Many media outlets are already building their Christmas and end-of-year editorial plans and it won't be long before requests for images, products and information will come through to PR agencies and in-house teams.
Here are some ideas, based on our 26 years of experience in homewares, consumer electronics and lifestyle PR, to make sure you don't miss out on those all important and influential editorials.
1. Be ready. By now you should have a pretty good idea of your product range. Festive and summer-themed photography should be well under way and you should be making early approaches to your key media contacts to discuss what they're looking for this Christmas.
2. Start talking to journalists, researchers and features editors now. Long-lead print media is already well down the planning path and your products may just be the right fit or spark a new idea for their editorial concepts.
3. Do your homework. Pitch the right products to the right people at the right media outlets. Surprisingly many companies take a 'spray and pray' approach and send out poorly targeted, generalised media releases to all and sundry. This undoes media good-will and is unlikely to generate quality media coverage. Pick your media targets, build ideas and offer products that make sense for them to cover.
4. Find out if your publicity photography is good enough to use or if you will need to submit a product for an in-house shoot. Many editors require individually styled shots and stock pictures can't be used.
5. As part of the point above, consider the number of product samples you have available to help manage the timely rotation of samples between media outlets.
6. Refresh products and packaging between review or photo shoot rotations. Don't just ship them from one publisher to the next. Presentation counts.
7. Make sure you supply RRP and stockist or distributor details with your media communication. This is a pet peeve of most journalists who have limited time to chase information.
8. Find a way to creatively tie your product in to a story, theme or media outlet if it's not immediately obvious what the link to readers or viewers is.
There's plenty more to think about of course. It's a high-pressure time of year and when bridges with the media are most commonly built or burned.
If you're not sure where to start or want additional support to build your editorial coverage this year then get in touch. (Ask for Simone or Adam)