Guest post from my friend and PR pro Nora Wolf of Wolf Craft, an á la carte PR shop for creative businesses. I asked Nora to write this post for jewelry business owners interested in pitching their work to holiday gift guides.
1: Consumers spend the most around the holidays
The holidays are the biggest time of the year for consumer spending. On average consumers spend around one-thousand dollars during the holiday season. Gift guides show shoppers all the new stuff that’s out there so they can pick out the best gifts for their family, friends, co-workers, and more.
Editors at our favorite publications select gift items they think their readers would buy for their mom, their friend who loves to travel, their troop leader or preschool teacher, their favorite wine aficionado, a person who loves to entertain, your gardener…. you get the idea. A quick google search will reveal tons and tons of gift guides from years past, and you will see that these “gift receiver” themes are endless. There are even individual gift guides for each astrological sign. So if you make astrology-related jewelry, keep an eye out!
So much holiday shopping now happens online. After two COVID shopping seasons in a row in 2020 and 2021 there was a huge shift to e-commerce sales and that trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime in the near future.
What you can do: use the summer slow season to prep for gift guide outreach
The holidays can feel really far away if you’re reading this post in June, July, or even August. But, editors at large national publications start working on gift guides in the early summer — think Cosmo, Outside, Wired, etc. Regional publications like Time Out, Southern Living, and The Tennessee Magazine, start this work late summer.
If you are looking to pitch your jewelry to holiday gift guides for the first time, the more time you have to prepare the better. If you want to see your pieces featured in holiday gift guides, NOW is the time to start researching to find out which publications are the best fit. And to make sure you have the right photos so your pitch is successful.
2: Gift guides have more opportunities in more publications
Holiday gift guides are unlike any other kind of product placement PR. Once a year, publications that typically don’t feature products or include shopping round-ups, like a fitness magazine, open their pages for product coverage.
You can find holiday gift guides in niche titles you would normally not be able to work with. This vastly increases the sheer amount of PR opportunities. While the rest of the year you might be able to pitch to around 20 media outlets, during the holidays you can pitch to over 100, and the guides are all geared toward folks who are *looking to make a purchase.*
Men’s magazines will cover everything from beauty products to jewelry
There’s one example I always like to give- men’s magazines will basically never feature home goods, beauty products, textiles, jewelry, etc., except around the holidays. Why? Because during the holiday season men are often giving gifts to their wives, girlfriends, mothers, and daughters. This means that in order for a men’s magazine to give their readers tips on what types of gifts to purchase for the “women in their life” they’ll feature products typically associated with women.
Here’s the type of article you’ll be looking for: 64 Gifts For Teenage Girls That They’ll Actually Want to Receive published by Men’s Health includes 64 product placement opportunities, and this isn’t their only gift guide.
What you can do: think strategically about your target audience and pitch angles
Who is the target audience for your jewelry? Let’s take the example from Men’s Health. The article includes three jewelry placements, two earrings and one necklace. These three pieces have a few things in common, they’re all fun, colorful, and have that youthful vibe.
Is your jewelry funky and colorful? Is your target audience generally younger? If so this is a great thing to keep in mind. There are TONS of gift guides for both teenage girls and college students.
3: Gift guides have more products on every single page
Holiday gift guides have more products per page than any other media features. In print magazines gift guides often have ten or more products on each page, and most guides span several pages. For digital publications editors don’t have to pack several products onto one page, but these guides can scroll, and scroll, and scroll. It is not uncommon for digital gift guides to have 50+ items.
More products per page means more placement opportunities for every publication you pitch
What you can do: take professional silo-white photography
What is the most common way editors fit so many products on one page? They use silo-white photography. When jewelry is photographed on a person it is often in a small part of the full shot, like an earring where the model’s full profile is in view. Shrink this down on a page with ten other items and the earring totally disappears.
Silo-white shots also allow editors to quickly drop an image of a product on a page and remove the white background. The selection of products look clean and crisp with no distracting incongruous backgrounds.
4: Editors who work on holiday gift guides also likely work on product round-ups all year
PR is hard, and it’s a lot of work. DIY PR is even harder! Between figuring out what story you want to tell and what outlets would actually tell it, it can feel really overwhelming and mysterious. That’s what’s so great about holiday gift guides. There’s a set formula and the editorial calendar is the same every year. It’s super straightforward product PR, a great way to get started.
PLUS, almost all of the editors who write holiday gift guides work on product round-ups all year-round.
As you build your media outreach list, write pitch emails, and take product photography to pitch holiday gift guides, you’re simultaneously building all the resources you need to pitch gifting round-ups throughout the year.
After the holiday gift guide season is over you’ll be set up to pitch Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, wedding gift round-ups, graduation gift guides, back to school guides, and more.
What you can do: build relationships with editors to pitch year round
Pitching your jewelry to holiday gift guides is a great way to start building relationships with the editors at your favorite publications. When you give editors high quality photography the first time you pitch them, they’ll know they can depend on you to send them good assets the next time you reach out. If you respond to their follow-up questions quickly they’ll know you are easy to work with and will likely be more open to featuring your work in the future.
Check out the editor’s other past articles. What other gift-giving round ups have they worked on? Are there themes that they typically cover, like sustainable products or locally-made items?
5: Holiday gift guide placements increase awareness for your brand
Below are four examples of holiday gift guide press placements I have secured for my clients and the readership statistics for each publication. Sometimes we forget the sheer number of people who read magazines, either through subscriptions or by picking them up in line at the grocery store or airport.
This is why holiday gift guide press is so impactful for small businesses who are trying to increase awareness for their brand. One or two placements could mean millions of new eyes on your products.
Gift guide placements also mean increased traffic, list growth, high quality backlinks that improve your websites SEO, in addition to increased sales around the holidays.
What you can do: watch the replay of our gift guide workshop with PR Pro Nora Wolf
If you’re convinced that this is the year you want to pitch your jewelry to holiday gift guides (you should be!) sign up to watch the replay of the workshop we put on with veteran design publicist Nora Wolf, of Wolf PR and Wolf Craft.
What you’ll learn during the workshop:
- Why the holidays have 5x the amount of press opportunities
- Why gift guides should be your media outreach priority if you sell products
- How gift guide press can *supercharge* your end of year sales goals
- When to pitch gift guides editors so you don’t miss out on this great media opportunity
- 5 insider publicist tips so you’re sure your product is ready for gift guide outreach