Wait. Isn’t it only September? Santa Claus in September?
Nope, the holidays aren’t sneaking up on you this year. But your potential for bringing in extra money for the holidays is. If you don’t start your planning now, you won’t be ready to take advantage of bringing in extra sales for the holidays.
Each year, many businesses do something special to give back to the community. From toy drives, to food donations, to community outreach projects, November and December are prime times to do something special for those that use your services. And with a little planning now, you can also gain a little recognition for it as well.
Have you ever noticed those human interest stories in your local newspaper about Christmas time promotions? Those stories weren’t planned overnight. Instead, companies approached media sources before the holidays begin and start planting the seeds for story ideas early.
And if you end up with a story in your local news early enough, it can have a big impact on your 2012 bottom line. Ready to get started?
1. Create a promotion
Keep in mind that a sale or a new service is not newsworthy unless it truly sets your business apart from the competition. What can you do a bit differently that adds to your community? Santa promotions are always great. But how about stepping it up a notch and offering a Victorian Santa in a beautiful classic scene for the children to have their portrait taken? Combine it with a toys for tots charity drive, or donate a portion of your sales to a local charity, and you’re one step closer to being newsworthy. You can also work together with other businesses for even more opportunity – how about a breakfast with Santa at a local hotel? Be creative.
2. Publish and advertise
Once you have your event planned, don’t let time slip away without gaining exposure for it. Start with a press release to announce your event to everyone with potential. A great press release distribution service can cut your time down tremendously – I recommend PRWeb and have had great luck with them. If you’re doing multiple events (three Saturday breakfasts in a row), consider sending out more than one press release. Or watch for smaller community calendars that are willing to write smaller articles about you. Don’t send once and forget. Instead, work your promotion and get it into as many places as possible.
3. Follow up
Sometimes other things get in the way, and you might not get any exposure for your event. You still can use it to your advantage. Who supported your event? Did dignitaries or community members stop by? Did you raise a lot of money for your cause? Any of that can be newsworthy in its own right. Write up a new press release with your results, include photographs, and send it out again through the news channels.
Always remember publicity never ends. There is always an opportunity to gain a little exposure for your business. The key comes from how often you work it.