When an entrepreneur or small business launches a new product, it can be a tough job to gain awareness and interest quickly to drive sales. With so many new products on the market, how do you ensure your target audiences know about your brand or product and how do you get them to add to basket, especially over the key Christmas shopping season?
Christmas gift guides: How to integrate them into your PR campaign
Product pages and gift guides are a great place to showcase new items and can often position you alongside other leading brands, as well as new products. Editors are usually swamped with product samples and press releases in the run up to Christmas so it’s important to make sure you take a strategic approach to securing press coverage.
This year, we’ve been working with the Careless Collection – a luxury range of chocolate bars created by Masterchef finalist David Crichton, with beautiful packaging designed by Creative Wilderness. David launched the range earlier in 2019 and was keen to position the chocolates as a desirable Christmas treat or gift for foodies, vegans and those who enjoy unusual taste combinations.
The brief was to secure product coverage in food and drink titles, raise David’s profile in the North West region and within the grocery trade media, and encourage editors to include the range in Christmas gift guides.
David had some great photography of the chocolates showing the luxury embossed blue and gold boxes and the four different coloured bars in milk, dark, white and ruby chocolate. They are really striking to look at and taste great too so in July we worked up press material, issued it to our key titles and followed up with samples where editors wanted to review them themselves.
We had overwhelmingly positive feedback, which meant that editors were keen to feature the products as they were so unusual. As many of the longer lead glossy lifestyle and foodie consumer magazines work so far in advance, we issued Christmas material in July and August and had a flurry of requests during October and November for samples for newspapers and websites.
The PR toolkit for achieving gift guide success
Whether you’ve got a product you’re hoping to promote in gift guides at Christmas or any other time of the year (Valentine’s Day, Easter, wedding season, summer holidays, back to school, Halloween – the list could go on!), what can you do to give your PR and media relations activity a push?
- Strong images: High resolution, cut outs on a white or transparent background, as well as lifestyle shots, help to show off the products and are essential for securing media coverage.
- Positioning: Decide on your positioning, target audience and key messages to ensure you are targeting the right media outlets to get in front of your ideal customers.
- One size doesn’t fit all: You need to tailor your press material depending what the product is and which media outlets you’re targeting.
- Get your timings right: Remember many consumer magazines work up to five or six months in advance so you need to start planning your Christmas PR activity in the summer.
- Samples: Have plenty of samples available for journalists to review and send them promptly if you have any requests.
It’s also important to tell the story behind the brand and to put a face to the range by taking part in interviews and profile pieces in trade, consumer and regional media. We helped to raise David’s profile in the Manchester and Cheshire business and lifestyle press, which led to an interview on BBC Radio Manchester.
The proof is in the (Christmas) pudding
PR and media relations should help to raise awareness of products and brands, which in time should help to contribute to sales and enquiries. In the case of the Careless Collection, the build up of ongoing media coverage teamed with a couple of big hits in nationals directly converted into sales.
Early in December, the Careless Collection sold out following fantastic festive coverage in The Observer, Guardian and the Financial Times. Thankfully there was enough time to make a new batch in time for Christmas!
Here’s a selection of just some of the media coverage we’ve secured this year.
Want to promote your products?
If you're looking for a media relations agency to help you secure earned media coverage to promote your products, contact Unhooked Communications to see how we can help you.