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Unwrapping PR at Christmas

Should communications professionals accept defeat and not compete for coverage during the festive season? Absolutely not!

Christmas isn’t a time to stop communicating your company’s messages. If you choose to take a break from engaging in PR over the Christmas season, you are essentially making the decision to stop trying to reach your target audience for almost 10% of the year. Remember, Christmas is when you are most likely to have a captive audience. People consume media at a much higher rate than other times of the year. It is important to ensure that your business is not missing out on these crucial opportunities to communicate your message.

It’s understandable to be worried that your PR activities will get lost in the noise of this B2C-focused messaging, but this is where a professional PR agency can be your best friend.

How can a PR agency help produce a successful Christmas PR campaign?

Contacts: During the festive season, journalists and media professionals are flooded with press releases and pitches (even more than usual) from companies who are vying for the last remaining column inches in a target publication. The strength of a PR agency is its relationships with the media. Being able to navigate through all the noise, and find the right media contact for your story, is one of the key steps in trying to obtain coverage in a crowded market. It is this knowledge of where your message is most likely to gain cut through that will help you stand out.

Creativity: Christmas gives companies a chance to embrace their festive spirit and make use of seasonal themes as a means of delivering their message. All of this can lead companies to the conclusion that all news stories that they want to communicate during December need to use Christmas motifs in order for their message to be heard. That is not the case and, in fact, it may actually be detrimental to your goal of achieving coverage. As we are all aware, work doesn’t stop just because it is Christmas. There are still important communications that you may need to put out at short notice, which won’t necessarily fit into a Christmas narrative, for example, appointment notices. In order to set your company’s message apart and break through all the festive noise, you need to find a creative hook or angle which will appeal to your target journalists or publications. A PR agency can help guide you do this, providing a sounding board for your ideas or even developing a fully formed PR strategy for you.

Forethought: In a busy Christmas period, it can be disheartening when you are not seeing cut through for your message in an oversaturated marketplace. What may seem like a very interesting story about your business ends up getting lost in the noise. The process of gaining successful coverage during the festive season is one that begins long before the days start getting shorter and the temperature starts to tumble. It is particularly important to be mindful of this when it comes to messages that you know will need to be communicated in December (e.g. earnings announcements, new product launches). Your agency should start putting the groundwork in place well in advance, and although it can often feel like a long wait between initial drafts, sign off and finally appearing in print, it is important to be patient. Have faith that a strong message, coupled with the hard work of your agency, will result in positive coverage for your business.

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