From The Editor’s Desk (November 2021): 4 Tips on Writing Holiday-related Press Releases
The holidays are at hand in many parts of the world. Whether or not you celebrate them, the ubiquity of consumer-focused marketing and PR will no doubt at least remind you that they’re happening or coming up. If you’re a PR professional, you’re probably grappling with the age-old problem of the industry: how to balance PR with marketing in a holiday-related release. For many, it’s easy. For some, it’s a bit more of a struggle.
In the month of November (and a little bit of October), we began seeing the uptick in holiday marketing, thanks to 11.11 in China, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, Diwali in India, and Hanukah throughout the world. With other holidays around the corner in December and January, PR Newswire’s Senior Editor Nathan shares tips on developing PR content out of marketing campaigns with these simple reminders.
1. Keep Your Headlines Subtle
Crafting a headline that grabs the attention of the audience is 90% of the PR game. In the midst of a marketing campaign, it’s tempting to drop the guard on industry standards and go for the consumer’s money, pointing out price slashes and discounts to get them to spend. But it’s important to remember that no matter what time of year it is, the press is always part of a press release’s audience.
Remember these key tips to writing headlines about marketing campaigns, holiday deals, or sales, so that they don’t read as overt advertising:
- No, or very few, pricing/discount details in the headline – Furthermore, pricing should be buried at the end of the release rather than the opening for a good press release.
- No “We”, “You”, or any other first or second-person pronouns – You don’t want to talk directly to the reader in a press release. That’s what commercials do.
- No exclamation marks! Exclamation marks denote excitement. If the news is exciting, people will be excited. They don’t need you to tell them to be excited.
2. Choose Unique Topics
Holidays are a fun, unique time of year. Your marketing PR should reflect this. Choose topics that you wouldn’t normally write about. Did your company recently update its social media accounts? Did you sign an endorsement agreement with a big-time celebrity? Maintain focus on these fun topics as the mode of grabbing the readers’ attention. Then, when you have it, you can use this news to guide them toward the details of your marketing campaign.
Hisense used the announcement of their new social media campaign to draw attention to some of their recent products, for example.
Ahead of 11.11, Lazada announced their new brand ambassadors, K-pop superstars SEVENTEEN early enough before November 11 to build up interest for potential consumers throughout Southeast Asia, not only generating reader knowledge of their brand but also for the sales event, which some countries might not celebrate.
JOOX’s announcement of a virtual hangout with celebrity DJ Alan Walker, strategically scheduled for November 25, allows them to showcase new features and subtly market their key products.
3. Target Audiences Where the Event Happens
More than once, our editorial team have had to explain to clients that Black Friday is not that big of a deal in Europe. While 11.11 is huge in China, not a lot of people in the United States know, or care, about it. Press release writers need to be aware of this when developing their content. News doesn’t carry the same weight around the world. While someone in Europe might benefit from Black Friday deals, the focus should be on the market where the event happens.
Amazfit made the focus of Black Friday clear in their release, knowing that the United States is the largest market for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Moviebook’s release, more of a B2B marketing release, highlighted the Chinese connection to 11.11 as a part of its promotion of recent changes to the shopping event.
4. Draw Focus to Benefits
Too often, a marketing release can die fast for the general audience when it gets heavy with the figures and specifications of certain products. The general readership doesn’t understand what these things are. They understand, instead, how these specs benefit them. Rather than point out the specific details of a product, the press release needs to point out how the end-user will do well to utilize the product.
Yealink points out the benefits of their product to end-users in an easy-to-read bullet point list that doesn’t require Google searches to figure out the meaning.
Likewise, Cardo Systems highlights the safety benefits of their products over the technical details that make those benefits possible.
So, still planning your PR campaigns for Christmas or the New Year celebrations? Think of the above pointers as you begin outlining and organizing. Remember that the press is still your audience, and you don’t want to dishearten or alienate them by pushing pricing and discounts. Instead, give them something to excite their readers with, and balance it out with direct-to-market details that consumers will appreciate as well.
READ MORE: Like the press release tips from our Senior Editor Nathan Brown? Read more of his tips and advice here.
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