All I want for Christmas: Aruga’s Insider Guide to Xmas gift guide

4 minutes read

Belinda Seeney

Content Director

'Tis the season for panic-buying presents, awkward Secret Santa exchanges and scouring shops for those must-have stocking stuffers.

Amid the chaos of Christmas are the ubiquitous Gift Guides, beacons of brilliant ideas beaming from media outlets with a brightness that outshines Rudolph’s nose.

Christmas Gift Guides are our seasonal salvation, offering inspiration for all ages and budgets.

Naturally, competition among brands and products to appear is fierce.

Aruga’s crack team of Christmas elves / public relations whizzes has a Santa sack full of tips and tricks to help you pitch your product and secure a spot on the ultimate “nice” list.

Start a Christmas fund

Prepare to pay for prime position. Gift Guide spots are limited and often full of advertising. Budgeting for advertorial in a key media outlet could return dividends when it comes to sales.

Counting down the days

In the publishing world, Christmas starts in September so get your skates on. Gift Guides are often completed earlier than other sections so ask publications for their deadlines and time your pitches to key media to give your product a fighting chance.

Wrap it in a bow

Just like the wrapped and stacked gifts under the tree come Christmas morning, presentation is everything. If you are pitching several products, collate them in a single EDM with a clean layout that includes photos, descriptions and hyperlinks to stockists and hi-res imagery. This can help a journalist visual how your product will look on a page.

Categorise your products so journalists can see at a glance your target demographic, such as “For Him”, “Secret Santa”, “Gifts Under $100”. Pro tip: make sure you match your product’s price-point to the outlet’s readership.

Don’t forget a gift tag

Use the email subject line to clearly state your pitch and flag key information. For example, “Christmas Gift Guide: Tech gifts for pet hamsters, under $50”. It’s worth reiterating this information in the first sentence of your email, too.

Stuff their stockings

Gift guides are visual so keep this in mind when pulling a media list together and don’t waste time pitching to radio or general news sections. Products stand a greater chance of appearing if they’re accompanied by strong assets.

Know the media outlet you’re pitching to: if they always shoot their own flat lays, don’t send in lifestyle imagery, if they only feature product shots with a white background (known as “ghost images”), send appropriate image options.

Add a sprig of holly

Make sure you have ample product available for editorial shooting as some publications prefer to take their own photos. If so, make like Santa on Christmas Eve and use express shipping. Pop a note in the package and a hard copy of any materials or product description.

It never hurts to gift journalists with products to help them remember your pitch, either.

Think outside the (gift) box

Think beyond your product alone as news angles that are timely, quirky or topical tend to attract more interest. Is there new research to show an increase in demand for your product? Do you have a cute fuzzy alpaca to offer up for a photo with your model in an ultra-soft cashmere sweater? Has a celebrity or influencer been spotted using your product?

Make a list, check it twice

Strong media relationships are key so pitch to media who loved your product last year as a first port of call. Get to know who talks about your product and send through an introduction ahead of Christmas. Take them out for a coffee, if you can, and help your name become one they look out for in their busy inbox.

Go forth and sleigh!

Christmas is coming and Santa’s little helpers at Aruga are here to help with your silly season public relations and media pitching needs. Make like a reindeer and dash, dance, prance or even blitz your way into our inbox with your list of Christmas wishes.

Belinda Seeney

Content Director

Belinda Seeney is Aruga’s Director of Content and a Walkley Award-winning print and digital journalist with more than 20 years’ experience in community, regional and metropolitan newspapers, magazines and websites.