K-Mart took a lot of heat in the media recently for airing a holiday layaway ad in September. Many consumers thought it was far too early, for many reasons, and initially I agreed. Then I got to thinking. Fall is chock full of holidays, and holidays are golden PR opportunities.
I know it seems early, but now is actually the time to start thinking about how to pitch your campus experts, related to Columbus Day, Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. Editors like to get a jumpstart on holiday coverage and an email from you about Christmas, could be perfectly timed if was sent within the next few weeks.
Direct connections are always good, but holidays are also a chance to think outside of the box for coverage in areas that might be harder to consistently place. For example, I always had a tough time securing coverage for a fascinating biologist, who specialized in spider behavior and was eager to do media interviews. Truth be told, there weren’t many news events tied to spiders throughout the course of the year.
But, he was willing to take a slightly different angle, and was ultimately quoted in articles—and placed an op-ed—timed to Halloween.
I know it seems too early to think about, but preparing your experts now for holiday opportunities can pay big dividends. If you wait until December, many holiday stories will already be in the can waiting to be published.
So, thanks for the reminder K-Mart. I may not start by Christmas shopping for a few more months, but at least I’ve started to think about media placements.
And, for the record, if you’re really looking for a creepy experience this Halloween, I recommend a visit to a spider biologist’s office.