‘Tis the season for closed offices and inevitable “out of office” automatic replies until January 2. While newsrooms may be emptier this time of year, that doesn’t mean the news is on hold. Reporters still need fresh story ideas to end the year strong and close any content gaps. Reaching journalists during this time can be more challenging, however, with the right story the most wonderful time of the year may actually be the best time to get your client some great coverage.
Here are some tips to getting your pitch noticed during the holidays:
- Be Prepared
When coming up with your pitch, make sure every element is in place to ensure ease on the reporter. If you are offering an interview with a spokesperson, find out his or her availability in advance to avoid any back and forth over the holidays. Gather as much research or back-up findings you’ll need to support your story. This will make life easier for the reporter who may turn down a story if there are missing pieces.
- Avoid Holiday-Themed Pitches
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much holiday content. Reporters are bombarded with holiday-relevant pitches starting in September, so chances are by the final weeks of December they have met their quota. Steer clear of holiday stories unless you have a great angle that makes yours stand out from the rest. Tying your holiday pitch to the community or giving to those in need is a great way to localize your story and grab the attention of the reporter you’re targeting.
- Take Advantage of the News Desert
The week following Christmas is notoriously known for being a news desert, which presents a great opportunity for pitching. Identify a strong story and make sure all of the components are there ahead of time to increase your chances of securing coverage. Reporters may have their “out of office” messages up, but they’re still going to keep an eye out for attention-grabbing subject lines to avoid content holes.
- Start Counting Down to 2020
Get a head start on 2020 and pitch stories that are relevant to the New Year. Predictions are a hot topic during this time, especially for trade publications that often put out New Year prediction roundups for various industries. This is a great way to position your client as an expert on a specific industry trend and set them up for media success in 2020.
While it may be tough to get your story placed this holiday season, it’s still worth a shot. The holidays present a unique opportunity to pitch stories that may not typically get noticed during other editorial months, so be creative! Before your Holiday time off begins, put your best foot forward and you just might be able to improve your end-of-year coverage.