ON Broadcast Blog

How To Achieve Coverage At Christmas

100 days until Christmas… let the sleigh of lazy stories begin


“Family arguments peak at Christmas”; “Prepping Christmas dinner is stressful”; “Office party etiquette guide”…

Every PR strutting their stuff in the consumer field of the industry will have had some sort of involvement in these types of stories.

And what’s wrong with a brand looking for a quick hit at a key time of the year? Many of these stories work time and again… but too often, they’re done lazily, with no attempt at a new peg – and they end up missing out on some quality coverage.

Done right however, Christmas stories can work very well… If you’re charged with landing radio coverage this Christmas, here are some of our thoughts on what works and what doesn’t:

  • PR Polls DO work – I’m always fascinated when I hear an agency ‘doesn’t do polls’; surely we simply do whatever’s best by the client? And all of us who hear the words “we don’t cover polls” from media know it’s a half-truth – most will, if they’re good enough. However launching a PR Poll into field without knowing what story you’re getting DOESN’T work.
  • Be Different – If you’re thinking of polling 2,000 people on when they stopped believing in Santa, why not spin it on its head and poll 200 people who work as Santa and ask them what it’s like to be the big man?

You’ve got your story sorted and you’re ready to build your news release, but who is going to front your campaign and shout about your project?

  • Spokespeople with unusual jobs – ask a lifestyle radio producer if they’d like to speak to a Professor of Christmas, an International Gift Wrapping Specialist or a Head Turkey Selector and you’re more likely to hear a ‘yes’ than if you’re pitching someone with a less interesting job.
  • Celebrities – If you’re lucky enough to have the budget for a famous face, then they can help you achieve coverage. But, at a crowded time of year, make sure your celeb is relevant to the story – the days of just adding on a ‘celebrity mum’ with no link are on their way out.
  • Timing – With all the expected PR traffic out there, getting your campaign in the diary before anyone else is crucial. Starting earlier will give you the edge over competing news stories.
  • The Date – Do you have a seasonal story that can launch between Christmas and New Year? The 28th, 29th and 30th December is a traditional downtime when many people will be taking holiday. Broadcasters are always on the lookout for guests and news stories to cover during this period so it may make an easy win for coverage.
  • Competitions – It may be the time of year for gifts, but broadcasters won’t just give away airtime. If your story is just too commercial – then don’t hide behind a story and instead offer your product to as prize fodder.
  • Video – Interestingly, many stories that work for radio also work for online editorial, with the support of video content.
  • Sanity Check Everything – It’s all too easy to get sucked into your own story… if you need a sanity check on how well it works and how to make it better… drop us a line.


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