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Posted on 12.20.2011

This Year, Give Yourself the Gift of Good Holiday PR!

The holidays translate to “busy, busy, busy” for virtually everyone, right?  Well, not necessarily.  As major holidays approach, newsrooms slow down and reporters can find themselves with not enough news on their hands.  What’s a reporter to do when everyone closes up shop for a few days and the flow of news tips and interesting media events dries up? In the spirit of the season, here are a few tips for helping out your reporter friends this year and giving yourself the gift of good PR at the same time. 1. Find a seasonally-related news hook and offer a spokesperson on the subject. Does your hospital or healthcare organization have a physician or nutritionist who can talk about ways to cope with holiday temptations and feasting by offering seasonal nutritional or winter exercise tips? How about an emergency room doc who can talk about the most common holiday-related mishaps that land people in the ER for a piece on holiday safety? If you’re in the auto or transportation biz, offer tips for holiday travelers. In the sustainability sector? Offer recycling or environmentally-friendly wrapping tips for a “greener” holiday. Pitch your not-for-profit organization and the good work it does to position it as a worthy charitable donation consideration as people prepare to do their year-end giving. Cause-related stories particularly resonate at this time of year. Does your company do something really remarkable for the community around the holidays? Let a reporter in on it when your employees devote a day to helping seniors shop or delivering food baskets.  That’s not WHY you do it, of course. But if you’re doing it for the right reasons, it’s okay to be seen as leading by example. Maybe you’ll inspire other organizations in your community to give back, too! Almost every news organization does some sort of end-of-the-year wrap up or a look ahead to the New Year.  Position yourself as a resource for those stories by releasing findings about the top trends in your industry in 2011 or the three biggest changes in the industry your organization anticipates in 2012. 2. Make it convenient for the reporter, even when it’s not convenient for you. No one wants to work on a holiday, right? But many reporters have to, so maybe you should, too.  If you can offer an interesting spokesperson on a timely topic or a great opportunity for a relevant live shot on a major holiday, there’s a good possibility you’ll find a reporter that’s interested. Remember, however, that newsrooms typically work with a skeleton crew on holidays, so pitch your idea and have a conversation with the editor or producer about their holiday staffing well in advance.  And remember that even the best-laid plans can be derailed by breaking news. 3. Think evergreen! If you have “evergreen” news (information with good news value that is not particularly time sensitive), share it with reporters the week before Christmas and tell them the news is appropriate for use any time between the day it’s released and January 2.  When there’s a news hole to be filled over the extended holiday period, your release might receive coverage it wouldn’t see on a busier news day. Of course, your news still needs to have value so that it’s of interest and relevance to both media and their listeners or readers. The gift of good PR is a welcome one at any time of year, of course, but this year, take advantage of the positive media relationships you’ve cultivated and give yourself the gift of good PR this holiday season.

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