In advance of the holiday season magazine and newspaper editors are inundated by product samples and pitches. It is estimated that there are 4.1 public relations professionals for every journalist in Canada, so you can imagine how the ratio rolls up into editors. Use this checklist before shipping this season’s samples to ensure editors translate your products to media mentions.
If at all possible learn what an editor’s sample preferences are in advance. This can include the format or volume of materials required to be shared or even to whom to address the packages. There may be a column planned for a specific type of product that you can capitalize on if you know about it advance.
Notify the recipient
Emailing an editor, even when it is supposed to be a surprise serves two purposes. One, it is an effective touch point in which to provide product information and it opens a dialog with the editor or influencer. Secondly, if the magazine never receives the samples, you can track it down before it is too late and get it into the right hands.
Show that you know and care about editors and influencers by sending products they can actually use. If this is a makeup sample, for instance, consider the skin tone of the editor you are sharing the products with. For clothing, the size and style shared can also be tailored to the recipient — if you aren’t sure of an editor’s size, politely ask.
Provide product information in the package
Not everyone is going to read the email you send them but a self-addressed box is rarely left unopened. Include all product information and your pitch with your sample package and along with a thumb drive of digital assets.
Use packaging that can serve as a background for instant social posts
This can be as simple as the colour of tissue paper that items are wrapped in or as complex as a customized set of ornaments to be used on a Christmas tree. If the goal is to get your products promoted by a publication, entice them to do it immediately by giving editors the backdrop for fun social content.
The holidays are a competitive time of year for both the publishing and public relations industries. We’re all vying for eyeballs and brand exposure. So, set yourself up for success by presenting relevant content to the right editors, in a format that they actually wish to consume it in. Research, plan, pitch and repeat.