6 dos and don’ts of holiday PR

The holiday season is a great time for catching up on projects pushed to the back burner and planning for the year to come. It’s not the best time for making announcements.

It happens every year. Once again, we’re hurtling toward the holidays—and the new year—faster than you can say “Ho ho ho!” How can PR professionals make the most of this year-end period? What are some ways to maximize PR opportunities? Let’s take a look at some ways to capitalize on the last weeks of the year. Here are some dos and don’ts:

1. Do play off holiday themes, if your business or product can. Some businesses are a better fit than others, but no matter what your organization does, do your best to work clever holiday themes and terms into your content, take advantage of holiday hashtags, and so on.

2. Do spend some of your remaining marketing dollars on PR. If you still have some of your marketing budget left to spend, why not earmark it for PR? If you don’t have any news or announcements to make, you can try working on a contributed article, customer success story or infographic for example.

3. Don’t make major announcements over the holidays. You’d be better off to avoid making any major announcements during the busy weeks of December, unless your announcement plays into those holidays somehow. Many reporters are out (just like the rest of us) trying to enjoy time with loved ones, so you’ll be hard pressed to get their attention when they’re enjoying their holiday dinners.

4. If you must make them, do time your holiday announcements wisely. Look at the calendar and try to plan for the week before the holiday, or wait until after. It’s always best to avoid Mondays, and even more so when they fall after a long holiday weekend. Think about all the email that will be in a reporter’s inbox. Do you want your pitch stuck in that queue waiting to be opened for days and days? Try the Tuesday or Wednesday following a holiday instead.

5. Do use the time to catch up on tasks left undone. If your office (or your client’s office) quiets down over the holidays, take advantage of that time to catch up on some projects that have been pushed down the to-do list during busier times. When there aren’t as many interruptions, it’s much easier to catch up on writing or research projects.

6. Don’t skimp on planning for the new year. As you plan your PR goals and budget for the new year, be sure to factor in the costs of press releases, media outreach, awards, speaking engagements, social media, research, and so on.

Finally, do make time to recharge and enjoy the holidays yourself.

Michelle Garrett is a PR consultant and writer at Garrett Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter @PRisUs or connect with her on LinkedIn. (Image via)

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