Danielle September 27, 2011 | 08:31:49

So You Wanna Be In A Holiday Gift Guide?

Holiday gift guides are the perfect resource for that unique gift each year, and great editorial exposure for PR folks. Who wouldn’t want to be included in a list of “must-have,” “gotta-get” products for the season?

Almost every publication has one – from top newspapers to local TV to lifestyle magazines to technology blogs to mommy blogs. The question is… how do you get your goods in a guide?

Start early. Most long-lead magazines have July or August deadlines, but plenty of weeklies, dailies and online opportunities are available right now. Build a relationship earlier in the year and find out if any of your clients are a fit. The more time you provide to consider your client, the better positioned you’ll be to snap up a choice spot. In early July, we made contact with editors at Real Simple and provided them with materials for art client 20×200 – new artwork and upcoming releases. Though not a guarantee, we were in the minds of the team early on, putting us in a better position to be included in a few months!

Pitch the right one. You wouldn’t give your techie pal a cookbook for Christmas, so treat gift guide editors the same way! Know what they’re looking for (i.e. Top Tech Toys under $100, Eight “Artful” Gifts for the Man of the House, etc.) and provide them with the most relevant clients/products. If you aren’t sure what they’re working on this year – ask!

Once you’ve got a nibble, act fast. Gift guide submissions might require low-res images, high-res files or even the product itself. These requests may come in a week’s time or even a couple days before, so know what you can provide in a timely fashion and stay on top of it.

Be generous with samples. Provide product. Send goodies to taste and toys to test, hold desksides to discuss, or invite them to a preview of what you can offer their audience for the upcoming season. Seeing it on a computer screen can’t compare to a firsthand experience!

Try again. So your client didn’t make the cut this year? Keep that contact handy and ask them what they’re doing for spring gift guides or even next year’s annual holiday list. Ask when you can follow up for new opportunities. You may not have been a good fit for this season, but they will be looking for something else next time.

There’s no sure-fire way to secure a place in a Holiday Gift Guide, but these may help and remember – the holidays come every year! Which gift guides help you sort out the season?

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