As we near the end of the year, we look forward to time with family and friends, good food, and giving thanks. However, when it comes to the news, time doesn’t slow down…in fact, it's a busy time, with many organizations sharing announcements, year-end recaps, predictions for the new year, and more.
We've gathered some guidance to help your story stand out this season.
"Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back." – Home Alone
Don't get left behind this year! It's time to prepare your company's end-of-year news. Dive in, put the holiday movie on pause, and remember to leave ample time to pitch.
"To me, you are perfect." – Love Actually
As you consider your news and how you want to share it, focus on the relevancy of your content. Don't add to the holiday noise. While Buddy the Elf recommends "singing loud for all to hear," ensure you truly have something to say.
It's okay to connect your news to the holidays, but if it's a stretch, don't force it. While you may think your pitch is perfect, focus on the impact your news has on your intended audience, and use your pitch to help your audience understand that value.
"Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?" – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Don't rely on Rudolph to guide your news to reporters. Here are some tips to help you stand out:
- Research ideal reporters to pitch. Make sure your news and their audience are in alignment.
- Be strategic about send time. Learn more about optimal timing here.
- Have a compelling, catchy headline. Capture both a reporter's and a reader's attention.
- Be clear and concise. State your most newsworthy information in the first paragraph.
- Share any relevant data. These findings might help set you apart from other releases a reporter receives.
- Format for easy readability. Use bullet points, bold font, and subheads to direct your reader's eyes. Here are more formatting tips.
"I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all really. Maybe it just needs a little love." – A Charlie Brown Christmas
All Charlie's tree needed was a few ornaments (and TLC) for everyone to see it was something special. Adding visual elements to your release makes all the difference. Without multimedia, you rely on audiences to read every word of your release. By adding visual assets, you help quickly capture someone’s attention, while also making your message easier to adopt.
Reporters want visuals too! Including multimedia assets with your pitch will help you stand out from the crowd.
"If this is their idea of Christmas, I gotta be here for New Year's." – Die Hard
If you're struggling to find an angle for your news, consider forward-looking, industry predictions. These are consistently effective. Think of an optimistic, goal-oriented story that will uplift readers and give you momentum going into the new year.
"Looks great. Little full, lotta sap." – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Once your news has been written – and checked twice – you've included multimedia assets, your contact information is correct, you've researched optimal media outlets and journalists, and you've identified your target audience, then it's time to start reaching out to reporters.
"First, we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of Toll House cookie dough as fast as we can, and then we'll snuggle." – Elf
…reporters are busy. Especially now. As much as they may want to eat cookie dough and enjoy all the winter outings, they simply don't have time. Journalists are being flooded with pitches. Don't be a Grinch – give them time to review your news and respond.
"You'll shoot your eye out kid!" – A Christmas Story
Avoid mishaps this holiday season by planning ahead and reading our guide packed with 60 actionable media relations tips.
Here's hoping your news stands out like an ugly sweater! And, however you celebrate, happy holidays!
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