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Monday, October 27, 2014

Blog 101: Tips for a Creating a Stand-Out Holiday Gift Guide Pitch

pitch letter

Christmas is definitely my favorite time of year, but it’s also my busiest. When it comes to PR reps, it’s also their busiest time of year. Many PR reps inboxes are loaded with pitches on a daily basis and that’s why you need to stand out from the crowd. It might be a little harder with so many pitches for them to choose from, but it isn’t impossible.

A Holiday Guide pitch is simply a brief email you send to the PR reps to get their items featured in your guide. In your email you are definitely going to have to show them why working with you and your blog will benefit them. They aren’t going to send you something if you aren’t going to do your part on advertising their products.

I’ve been blogging for close to 6 years now, and I’ve done Holiday Guides 4 out of those 6. You live and learn, right? Over these 4 years, I’ve developed some well sought out tactics that will definitely get you noticed by those PR Reps. Here they are-

1. Keep it Simple

You don’t have to write a 1,000 word email to get their attention. Actually, keeping it simple is your best bet. PR reps don’t have the time to sit and read everything that comes through their email, so you want to catch their attention and get to the point pretty quickly.

Come up with an interesting headline for your email. Try to go for something quirky, that will definitely catch their attention. You don’t want to sound boring or over-the-top. You want them to see it and think “huh? what could this be?” You want to draw them in.

If you’re blog isn’t well known, you aren’t going to want to add that in the subject header. It isn’t going to mean anything to the PR rep and they might just delete it before they read it.

2. Pitch Story Ideas

Think “roundups”- Before you start thinking of a pitch list plan, think about the stories that you could create from these products that you are wanting to feature. PR Reps love getting story pitches, more than just a regular “I want to review this product please”.

For example:

  • Top Baby Toys
  • Amazing Kitchen Gadgets
  • Best Electronic Gifts
  • Best Learning Toys for Kids
  • Top Items for Her/Him/Baby/Kid

Get the idea?

3. Get Creative

Break through the noise of the holidays with something creative. Chances are those PR reps that you’re pitching have seen just about everything once or twice in their careers. Remember that other bloggers are probably trying for the same things that you are, so you have to make yourself stand out from those others. Be original and be who you are, don’t overcompensate even if you have a smaller blog.

Chances are, if your writing style is beyond those of a bigger blog- you might just get the product you are wanting. PR reps want their products seen and shared. If you have amazing readers who are loyal and keep coming back, the PR reps will notice.

Do NOT in any way try and recycle those pitches that you had circling around last year. Scrap them and brainstorm an entirely NEW idea. Put your thinking cap on and get that creative juice flying around!

4. Plan WAY ahead (like JULY way ahead)

Yes, I am not exaggerating in the slightest. Other bloggers have probably been pitching for Holiday Items this entire year. WHY? When you walk into a store before Halloween and see Christmas stuff, that’s why. Christmas is EVERYTHING to most people and companies know that. This is their time to shine and get their products in your hand, so there is a better chance of long-term advertising.

Their stuff hits the shelf way before the holidays. This gives those people who are on a budget to buy gifts without breaking their backs trying to stay within their means. If you haven’t put a Holiday pitch together by the time those ghosts and goblins hit the shelf there is a pretty good chance you’ll be getting the PR leftovers (if there are any).

5. Create a Template

Writing a pitch is an art form in itself because you are marketing YOU, your blog, and how the company can benefit from working with you. To save time and the hassle of thinking of new words for EVERY single item you would like to feature, create a template instead.

What is it? A template is a pre-made pitch that you can just re-organize and change up the wordings for each PR company. You need to personalize each pitch for every company that  you are emailing. You just change up a few key words for different companies. For instance, you aren’t going to want to send the same pitch to a PR rep who represents electronics that you would books.

Make sure you keep it short though. You don’t want to send them a long, detailed version of something. Think summarizing. This is why I’d love to work with you, this is how you would benefit, here are my stats, and you might like to send some sample work as well.

6. You, Your Stats, & Followers

You are going to want to list who you are, what your blog is, and what kind of relationship you’re seeking. You want to let them know what you need so they can decide if whatever you’re asking is doable. List if you want to review, feature, host a giveaway, or a discount for  your readers.

You need to include your most popular blog stats. You need to be completely honest and up-front with the company. Most of the reps aren’t looking for sky-rocket numbers, they just need to know about how much coverage they can expect.

For instance:

  • Your Monthly pageviews and unique visitors
  • Follower/Subscriber numbers
  • You’ll also need to include links at the bottom to your social media and blog so they can check you out.
  • List companies you’ve worked with in the past (you’ll want to add the most impressive to draw them in). If you’re pitching a toy company include some other toy companies (and maybe a link to a post or two)
  • Sign off with a Thank you.

7.Proof Read, Proof Read, Proof Read

You’ll especially want to do this if you are working with a template. You need to make sure that you have the right company name inserted and which products you want to feature correctly. There’s nothing like sending something totally irrelevant and making you look like a class fool. So, check it time and time again before you jump on that send button!

I will be making you guys a downloadable and editable template, so keep on the lookout!



Until next time,



This post was written by:

Jess is the creator of Stylish Southern Mama + Southern Rambles. She is a freelance writer + designer, Social Media Marketer, and Journalist. She has 2 amazing kids, Aidan and Adisyn, and has been with their dad Adam for 12 years, and has 2 amazingly adorable dogs; Harley + Cheyanne! :)

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