Do You Always Have to Rise to the Occasion?

Valentine’s Day, Shrove Tuesday, Easter, Christmas…

And on it goes. No, we’re not just reciting calendar events where we might get presents, but instead, opportunities for press coverage.

Whether you regularly read a newspaper or magazine or not, these annual occasions are embedded in the public consciousness and are just some of the seasonal opportunities you can take advantage of to promote your product or service.

Now, since we’ve just passed Valentine’s Day, we’ll use that as our example.

When publications are planning their February issues, they tend to allocate a big chunk of space to Valentine’s Day. The kinds of stories they run include gift guides or features advising how singletons can find love or how to reignite your relationship. The question is, how can you capitalise on these dates to get your product or service featured?

Start by looking objectively at what it is you have to offer and be honest about whether it’s relevant.

Take for example, a hammer. It’s not a gift that you’d traditionally buy for your partner on Valentine’s Day so the chances are it’s not going to be relevant for gift guides for magazines coming out in February. Now for some PR agencies, the answer is to come up with a cheesy headline like ‘hammer your love home this Valentine’s Day’ (sorry!), but a cheesy headline does not an appropriate story make.

If however, your product is a scented candle, heart shaped chocolates or jewellery, you’re going to be more likely to appeal to journalists writing about romance. In the same way, if you’re a relationship coach, pitching advice on how to keep the magic alive could be of interest.

As we’re always saying, it comes down to doing your research. If you read the papers regularly and read a variety of magazines, start paying attention to trends and what they’re writing about in relation to annual events. Look at what you might have to offer them that’s going to be of interest. Just using the words ‘Valentine’s Day’ or ‘Christmas’ within a headline and hoping they’ll be interested in what your pitching is not the way to go about it.

Creativity is great, but it needs to start from the product or service you want to promote, making sure it’s relevant to the title and the audience and the season, otherwise you’re wasting your time and making no friends in the media.

So, just to recap:

Seasonal opportunities are great, take advantage of them by all means, but if what you want to promote isn’t relevant, move on and find something that works.