‘Tis the season to generate positive press!
We’re in the final stretch of 2020, and though the year has been undeniably challenging, I’m thankful that we’ve finally made it to the holiday season. We’ve pivoted, worked hard, and somehow made it through—and that’s good enough reason to celebrate.
If you want to generate some positive press before the year-end, the season brings plenty of opportunities to get creative. Personally, I’m curious to see how businesses will adapt office soirees and parties to the “new normal” this winter. Are you doing something interesting or avant-garde for the holidays? You might catch a journalist’s eye!
View Publicity from Multiple Perspectives
Media coverage is often viewed through a single lens: “How can I get my company featured for the products or services we provide?” In reality, publicity can come from multiple angles. Generate buzz by providing quotes, creating affiliate newsletters, participating in cross promotions, or even getting your local newspaper to cover your snazzy, socially-distanced holiday party.
Here are some guidelines for becoming a newsworthy belle of the holiday ball:
- Set your event apart. Put in the extra effort to do something different. A good example of holiday innovation is the Magic of Lights event at the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium. Previously a walk-through light event, Magic of Lights has been expanded and transformed into a novel drive-by light show for 2020 (with plenty of press coverage). They even developed special tiered pricing, with a “standard” ticket for regular vehicles and more expensive tickets for visitors traveling via limo or party bus! That’s creative savvy that pays off.
- Flip your focus from customer-facing publicity to employee-facing publicity. PR is not just about making a good impression on customers; it’s about positioning and visibility for your team members, too. It’s important to let your employees know that you value their contributions. One company I work with hosts a Thanksgiving turkey fry for their employees: they prepare an entire pre-Thanksgiving dinner onsite. In previous years, the company set up a “turkey hotline” to help people safely deep-fry their turkeys (hint – make sure your turkey is not frozen). The event has great appeal because it addresses multiple audiences and features real people with a relatable story.
- Make your offering virtual or pandemic-proof. Showcase your organization’s ingenuity with an offering tailor-made for this unusual holiday season. Here are a few companies that have made creative adaptations:
Craig Sutton Entertainment Services is offering a “big cake” drive-by (you can also get it dropped off curbside) for socially-distant photos. Pop your favorite DJ or emcee inside and let them surprise your guests from a safe distance. Craig will also deliver packaged edible cakes or cupcakes to enhance your special celebration.
Songful Artists is creating virtual “carol-grams”: pre-recorded holiday carols sung by their professional singers, plus a personal message for the recipient. Now you can send that special someone (or maybe your team members) a bit of holiday cheer.
Corinthian Events has developed a full virtual events hub to help you reimagine your entire gathering. I recently saw feedback on social media from one of their events and the participants had a blast!
In a nutshell, show the media that, yes, we’re in a global pandemic and trying to find new and creative ways to do things. Acknowledge ingenuity in crisis and let them see your approach. I assure you, if it’s original and ingenious, they’re likely to be interested!
To distinguish your organization this holiday season, focus on the experience first – who you’re serving, helping, or entertaining. Then ask yourself: How can I create a memorable experience that will also generate positive press? Finally, you need a clear strategy for rolling out that story to the media.
Need help pitching your holiday event to the press ? Schedule some time with me and let’s talk.