Did you know that editors for national magazines put together their issues five to six months in advance? That means the time is NOW to pitch holiday gift guides! Follow these tips, below, to fast track pitching for consideration of these coveted placements!
Tip #1: Identify the Right Publications (and Editors)
Before you pitch, read the publications to make sure your product is a good fit for their audience. Once you’ve identified the right publications, it’s time to locate the names of the market editor or assistant editor, who are most often responsible for putting the gift guide pages together.
To get you started, here are a few coveted and curated gift guides that we have our eye on every year:
Tip #2: The R.F.P. Media List – your essential tool to pitching
Finding contact info for market editors is extremely time consuming. That’s why we created the Recipe for Press Media List. Updated weekly, this meticulously curated list is a line-by-line edit of the names you need to gain press coverage. We track new publications (online and print), market editors and important contributors who often write for multiple publications. It’s easily searchable by publication category (ex. fashion, food, interior design, etc.), editor’s name, and publication title. You’ll want to specifically keep an eye out for Market Editors, they’re usually the ones who are at the helm of a publication’s Holiday Gift Guide section.
We’ve done the research for you. No need to reinvent the wheel!
Tip #3: Timing is EVERYTHING
Did you know that you should pitch editors before the end of July if you want to be considered for their December print pages? Editors work five to six months in advance for national print publications. This means that Holiday Gift Guide prep begins in June/July and usually wraps by August/September. Regional print magazines begin pulling together their roundups in September and online editors for national publications start their hunt later that month. Plan for your pitching to coordinate with their editorial calendars and you will be more successful.
Extra mini tip: Online gift guide are put together in late October/November. Mark you calendars for this new round of pitching.
TIP #4: Subject lines matters
A vague “Pitch Idea” subject line will not do. Help your chances of getting your email seen by making your subject line as specific as possible so the editor knows quickly the timeliness of your pitch. For example: “NEW beauty product, under $50”
TIP #5: Follow up your pitch
A quick follow up to your pitch, usually 7-10 days after your initial outreach, is often just the reminder an editor needs to turn attention to your product. Make sure you use the same email chain as your initial pitch for easy reference of important information and images.
TIP #6: Engage with the Editors/ Writers on Social
Our Media List provides social media info for each editor and writer. Light engagement on their feeds keeps your brand top of mind and shows that you are invested in their writing/publication.
TIP #7: Think like an editor
Clearly state what makes your product special and why their readers might love to know more about it. Is your product a completely new idea in the market? Is one particular ingredient hard to find? The more they’re enticed, the more your product will stand out.
TIP #8: Keep it personal
Never bulk pitch! While it may be easier to create a set email template, mass emails are a major turn-off to editors and writers. Gift guides are not general, but usually directed to a specific audience or person on your list (your BFF, your mother-in-law, the hostess, the teacher, the techie in your family, the cooks, new parents). Show the editor you “get it” by pitching into themes they are already looking for.
TIP #9: Include visuals that make your pitch pop!
Always be prepared with high-resolution, silhouetted (against a white backdrop if you have product) photography. More than any one element, photography determines your success in getting published. Not only does it give an editor confidence in the brand, but they often use the images you provide so be sure you have editorial rights or permission to use the photography for promotion when making arrangements with photographers. Sometimes this is an extra charge.
TIP #10: Invest in The Pitch Kit Bundle
Take an even deeper dive into the best techniques to getting your product featured in publications with our unbeatable Pitch Kit Bundle, which includes Recipe for Press original book and the Designer Edition, the Pitch Wheel and a year long Media List Membership. It’s everything you need to leverage media to create a buzz for your business, on your own!
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you found these tips helpful or have questions! You can find me on Instagram @amyflurry and follow my team’s adventures @recipeforpress. We always appreciate making new connections with entrepreneurs who share our love for small business communications and do-it-yourself publicity.