How to Pitch Around the Holidays

Festive garland wreaths the streets of Grand Rapids with the text, "If you're in public relations, you should be mindful of the holiday season when pitching to the media."

If you’re anything like our ringleader, Kim Bode, then you’ve probably ditched the pumpkin spice for peppermint, put up Christmas decorations and are jamming to Christmas music, as we speak. You may even have a countdown until Christmas engrained in your memory (T minus 41 days), but hey, we don’t judge.

Whether you’re encapsulated with Christmas cheer or more of the Scrooge-type, you should be mindful of the holiday season when pitching to the media. Here’s what we recommend:

Plan in advance

Media’s schedules fill up fast, especially around the holidays. Our team normally recommends pitching 4-6 weeks in advance, but this time frame lengthens if you’re looking to get coverage around the holidays due to a greater demand. If you’re looking for coverage around the holidays but haven’t made your pitch yet, we recommend pitching as soon as possible to avoid schedule conflicts.
(Food for thought: Some media start planning their holiday promotions in the summer! It’s never too early to start planning your holiday coverage.)

If your pitch isn’t holiday-related, wait until after the New Year

Is it life or death if you don’t land media coverage before the New Year? If the answer is ‘no,’ then we recommend waiting to pitch your story until after the holiday craze. Your chances of receiving coverage after the New Year are much greater because there tends to be a lull in pitches during this time.

Be mindful of the media’s schedules – They’re people too

We know this may come as a shocker, but the media are people too! Let the media enjoy their holiday season by avoiding email communication after work hours, and be mindful of their changing schedules (taking time off around the holidays, spending time with children during winter break, etc.). And remember, your lack of planning does not equate to the media having to rush to accommodate your requests. Don’t be a Scrooge.

Spread holiday cheer!

Buddy the Elf said it best, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
Ok. Maybe ditch the singing and swap this out for gift giving.
When you’re making your holiday-themed pitch or following up with the media during the holiday season, we recommend gifting the media with a little something special to show how much you care. In the end, public relations practitioners and the media depend on each other to do their jobs successfully.

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