A Guide to Holiday Gift Guides

buzzIt may still feel like summer outside but in media offices nationwide it’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas.  Pitching your product for holiday gift guides may seem like an easy task but editors are inundated with hundreds (probably more like thousands) of pitches selling the “greatest new {insert product here}.” So how do you get your product into the most widely read and shared gift guides? It takes a lot of planning, pitching and persistence.

First of all, if you’re just now getting started, it may already be too late. That is, if you’re planning to see your products in magazines. Many print publications start gathering information, pitches and product samples for their holiday gift guides over the summer. But fear not! If you’ve already missed a deadline for a magazine, it’s not the end of the world. Many magazines will take last minute submissions in the event that one of the products they’re testing doesn’t fit the style, theme or quality requirements of the gift guide. It doesn’t hurt to shoot the editor in charge of the section a quick pitch, just in case.

Now, it’s time to send a note to those online outlets to get your product in front of their eyes. I know what you’re thinking – sending a pitch to a short lead contact this early is pointless, it’ll just get lost in their mailbox. Well, you’re right and wrong. While a typical lead time for online isn’t more than a couple weeks (or sometimes just a few hours), holiday gift guide pitching doesn’t play by the rules. Send a pitch early and wait a longer period of time between follow ups. But this is where the persistence comes in – follow up is more important than ever. Just make sure you have new information, images or samples to offer each time so you aren’t put on the outlet’s “naughty” list.

Think your product is ready for the limelight on broadcast? Time for more research. Instead of just pitching producers and reporters at your top broadcast stations, look for lifestyle, food, or home experts that have done gift guide segments in the past. Do a little more digging to find out if they have broadcast segments scheduled already and mention in your pitch how exactly your product would be a good addition.

Finally, do some light online “stalking” to find the right social media influencers. Take a look at editors, writers, contributors and freelancers at your top publications and offer to send a product their way for social promotion. You never know, they might just love it so much its lands in a last minute holiday gift guide. If you’re like me and procrastinate all your holiday shopping, you know just how vital these gift guides can be!

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