3 PR lessons for Valentine’s Day

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Next to the phone, the calendar means everything in the world of PR. Not only does the calendar tell us which tasks should take priority at any given time, it also keeps us from forgetting historically or culturally significant dates that might help draw some much-desired attention to our brand’s or client’s message.

And, if you’re following a calendar, you already know Valentine’s Day is upon us. Love it or hate it, this holiday is a very big thing.

Just in time for Cupid to pull back his bow, here are three PR lessons that can be learned from the holiday dedicated to love.

Get creative

During Valentine’s Day week, nearly 58 million pounds of chocolate candy is bought and sold according to the History Channel.

Chances are, if you give someone a heart-shaped box of chocolates, they will not slap you in the face. It also should be noted, they won’t think you’re too original, either.

How then do you truly become the apple of someone’s (read: the media’s) eye? Your value lies with your ability to creatively tell your brand’s story in an inspiring way.

In this world that suffers from communication overload, repeating a cut-and-paste pitch is not going to help you or your company stand out. It will not give you the results that you are hoping for media-wise.

Similar to how you would gift your Valentine something personal on Valentine’s Day, remember to personalize your brand’s story, too.

Be prepared

You know that person that dashes into the florist last minute and grabs whatever sad looking arrangement is left on the shelves at closing time on February 14 because they are desperate and don’t want to disappoint their darling?

No one likes that person.

Much like the success of being a good spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend depends on advanced planning, so does the success of any media outreach campaign. It’s all about being prepared.

This is even more so true with content tied into seasonal events or holidays, because there is only a certain amount of time prior to the actual day or event before your information becomes out dated.

Two calendars that you may find useful to help map out key events and holidays are Time and Date's holiday planner and BBC's On This Day feature. Spend time laying out a 12-month calendar of key events that apply to your industry, company, or brand. This way you can clearly see in advance when a big event is coming up—and use it to your advantage.

Still not convinced being prepared matters in PR outreach?

Trust me when I say that being prepared to time your PR pitches perfectly is everything when taking advantage of seasonal events and holidays. Ideally, you will want to start reaching out an entire month prior to the date of the event or holiday.

For example, if you want to place your content for Valentine’s Day, you should start reaching out to the media by the second week of January. Why? Because a large amount of seasonal content will be published in the week leading up to the event.

Spread the love

In PR, you’re only as good as your last media placement. Which is why smart PR professionals always maximize their media hits.

Here are four ways to implement this best practice with ease today:

  • Take an article featuring your company, brand, product, or expertise and share it through every one of your social media channels.
  • Rework your previous marketing content and share it with audiences who have not yet been exposed to it.
  • Pair down a media placement and create related blog posts to reach a broader audience.
  • Repurpose existing blog posts to create new PR-worthy pitches to reach new customers.

The list goes on and on, leaving you with endless opportunities to promote your brand.

Just as you spend your personal time courting your guy or girl, time doing PR is spent courting the media. Remember these three simple tips when you go to woo the media, and you’re sure to be at the top of their Valentine’s Day list.

How do you leverage holidays to increase the effectiveness of your PR efforts?

 Want more helpful tips like the ones above plus more? Check out The Buzz: A Media Darling’s Guide to Press Coverage or sign up for exclusive Hearsay content.