pitch to journalists and tailor your products to the publication they work for. Remember, don’t contact publications that don’t fit in with your brand, stick to what works and what is relevant to you!
Something that you need to have prepared months in advance are your images. June is a great time to start pitching your Christmas images to journalists, so keep this in mind when you are doing photoshoots, stocking products earlier in the year. A mixture of lifestyle and cut-out images is ideal. Cut-out images are crucial if you want to get featured in the gift guides and lifestyle images are good for decorative features. If you have new products and images make sure you pitch them first, then start pitching in ones that fit into a hot topic or trend. You can also repurpose old products and fit them into relevant gift guides if you don’t have any new images. Here are some examples of gift guides below. If you are looking to create your own gift guides you can do this on Studio here.
If you are looking at getting into more of the decorative features then online publications tend to do these more. Decorative features include lots of festive lifestyle imagery to do with Christmas trends or themes, so make sure you have some nice lifestyle images like the ones below.
Making sure your images are high resolution is important as the journalists will need this for their features. Here are the image requirements we require on Press Loft:
At least 1 million pixels (eg 1000×1000)
At least 100kb to max 8MB
Here are some examples or great cut-out and lifestyle images:
4. Make that contact
Making contact with the journalists via email is the next step. Reach out to relevant journalists and let them know what images you have to offer. Make sure your email has a suitable subject line that includes the trend or gift guide segment like “Christmas gifts for her’, Christmas gift guide 2021’ for example, make sure you start with a friendly introduction and then include some low-res images in the body of the email (low-res is essential at this stage so you don’t clog up journalists inboxes), if they are interested in any high-res images then they will contact you. Then finish with making sure they are the right contact and if they are not if they could send through the correct one.
You could also consider offering samples when contacting the journalist if this is something you are willing to do. You tend to get around 50% more coverage if you send out samples. Sending samples can be a great way to get you ahead of your competitors and also gives the journalist a chance to try your product and review it in the gift guide. Sending samples can be expensive so many companies tend to not do this. Influencers tend to not feature any products in their gift guides that they haven’t tried, so it is something to consider if you are looking for more online coverage. Having a high profile journalist or influencer review your product is a great opportunity and can raise your brand awareness, authenticity and trust.
6. Press releases
When contacting journalists, sending press releases to them will give them more insight about your products and possibly draw them in to looking at your email more. Your press release should include all the information you want to tell the journalist along with prices and stockist information. Make sure you include your images in your press release for the journalists to see. If you are not a press release pro then you can read our blog post on how to write a press release here. Press releases are different to emailing as an email is just a general query to ask the journalist what they are working on, press releases include more information about a specific product, launch or trend, so press releases can inspire the journalist more.
Here are some examples of Christmas press releases we love:
7. Trends and themes
A lot of journalists usually work on specific Christmas themes and trends, whether that is in a Christmas gift guide like ‘gifts for her’, ‘gifts for him’, ‘gifts for the home’ for example, or it could be a trend like ‘traditional Christmas decorations ’ or ‘eco-friendly Christmas gifts’. Products that fit into the top themes and trends of the season get a lot more coverage so do your research to find out what the hot topics are, you can sign up to our newsletter to find out more information on this. If you are wondering what this year’s Christmas trends will be then we have a webinar on Christmas PR which will discuss a variety of Christmas trends and gift guide themes, you can sign up to our webinar here. If you are wanting to design your own Christmas gift guides and trends you can do this on Studio, here are some template examples:
If you are interested in getting Christmas coverage for your products then Press Loft has a 60 day free trial. Press Loft helps lots of brands get featured in Christmas gift guides with no research on your behalf needed!
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Press Loft www.pressloft.com is a PR platform specialising in the home, gift and lifestyle sectors that helps thousands of brands to get their products into the press.
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