This post is contributed by Margie Zable Fisher, the president of Zable Fisher Public Relations, which specializes in product P.R. and publicity. Sign up for her free, award-winning public relations newsletter.
Did you know that just one publicity placement can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars of sales? A couple of years ago, one of my clients was featured in the December “O List” of Oprah Magazine — the publication’s Holiday Gift Guide. And yes, that one placement led to hundreds of thousands of dollars of sales.
While that is obviously a “home run” in the product publicity world, one thing is for sure: Holiday Gift Guide placements lead to sales.
You might be wondering – just what are Holiday Gift Guides?
They’re those product roundups you see everywhere in the media during fourth quarter, with recommendations for great gifts to buy.
And if you sell products, this information is critical:
Top magazines accept product submissions for fourth quarter Holiday Gift Guides during the summer. Once their summer deadlines have been reached, they are no longer open to product Gift Guide submissions.
So… now is the time to pitch your products to the media!
After getting thousands of product publicity placements, here’s five ways to make your product irresistible to the media for Holiday Gift Guides:
1. Offer something new.
Even if you have no new products this year, you can create something new, by bundling several products together as a gift pack or offering a travel size option. And if you do have something brand new, lead with that product. The media always wants to feature the newest thing.
2. Provide something colorful.
Check out top magazine Gift Guides and you’ll find they are all consistent in one way — they’re colorful. Art Directors have lots of input on Gift Guide choices, so give ’em what they want. If your product itself isn’t colorful, use colorful packaging, or photos with colorful props.
3. Help others.
Some Gift Guide editors require that items purchased offer a percentage back to a charity. Others ask that you provide readers an exclusive discount on your products.
4. Consider changing your price point.
Most Gift Guides are broken down by category: Under $10, Under $25, Under $50 and Under $100. So if you have a product that is $10.99, lowering it to $9.99 makes it available for pitching in the Under $10 category, which generally increases the chances of media coverage (the media is always looking for great, really inexpensive products).
5. Provide great photography.
One of the biggest mistakes I see with product companies is offering so-so photos of products. The media usually sees a photo of the product before the actual product, and a great photo can make the difference between interest and no interest.
So don’t wait — your summer media pitches may lead to big sales during fourth quarter!