Christmas in July: Gift Guide Season Starts Now

We are still feeling the heat of summer, but this is the time of year print editors start planning Holiday Gift Guides. It may seem early to plan so far ahead, but there is reason behind magazines beginning Gift Guide planning in July; print leads are much further ahead than online publications. Websites are more nimble in producing content in that they do not go to print so their lead time is shorter. You want to make certain your products are pitched to print editors in a timely manner. This means your public relations is gearing up to send emails and attach jpegs/pdf’s and line sheets of your products so they are front and center early in the season.

Some print editors do work on shorter lead times, but the earlier your PR introduces your products and brand to editors means they will (hopefully) keep them in mind for future use. This is why follow-up emails and phone calls are also important. Editors are constantly bombarded with emails. Place yourself in an editor’s shoes: You receive over 180 pitches a day; many of these pitches landing on your desktop sound the same and your eyes glaze over. Your PR needs to follow-up in a non annoying way so editors keep your products on their radar. You have to keep in mind how inundated and overwhelmed editors are on a daily basis. They receive an insane number of email pitches a day and many are ultra spammy. Who would even think to pitch male enhancement pills to a beauty editor? Surprisingly a lot of PR think it’s acceptable. Cringe. At Edith Press we tailor our pitches specifically to each editor in a personalized manner. We never spam their mailboxes or follow-up in an annoying way.

Gift Guide Pitching

If you are currently working with a public relations firm or freelancer, make sure they have a good plan in progress for Holiday Gift Guides. Print and digital work on different schedules. While print often gears up in July, digital accepts pitches from September through November. If a digital editor needs something last minute, they may contact your PR even in December. Here is what you need for your products to be clear and concise for a great pitch/email presentation:

1.) High resolution photos (300 dpi at least) for your PR to forward to editors when needed. Even with well known print magazines, budgets no longer rely on photographing each product. If you haven’t already done so, you need to either photograph the products yourself or hire a good photographer to take pictures on a white backdrop. Each product needs to be photographed itself and then also a few group shots. Do not skimp on good photographers for product shots.

2.) Low resolution images of the original 300 DPI. Your PR will often attach low res jpegs to email pitches before high res are requested.

3.) Line sheets. These are resized images of your products on a white background. Line sheets are easy to create in Illustrator or Photoshop and either saved in jpeg, png, or pdf. You can make a digital line sheet in normal paper size or even slightly larger. Line sheets are simple and paired down. Think Amish-chic; your products, white background, price, measurements, etc. Line sheets need no gaudy distractions. Their purpose is to easily showcase your products with important information such as price. Don’t use line sheets to show off your products in some sort of Picasso-sequence manner. Business in the front and all over. Again, why background, product picture and important description.

4.) account. If you are unaware, Dropbox is a website to store your high res (300 dpi) photos of products or files. You can’t attach such large files to an email. With Dropbox, you or your PR simply sends the link to your photo to an editor and they download product shot(s) at their leisure. It’s never acceptable to clutter someone’s email with super high res files.

Your PR should always have on hand appropriate information about your company to send with pitches. Good PR is able to tell your story in a creative, but succinct manner. Every brand has a great story to tell. In an email pitch, it’s important to tell your brand’s story. If you would like us to pitch your products for Holiday Gift Guides, let us know! We offer a special Holiday Gift Guide pitching package.