We can all associate the changing seasons to some of our favorite products (pumpkin spice latte, anyone?) and fondest memories (cider mills and hayrides!). And while the holidays mean busy social calendars, they also offer the opportunity for businesses to engage consumers, and to land some great media coverage – if they plan ahead.
That’s where the right PR agency can help.
With guidance, businesses can leverage this time of year as an opportunity to engage consumers on a rational and emotional level. For many business owners, pre-holiday sales translate into a big percentage of their bottom line. These become opportunities for a PR professional working with consumer-reaching clients who also knows how to capitalize on the season, in a strategic way.
There are a few key items every business needs to have in place to make the most of this time of year:
Find your spokesperson – From non-profits to small business owners and beyond, do you have a spokesperson who can share his or her expertise on a timely topic related to the holiday season? Place a spotlight on your client and offer him up for interviews. Will fundraising be impacted by the economy this year? Are businesses selling more compared to last year as shoppers’ confidence has improved? If you have just the right person to comment, let the media know.
Get ahead of the story – There are some stories that return each year (Black Friday, anyone?) The best reporters are always looking for a new way to tell them, to make them relevant to an audience. A solid PR professional will see those opportunities coming weeks, months in advance, and provide the content, interviews, photos and videos to make those stories possible – and possibly easier to execute.
Don’t forget social opportunities – In addition to PR, advise your clients to show the same mindfulness and expertise on the brands’ social networks. Link to the best keywords, stories and images for the season.
Share those community ties – Your clients’ may contribute to charitable causes at any time of year, which can be a reason to connect with organizations and the media. During the holidays these community ties may also be a newsworthy opportunity and should be considered.
Track your success – Once you’ve strategized your way into the holiday season and positioned your clients appropriately, appropriate media coverage will come. Be sure to monitor, collect and track it. Compare it to your success in previous years if you’re working with a long-term client and share your results. It’s sure to show that you have the clients’ best interest in mind.
What other ways do you incorporate the holidays into PR and social media opportunities for your PR clients? Share them with us in the comments section.
Stephanie Angelyn Casola really only enjoys seeing decorated Christmas trees during the month of December, but that doesn’t stop her from pitching holiday stories months in advance whenever a deadline calls. She is a consumer and social media manager at Franco PR Group. Reach out to her at email@example.com, @StephCasola on Twitter or Facebook.com/StephanieAngelynCasola. Call 313.567.5048.