At the end of each year, the Queen of Daytime TV Talk Shows makes a list of things she likes, then features them on her show in December.
They’re known to her fans simply as “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” Last year, they included an Apple iPod, croissants from William-Sonoma, a Burberry coat and purse, a Philip Stein Teslar diamond watch and a $49.99 tin of cookie dough so you can make gourmet oatmeal cookies.
Companies lucky enough to be on her list end up with a problem any company would love to have. Here’s what the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list at her website says: “Having trouble ordering your favorite thing? Due to heavy traffic, some websites may become inaccessible throughout the day. We suggest you try again later!”
O, The Oprah Magazine prints something similar called “The O List” in its December issue. Her other magazine, O at Home, features a similar gift list and is looking for products such as “throws, picture frames, bowls with animal pictures on them, and gold table-top items.”
Amy Bates Stumpf of The Gift List, the subscription-based service that provides leads and pitching tips for Oprah’s media outlets and for thousands of other media that feature special gift sections, says you should be pitching right now if you hope to get your product into Oprah’s December issues. That’s because editors work six months ahead. She doesn’t yet have information on when you should be pitching for the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list for TV.
Amy said, however, she thinks it’s a long shot that Oprah will choose your product simply because competition is so fierce.
“I think the more interesting story is the voluminous amount of media that goes unpitched,” she said. “There are dozens of regional and smaller outlets looking for unique home products.”
They include Today’s Charlotte Woman, The Tennessee Magazine, At Home In Arkansas, Grand Magazine, Midwest Home, Flaunt, Romantic Homes, and Midsouth Living Home & Garden Magazine. She did a quick search of home decor products for me and found more than 200 editors who are looking for the same kinds of products Oprah wants.
You can see what she means by taking a test-drive and seeing last year’s list. The Gift List also includes holiday-related features being planned by the wire services, TV and radio shows, and newspapers. Tips include everything from how to submit photos to specific kinds of items the editors are looking for.