Christmas is an incredibly important time for brands and retailers, as consumers are researching and preparing their stocking lists to purchase product for this busy time.

Christmas in July is becoming increasingly popular in Australia. It allows us to experience the same principals as a European Christmas- chilly, dark and cosy. Leverage this national narrative with gift guides and Christmas in July features and design a PR strategy that is compelling, colourful and appeals to the cognitive tendencies of consumers to ensure your brand stays top of mind.

Here are 10 steps to help you stand out from the crowd and capture media attention during the holiday season.

STEP 1. You may be on holidays- but your brand isn’t. So, don’t stop the content. News never sleeps. Though December is the busiest month of the year in the lead up to the holidays, journalists are still looking for compelling and colourful stories. Persist with the pitch!

STEP 2. Get Social- Social media users tend to frequent social networking sites more over the holiday season making it the perfect time for businesses to capitalise on this and increase their engagement. Prepare a content calendar to amplify your social media plan over the holiday period.

STEP 3. Take advantage of swelling consumer sentiment and position your brand as festive. It is the perfect time to appeal to holiday emotions as consumers feel more uplifted and excited in the lead up to the holiday.

STEP 4. Don’t procrastinate. To achieve long-lead editorial in July (start pitching April) and for those November/ December features (start in September).

STEP 5. Build up anticipation. Similar to the advent calendar, Christmas presents the perfect opportunity to build excitement and make your brand the source of anticipation. This will help create a buzz and psychologically encourage consumers to take notice.

STEP 6. Influencers are a great way to have your brands cuddled and promoted by like-minded individuals. Select a suite of influencers who will capture and represent your brand and bring them to life and light with stunning imagery and commentary. Sponsored posts give you an opportunity to shape your message by presenting a brief so that the Influencer can accurately capture the sentiment of your brand.

STEP 7. Identify other like-minded brands to collaborate with so you can offer a wider service or selection of products. This will help boost the image of your brand while extending the reach of your offer and audience.

STEP 8. Charity alignments presents a perfect opportunity to donate proceeds to a good cause and create a community-spirited campaign.

STEP 9. Create a Christmas related angle or think about an event for families to visit over the school holidays.

STEP 10. Christmas presents the perfect time to invite media to a special event and thank them for their support over the year.

Sarah Cichy