How to Make Christmas Product Events Sparkle!
Say the word Christmas to a PR and they will automatically think of July. In our world, Christmas starts at the beginning of summer and runs to the 24th December. Monthly publications have long lead times and so whilst we are all heading for the beach, magazine editorial teams are planning and preparing bumper festive issues, that’s why we need to be ready to pitch our clients seasonal ranges. This is also one of the busier times of the year for the media, as they spend their days dashing between product events – seeing the upcoming festive seasons’ trends.
Recently, we held our annual Christmas event for WatchShop.com, the UK’s leading online watch retailer, where we showcased the hottest new watches and jewellery to the media. A showcase event is one of the most effective ways for a brand to get in front of key journalists ahead of Christmas and therefore a very important date in our PR calendar. By dropping in for 15 minutes, journalists can review, select and request images and sample products for their guides quickly and efficiently. We choose September for our event as it’s the perfect timing for weekly, national and most importantly online media.
As with any event, the success lies in the detail. Careful planning, co-ordination, and strong teamwork meant that we received over 40 journalists to London’s W hotel including Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, Hello Fashion, The Daily Express, Shortlist and the Press Association. Plus, at the end of the day, a very happy client
Without giving away too many insider secrets… Here are our top tips for a successful Christmas event:
Preparation – it’s never too early to start planning an event. Ideally start planning 3 months in advance.
Location – a central location is essential to ensure the media don’t have to go too far to get to you.
Roles and communication – knowing your part and working together is essential to pull off a successful press day.
Invitations – make sure you send your invitation at least two weeks in advance. Get ahead of the game to ensure the right media are invited and allow time to follow-up with each one to ensure attendance!
Atmosphere – getting the décor correct is a priority. Make sure it’s in line with the brand identity. At Cherish, we always want the media to feel relaxed and comfortable at our events – even down to the playlist and food served. Every detail is important.
Goodies – a decent goody bag is key and make sure you don’t forget a memory stick with all the information and images so journalists don’t have to chase you after the event.
Post event follow up – contacting everyone who attended with a polite thank you sounds simple but good manners are always appreciated and it often acts as a gentle prompt to journalists to take another look at our press materials.
Do you have any tips for a good event? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @CherishPR #ChristmasPR. If you would like to speak to the team about organising product events, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)20 3626 0283.