I can hear the engines revving right now. It’s the sound of Publicity Hounds starting a pitch-fest that lasts from now through the new year.
Savvy Hounds know that this week and next are the very best times to pitch newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, bloggers, ezine publishers and other media that have short deadlines.
That’s because sources are difficult to find. Many schools are in recess for Christmas break. Sometimes entire factories close down during the holidays. Most other people are buying Christmas trees, planning the big dinner this weekend, doing last-minute shopping or preparing to leave on vacation.
When I worked as a reporter, and my editor assigned me a story the week before or after Christmas and told me to round up three experts on a particular topic, guess who the experts happened to be? Anybody who answered the telephone.
Here are some last-minute tips that will increase your chances of a media placement:
—If you’ve been dying to get onto a radio talk show, call the producer and offer to fill in if another guest cancels.
—Call your best media contacts and invite them to call on you in a pinch during the holidays if they need story ideas, background, commentary, etc.
—Think of logical stories the media are doing this week, then ask yourself how to sneek your way into them. Those stories include the possibility for a white Christmas, travel problems, last-minute gifts, goofy gifts, unusual gifts, regifting, returning gifts, watching your weight during the holidays, gifts and greetings being sent to our troops overseas, getting through the holidays if you have the flu, anything being done to make the holidays happier for hurricane victims, shipping packages, unusual Christmas services in your church, Hanukkah traditions, etc.
—Many TV stations have local morning news shows. This time of year, they usually welcome guests who can do in-studio demonstrations on how to wrap gifts creatively, shovel snow safely, make holiday appetizers quickly and assemble a gift basket creatively.
—If you pitched a story earlier in the year and nobody bit, try retooling the pitch and tying it to the holidays.
—Don’t forget about me. If you have your own success story for generating publicity during the holidays or any other time of the year, email me and you might see yourself mentioned here or in The Publicity Hound, my subscription newsletter that’s published 6 times a year. I’m putting the finishing touches on the January/February issue right now. You can subscribe here.
A subscription would make a great gift for the Hound on your list. So would a Publicity Hound gift certificate. Call me at 262-284-7451 or email me for details.