PR COVERAGE THIS CHRISTMAS. TIPS AND TRICKS ON HOW TO MASTER IT.

Do you have a story idea with a Christmassy theme? If you’re looking for PR coverage in monthly titles, which generally work several months ahead, you’ve probably missed your chance. You may also be too late for some weeklies. But, if you act now, there’s still plenty of time to place festive stories (including post-Christmas stories for January) in some publications/programmes.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1.PIGGYBACKING

Look out for Christmassy themed news stories you can ‘piggyback’ onto.

There are many ways of going about this, but the most common approach is to offer yourself (or your client) as an expert voice on the topic.

The great thing about piggybacking is that it isn’t just reactive i.e. responding to current news stories. You can also anticipate stories that will be covered by the media e.g. Christmas adverts, Christmas films/TV shows, Black Friday and so on and start working on ideas days – or even weeks – ahead.

INSPIRATION

What happened to the Christmas hit single?

Annoyed mother admits she was unmoved by the John Lewis advert

Christmas adverts show big brands are ignoring LGBT

How headphones have become the must-have accessory this Christmas

2.DO/SAY SOMETHING INTERESTING/UNIQUE

Journalists aren’t really all too interested in your brand - they don't care if you have a sale on – but they might be interested in the reasons behind it or what you do or what you say. 

So launch a campaign, hold an unusual event or offer an interesting opinion (something we haven’t heard a million times before).

INSPIRATION

People are now covering their beards in glitter for the Ultimate Christmas Look (this genius trend was started by The Gay Beards, who made a video about it, posted pictures on Instagram and the rest is... glistory? 

Children sing carols to local council to raise awareness of housing crisis

Christmas tree supplier to the stars forecasts best season ever

Boy who asked santa for a toothbrush inspired Christmas campaign

Could your choice of Christmas gift affect your child’s confidence?

Why I’ve gone cold turkey on Christmas consumerism

3. DO SOME RESEARCH

Journalists love data, so doing some research around a topical Christmas theme e.g. loneliness, overspending, squabbles with relatives can be very effective. It doesn’t have to be costly either (both in terms of time and money).

You can put together a survey in a couple of hours (or less) using free tools like Survey Monkey or Wufoo. Just remember you need a decent sized sample (1000 is generally cited as the minimum, but if it’s a niche area, you might be able to get away with 5-600) and a fresh or surprising take on a topical theme.

Remember, too, that it’s all about the questions you ask; no one is going to be surprised to hear people spend more or row with their loved ones at Christmas. So what questions could you ask that would get new, more surprising insights…?

INSPIRATION

Take That tops poll of Christmas cracker jokes

A quarter of couples see Christmas as ‘make or break’ time

The typical man buys just three Christmas presents

Many expect to spend Christmas alone

4 in 10 people will fake joy at Christmas gifts

4.TEACH SOMETHING

Most editors – particularly on online publications – are increasingly hungry for content they don’t have to pay for. And they’re particularly keen to commission thought leadership (opinion) and ‘how to’ articles. 

So how could you use your expertise to ‘teach’ people to deal with Christmas (or the aftermath?).

And, by the way, you can also do this on your own blog/website, as online gym owner Julia Buckley has done here. As well as being great content for your own audience/potential clients, if you can offer good quality video content to go with your copy, editors will be delighted.

INSPIRATION

‘Tis the season to be ruthless: Christmas decluttering

How to teach…Christmas carols and festive song

Christmas Cookies that no one will guess are actually healthy

How entrepreneurs can beat the holiday blues

I got the PM fit – now I’ll do the same for you

5. SHARE SOMETHING PERSONAL

Sharing personal stories can be great way to get media coverage, as if people feel they can identify with you, they’ll naturally want to know more about your business or brand. 

The trick is look at the areas of your life which intersect with your business/work and see what experiences you’ve had that other people will (a) care about (b) want to share with other people (c) will have an opinion on. 

Examples might include: your first Christmas without a loved one, experiencing mental/physical illness at Christmas, having no money/being in debt at Christmas, working over Christmas, getting married/divorced at Christmas, having/losing a baby at Christmas and so on…

If you think this all sounds too negative, turn it on its head: your first illness-free Christmas, your first ‘employed’ Christmas (after being out of work), your first Christmas as adoptive parents and so on. The key thing, though, is that it’s a unique story (or at least a unique take on a situation) that people will care about.

INSPIRATION

Why this Christmas will be different for us? Four people, four life-changing events

The Christmas I put my horror festive periods behind me

Dealing with the death of a child at Christmas time

My first Christmas without my children

Life after steel: school children discuss Christmas in Redcar

An unusual Christmas present saved my life

Good luck with getting some Christmassy PR coverage for your business or brand. I’d love to hear how you get on, so do drop me a message !

Sophie Attwood