10 Tips to Improve Your Holiday Gift Guide Pitch

Whether you’re running behind on getting your gift guide pitches sent out or not yet seeing the return you were hoping for, there’s no need to panic just yet. Many online publications have yet to finalize all of their gift guides, which means you still have time to make the most of the holiday season for your brand. We’ve compiled a list of 10 tips that you can use to level up your Holiday Gift Guide pitches based on our firsthand experience pitching and securing placements for our clients in publications like Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Glamour, and WhoWhatWear.


Journalists are busy and typically specialize in a handful of niches. Take the time to research recent stories published by the journalist you’re wanting to pitch to ensure that your product is a fit for them. Build out a targeted media list of journalists who would realistically cover your brand to increase the likelihood of your pitches landing and leading to secured placements.


Real Talk: You love ALL of your products and think every single one is a masterpiece, but now is the time to be discerning and edit down which pieces are your best and brightest. Don’t send media a general link to your website and make them do all the work. Instead, look at your products objectively, like an editor would, and determine which pieces make the most sense for your pitch.


Take the guesswork out of your pitch by offering everything about the product your pitching that the journalist may need should they choose to include your brand in their gift guide or roundup. What exactly should you include?

  • Product Name
  • MSRP
  • Link To Purchase on your Website
  • Stockists that currently carry your product (other than your website)
  • Brief Product Description
  • Link to hi-res JPEGs media can use in their story should they so choose


Every brand dreams of being in Vogue, but take a step back and ask if that’s a feasible goal for you at this stage in the game. If you don’t have the inventory or infrastructure to support the sales that could result from a major national placement. Is your product only available through a brick and mortar location in Iowa? Do you only have a handful of units left of the style you’re pitching and no time to get additional inventory manufactured and ready to ship in time for customers to receive by the holidays? If so, Vogue probably isn’t the right publication for you to pitch this season.

Adjust your pithes according to what you feasibly can deliver and particularly if you have a brick and mortar location, make sure to include local and regional media in your pitch list, to let local customers know you’re nearby for holiday shopping.


For fashion and beauty brands (particularly newer brands), sending out samples so that journalists can see and try your products out before covering is standard practice. Beauty samples and lower-priced fashion items are almost never returned and depending on the outlet, higher priced items may or may not be returned. If you want an item to be returned by a journalist, make sure to specify that upfront so that the journalist knows your expectations. When building out your media list, make sure to consider how many pieces you can realistically afford to send out for review and the costs associated with shipping.

Pro Tip: Make sure to include a return shipping label with the samples sent or email a return shipping label to the journalist when you provide tracking information for the package you’re sending so that they can easily return your samples.


Yours is not the only gift guide pitch journalists will be getting this season. It’s important to differentiate your pitch strategically with a meaningful subject line while also making it easier for journalists to search for your pitch in their over-extended inbox. (We promise it’s not as complicated as it sounds!) Make sure to include “Gift Guide”, your brand name, and a brief explanation of who the target demographic of your brand.


Online sites, including major media sites, rely on revenue. Providing affiliate links, through Amazon or one of the handful of other affiliate programs that major publishers use, can improve the likelihood of your product being considered for inclusion. Make sure to include the necessary information [links, merchant ID] for media to easily use available affiliate links in your initial pitch.


When you’re writing a pitch, it can be easy to get stuck in a loop of feeling like it isn’t quite ready yet. While proof reading and editing are important, don’t get so hung up on creating the “perfect pitch” that you miss your window of opportunity. Put in the work, do your research, edit as necessary and then HIT SEND. If you don’t send your pitch out, the answer is already no. So just do it!


It would be wonderful if one pitch email sent one time to one journalist led to the perfect media placement, but that’s just not realistic. Journalists are working on multiple stories at one time and receiving hundreds of pitches from hundreds of brands wanting to be featured. If you don’t hear back in a week or two, kindly follow up your original email and offer any new developments that may make your pitch more attractive. Has a celebrity currently worn the piece you’re pitching? Did a new stockist pick up your brand? Did you set up an affiliate program since your initial pitch? These are the kind of updates to include in your follow up email.


Sending a pitch isn’t the end of the story. Pitching is a collaborative process that works best when all involved parties are actively involved. If a journalist includes you in a gift guide pitch, make sure to send a quick ‘thank you’ and let them know that you appreciate the mention and will share the article across your social platforms. If a journalist passes on including you in a placement, thanking them for their time and consideration will demonstrate that you are a valuable collaborator who respects their time.

Getting your products featured in a Holiday Gift Guide is an incredible opportunity to have your brand in front of the eyes of potential consumers and verified by media those consumers already trust. Remember, though, PR is a marathon and not a sprint. Boosting your brand’s exposure consistently at the holidays and throughout the year is integral to building consumer trust and longterm success.

Want to start 2023 on the right foot? Learn more about how we can help your brand level up your PR & Digital Marketing strategy in the new year, by scheduling a complimentary intro call with our team here.

How to Build a Press Kit and If you Really Need One.

EPK, media kit, and press package are a few of the names by which the press kit goes.

Do you need one? Absolutely! Whether you’re a major brand or a small business, having a curated collection of assets that you can digitally share to potential partners, be they journalists, influencers, affiliates or investors, can take the stress and guess work out of sharing your brand’s story by allowing you to have a cohesive, encompassing package at the ready that offers a bird’s eye look at your brand. Think of your press kit as a “101” intro lesson that explains who you are, what you do, and why you’re important.

Here are the key elements that every press kit should include.

Cover Page: Start strong with a great title page that features a striking image that shows off your brand. Make sure to include your brand’s logo and MEDIA KIT [or whichever terminology you prefer] on this page

Boilerplate: 2 – 3 sentences that offer high-level background information on your brand, who it serves and how it differs from the competition

Designer’s Note: Depending on the structure of your company, this can come from the founder, designer, or creative director of the brand. Include a brief bio including their professional background, why they founded the brand, their design philosophy and one or two quotes that can be used by press.

Brand Story: This is a more in-depth biography of your brand that offers an inside look at where you’re brand started, where you are now and where your brand is going. Tell your brand’s story in an authentic, succinct way that communicates your brand’s values, unique selling proposition (USP) and journey.

Seasonal Collection Imagery: To keep your press kit fresh, update the imagery you include every season to show off your latest collection.

Press Tears: Include any notable press tears or placements your brand has already secured. Keep it current – only include tears within the last 6 to 12 months, depending on how many placements you have to pull from.

FAQ: Include answers to your brand’s most regularly asked questions as they apply to your brand’s standards. Where are your products manufactured? Where is your brand available for purchase? If your brand is size inclusive, include what sizes your brand carries. If your brand is sustainable, include information on your sustainability practices.

Links to Socials & Website: Make it easy for viewers to connect with you online by sharing clickable links to your social media accounts and website.

REMEMBER: The reason you’re sharing your press kit is because you want to spread the word about your brand. Make accessing the assets you share simple and streamlined. Don’t expect the recipients to download multiple attachments; instead keep the process of learning about your brand stressless for the by compiling all the elements as a PDF and upload to your Google Drive or Dropbox so you can provide a link to view to anyone to whom you are sharing your press kit. Making your EPK easy to access and easy to navigate will set you apart and increase the odds of someone you’re cold contacting actually viewing your kit.

Elevate your PR Writing from Good to Great

The main reason any brand incorporates public relations into their overall strategy is to increase favorable awareness of their company and their latest offerings to both their target audience and their industry at large. At its core, public relations is a method of strategic communication between a company and the public used to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. To effectively communicate in the digital age, being able to craft meaningful, effective pitches and press releases is critical to a PR campaign’s success. Did you know that according to a study published by Inc., well-known, well-established, and well-capitalized businesses spend more than $3 billion annually to train their staffs in better writing techniques?

Good PR writing is a publicist’s job requirement, but great PR writing takes training, creativity and practice. Whether you’re new to PR or simply looking to elevate your skills, here are a few tips we’ve gathered that you can use to sharpen your PR writing for your next campaign.

  • Be Concise: Don’t use five words when two will do. Everyone is busy and nobody wants to read a 10 paragraph cold e-mail. Use the first paragraph of your email to briefly summarize why you’re writing. Who is your client? What do they do / why is it notable? What’s the call to action you are wanting the media contact you’re writing to take as a result of your email? We’re all busy, so make sure that the recipient can get the gist of what you want in the first few sentences.
  • Play Devil’s Advocate: Before you send out any pitch, ask yourself “why would anyone care about this”? “My client wants/needs press” is not a good enough reason for media to cover your client. Doing a bit of research and being able to frame your pitch in a way that is relevant and adds value will set you apart from your competition and make you a valuable media partner, as opposed to an annoyance.
  • Be Descriptive, but not Overly Heavy on Technical Jargon: It may seem counterintuitive or even contradictory to being concise, but without being overly wordy, make sure you are providing a helpful description of the brand and/or product(s) you are pitching. Remember, you live and breathe the brands you rep every day, but if a concept is new to market, there may be a learning curve for those who aren’t familiar to understanding. Try not to use too much industry-heavy terminology and explain in a straightforward way that would make sense to someone who doesn’t necessarily understand highly technical industry terms with nuance.
  • Proof Read before Sending: Spell check and grammar check are your friends. Make sure your email makes sense and don’t be afraid to read it aloud to yourself or others prior to sending. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so putting in the extra work to make sure your pitch is crisp makes a difference.
  • Be Collaborative: Be open to working with media when they have questions or need more information. Don’t get defensive if you receive pushback or requests for additional information, but rather see these instances as opportunities to educate more people on the brands you represent. It’s rare that a pitch leads to a direct placement on the first go (especially for newer brands), so be open to working with the media to provide the necessary tools to get your brand the media you’re aiming to secure.
  • Keep Learning: Stay current on industry trends for pitching media. Regularly read the publications in which you’re trying to secure placements to better understand the type of content they publish and how you can meaningfully pitch. Read books and blogs written by other PR pros for inspiration on how to be more creative and strategic with your pitches going forward and, when possible, press releases written by other brands in your area of expertise to learn from your peers.