The holidays are a hectic time for just about everybody, but especially for small business owners. Many earn the lion’s share of revenues during the fourth quarter yet still balance added responsibilities at work with holiday preparations and celebrations. It’s also a popular time to take some much-needed time off for members of the media and for business owners. Our media tips can help you navigate this busy time.
We know as well as anyone how tough it is to find extra hours between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, but if you can squeeze a pitch or two and be available for interviews, it’s also one of the best times of year to land earned media coverage. Why? Because everyone else also is busy and taking holiday time off.
But, news doesn’t stop over the holidays, so this time of year, editors and television producers are looking for ideas to produce content and meet deadlines. If you can pitch a worthy idea and—this is the key—be available, you have a great shot at getting publicity for your small business.
This bears repeating: Be available. Your job doesn’t end once you or your public relations representative sends out a press release. You need to make time to talk to a reporter over the phone, meet for a video shoot, or otherwise put in effort to earn that coverage. Often, the business owner who responds quickest is the one who gets the media spot.
So, what’s the best pitch for this time of year? It may be counterintuitive, but it’s probably too late now for holiday ideas.(Ideally, you start making those pitches late September and early October, especially for publications like magazines who are at least 90 days out on planning). Instead, go for “evergreen” stories—those not linked to a season. Use your expertise to create a “how to” guide or give predictions for the coming year in your field.
For example, if you are in the retail industry, share your tips on managing supply chain challenges. If you are a recruiting company, share your tips for businesses seeking qualified employees.
Find community events
Also, what else is going on in your city or community during the holidays that you can piggyback on? Look for news angles that you can use as a jumping-off point for promoting yourself and your business. Avoid anything political or controversial and try to find pitches that fit your brand. If you’re a life coach and the news has been reporting on how many people are leaving their jobs, use that springboard to pitch yourself as an expert in helping people find their true calling.
Pitches that offer help finding solutions to common troublesome issues are also popular, even if they’re only adjacent to your field. For example, if the news is covering how crowded the airports are and you’re a life coach with a knack for helping people with time management, use it to your advantage. Send a release with tips on how to prepare for a trip more effectively, from packing to getting to the airport and getting through the TSA line.
Yes, we know it’s stressful to add more to your schedule right now. But if you can develop a few solid ideas and simply be available when the media comes calling, this can be the most wonderful time of the year for free publicity!
AZ Media Maven is based in Laveen, AZ, a suburban village in the greater Phoenix area. Owner Rose Tring has more than 30 years of journalism experience as an editor and writer, many of those years in business news. AZ Media Maven launched in 2012 to serve other business owners in learning how to best use social media and to provide affordable public relation services.
Reach AZ Media Maven at email@example.com or call (602) 373-8371.