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The 5 things retail brands need to know about securing press coverage
The 5 things retail brands need to know about securing press coverage for Christmas 2022
An expert’s top tips for lifestyle brands wanting to reach customers through leading titles and influencers
Press Loft, the UK’s only automated PR platform for lifestyle, gift, and interior brands, has seen the first inklings of the festive season, with titles such as Your Best Ever Christmas and Your Home already using the site to select product images for upcoming features.
Using download data from their global community of 1400 brands and 20k+ journalists and bloggers over the past three years, Press Loft has seen a sharp increase in the number of writers and creators seeking Christmas-ready images from June than ever before.
Combining this insight with knowledge from her own PR career, which has spanned more than 20 years, Press Loft’s founder, Nicola Snell, shares 5 things that lifestyle brands of every size should do to land press coverage and blog features for Christmas 2022.
1) Know who you’re targeting and when
As a business owner or designer, it’s important to know that journalists can be divided into two categories:
long-lead (i.e. glossy magazine), who work 3-6 months in advance
short-lead (i.e newspaper or blog), who work anywhere from a month ahead to a 24-hour turnaround.
Journalists we’ve spoken to receive upwards of 300 emails a day in the lead-up to Christmas, and you don’t want to irritate them by adding to their inbox and submitting product imagery and information after they’ve already put their Christmas features to bed. Factor these timelines into your PR plan as a priority.
2) Prep your images
A top-notch image library is always essential, but never more so than at Christmas when gift guides in various styles fill pages and sites. The right image will be the difference between your product being featured or not, so it's important to get it right. Once you have your ‘Cut Outs’ ready (high-res shots of your product alone on a plain white background), you can think about introducing some of your brand’s identity and personality through ‘Lifestyle’ shots. There are endless props you can use to style a festive shot – lights, wrapped gifts, foliage, baubles, garlands – however, don’t lose sight of the fact that your product needs to stay the hero and be the main focal draw.
3) Think like a journalist
The key to having your products featured in the lead-up to Christmas is predicting what an audience will be wanting to read about or see, and therefore what the journalist is likely to be writing about. Put yourself in a customer mindset, not a business one, and pitch the stories or write a press release about what you and your loved ones would find interesting, inspiring or helpful at Christmas time. Remember, it’s a journalist’s job to write and a creator’s job to create, so don’t overthink your press releases and pitches; simply present the information plainly and clearly.
4) Tap into trends
Tapping into trends is a great way to captivatingly present your products to press. It is also a way to promote existing products within your range, as well as brand new ones. Keep an eye on trend reports and pay attention to what your social media audience and customers are leaning towards. Once you’ve identified trends that are a good fit for your brand, you can either put your products forward or even partner with other businesses to create a press release filled with a few relevant products from each of you.
Trends can be aesthetically driven i.e. botanical, retro or Scandi, or influenced by culture and lifestyle i.e. sustainable swaps, multi-functional design, or low-cost gifting in line with the increased cost of living.
5) Make every output count
PR outreach can be a timely exercise (although it is worth it when it pays off). To make sure it’s time well spent, don’t forget that, after it’s pitched and published, everything you create can be repurposed as content for your own social media channels, website and email newsletters.
For more information on how brands can land press coverage in the lead-up to Christmas and a library of useful templates and checklists for them to use, please visit Press Loft’s Christmas workshop.
About Press Loft
Press Loft is the largest online PR tool specialising in the Interior & Gift sector with teams set up around the globe. We work to connect brands, PR and Digital Marketing agencies with journalists, bloggers and social influencers. Founded by Nikki Snell in 2006 after needing a system to manage her clients' images for her PR Agency, Press Loft soon took off as a business in its own right.
By automating a large part of the PR process, brands and PR representatives have more time to spend on tailored pitching and relationship building, and journalists can take control of their image libraries; sure to never miss a deadline again.
Our clients not only save hours of time with automated image distribution and contact management, but having an online press room also broadens their media reach, bypasses foreign language barriers, and tracks all activity and results with detailed reporting.