’Tis the Season… When and How to Start Your Holiday PR Program


Natasha ArtivaBy Natasha Artavia, Business Wire San Francisco

If you haven’t already jump started your holiday PR programming, don’t stress. There is still plenty of time to reach consumers and the media to promote your company’s holiday plans and goals before the season is in full swing.

While print media deadlines have come and gone, there are still many opportunities to promote your company’s holiday initiatives via newspapers, online media, blogs and social channels.

So where should you start?

The answer to this is simple.  Start with the news release.

According to the 2015 Business Wire Media Survey, more than 70 percent of North American reporters actively use newswires as a tool for gathering and researching potential leads and stories on a daily and weekly basis.  And 67.4 percent of journalists surveyed choose Business Wire as their go-to destination for that research.

’Tis the Season… When and How to Start Your Holiday PR Program

To help optimize your news release for this holiday season, here are a few tips and tricks you can use to create a smart and successful holiday campaign.

Deck the halls…with photos, graphics and videos

Did you know that news releases with multimedia earn three times the number of views as their plain text counterparts? Not only are news release readers more inclined to read your news when it has some sort of visual element (be it an infographic, video or photo) but they are 40 times more likely to share your news via their social networks.

And the holidays are the perfect time for visual news!


’Tis the Season… When and How to Start Your Holiday PR ProgramNext Step:  Selecting Your Visuals

Instead of classic portraits, think about adding photographs with movement to them, something that tells the media a story. Your images should illustrate the story you are telling, and don’t forget to leverage the caption (which reporters agree is a must) to provide context to your visual narrative.

For example, photographs of your holiday community efforts can help drive interest in that story and provide a much needed layer of realism to your Corporate Social Responsibility programming. The photo will illustrate your company’s efforts while the caption will provide a brief narrative to what’s happening in this snapshot and provide some background information.

Videos are another way to showcase your company’s holiday products and initiatives. Videos help build emotional connections between the company and the viewer as they provide a first-hand peek into how a product works, increasing your chances of converting interested into potential holiday gift buyers.

Tis the Season … to Drive News Readership with Interactive Visuals

If you’re looking to take your news up a notch this holiday season, you need to think about interactive assets.

These tools not only blend traditional static imagery with gamification, they average 6 minutes of reader engagement, bringing your news releases to life.  They are also easy for reporters and bloggers to use, as they can be embedded instantly just like a YouTube video.

Picture capsules are single images that, when engaged, showcase hyperspots that readers can click on. Each hyperspot hosts a new piece of content, whether it is an instructional video, a textual summary of the product or a link to purchase. Viewers can click on one or multiple images, allowing them to consume all the content you created.

News Capsules are considered to be portable microsites, allowing you to recreate the microsite experience in a truly shareable manner.

Capsules can help boost your coverage and increase not only awareness, but also sales, by showcasing your holiday products in a purely unique, digital experience. From adding rich layers of videos, photos and graphics to easy-to-share links for social networks, this version of the news release can be an exciting tool to utilize across your marketing channels this holiday.

Celebrate the Season Around the World

When it comes to promoting your holiday programming, think globally.

When planning your company’s news, be sure to research the country or region you are planning to distribute to. What national holidays will they be celebrating and when? And how will this affect your news from reaching your targeted audience?

Putting in the time to research these questions will aid you in maximizing your media pickup with international affiliates. To aid you in your research, we’ve listed a few upcoming holidays for you to keep in mind:

11/26: Thanksgiving (United States)

12/23: Emperor’s Birthday (Japan)

12/26: Boxing Day (United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia)

12/26: St. Stephen’s Day (Ireland)

12/29-30: Winter holiday (Japan)

A complete list can be found here. We hope you will find these tips helpful as you prepare, or continue on with, your holiday news planning. Interesting in learning more about holiday PR including story angles? Read this MediaPost article, Maximize Your Holiday PR.

 About the Author: Natasha Artavia joined Business Wire in 2014 as a Newsroom Editor in San Francisco. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a degree in Journalism and Women and Gender Studies.  When she isn’t working, Natasha enjoys attending San Francisco Giants baseball games and attempting to recreate recipes from her favorite Food Network shows.  

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