Public Relations Basics: When It Comes to Holiday Press Releases, Sooner is Better

It’s no secret that the fourth quarter is the most important time of the year for companies marketing to consumers. Holiday shopping can make or break many businesses; many analysts wait to see how a company weathered the holidays before determining its financial outlook. However, booming holiday business doesn’t just happen. It takes hard work through triangulated marketing, advertising, and public relations efforts. Unfortunately, many companies fail to address their public relations campaigns until it’s too late in the holiday season, missing what is probably the most cost effective way to promote their product or service.

Many holiday-related press releases don’t flow into offices until early December. Even in mid-December journalists will receive holiday press releases with the desperate plea: “Get this out now. We need holiday coverage.” Even though it’s probably too late for any real coverage, these clients approve immediate newswire distribution. While consumers don’t begin their holiday shopping in earnest until Thanksgiving, most publications have already put their holiday gift guide or product review sections to bed. December is late. November is not as bad, but you’ve already missed the publishing window for most monthly and many weekly publications.

While a minority of newspapers or websites might be receptive to a holiday-related press release in early December, the fact remains that when it comes to press releases about potential gift ideas, the perfect venue remains high-circulation consumer magazines. Many late November and December consumer magazines are chock full of holiday gift guides and product reviews. A trip to the newsstand in early December will provide all the evidence you need that you’ve missed the deadline–some of these magazines have been on the stands for a week or two. Even the weeklies will already be dated early to mid-December.

So what to do? Get your holiday gift guide press releases in circulation in the late summer/early fall. While many publications prefer getting their holiday gift guides ready in August or September, many still receive and compile gift articles and reviews through the month of October. This deadline is not just for magazines. Most newspapers close their calendar for holiday gift guide ideas by the end of October or early November. While they may pounce on a hot gift idea closer to the holidays, don’t risk the exposure you may be missing by waiting.

Heed our advice and get your holiday gift guide press releases out during late August, September, or early October at the latest. While you can always follow up with a second press release later in the season, there’s little you can do when you find yourself reading about a competitor’s product in a holiday gift guide if you didn’t get your press release out in time.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit:

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