What makes a great stocking stuffer? Walking Dead playing cards, of course! Featured in the December 22, 2014 issue of Us Magazine, from calendars.com:
Everyone loves Soberdough! Just add beer to the mix, bake, and you have delicious, gourmet bread! Allaboutbeer.com agrees! The site recently featured Soberdough in its Holiday Gift Guide:
Introducing melt-in-your mouth, gourmet caramel and chocolate sauces from Sweet & Saucy, made in Colorado.
Whether you want a quick way to “dress up” a dessert, or a unique baked dish using one of the Sweet & Saucy recipes, these sauces get the job done!
The sauces were featured in the “Made in the U.S.A.” gifts section of the USA Today Premium Publication’s shopping guide, “Yes!” which is circulated weekly in over 80 of Gannett’s community newspapers across the country:
Introducing another delicious mix from Soberdough – Pumpkin Spice! Featured in the Yes! Shopper, which is circulated weekly with all of Gannett’s community newspapers across the country.
Congrats to client Shangri-La Tea! The December, 2014 issue of Family Circle featured the delicious, tea-infused chocolate in its Holiday Gift Guide!
Over the years I’ve pitched ideas and communicated with David Moye, who has a 25-year background in news with a specialty in weird news, which made him a perfect fit for his position as a Staff Writer at Huffington Post Weird News. The Internet and social media have made weird news and products more popular than ever.
In addition to his daily news posts on drunken zombies and people arrested for aggressive mopping (yes, that’s mopping), Moye writes five Weird Huffington Post Gift Guides each year, for Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The Weird Gift Guides are very popular, receiving an average of over a million impressions.
Products featured in his Gift Guides often see a jump in sales. “One year I included a $350 wine holder made out of a cow’s hoof. The owner told me he sold 170 of them solely from being featured in my Gift Guide,” notes Moye. That’s almost $60,000 in sales from one placement!
While he looks for very specific types of products (the ones that make you say, “That’s the worst gift ever. I’m getting it for my uncle,” Moye quips, he recently shared some universal pitching tips:
1. The number one mistake product companies make when pitching products is bad product photography.
“My guides (and Gift Guides in general) are photo driven. I need cheesy photos that explain what the product does in one shot without writing. It’s best if you can see a person using the product, not just a photo of a product in the package.”
2. Tied for first place in pitching mistakes is pitching a product that’s not a fit for the piece.
“Telling me you have a weird product in the first sentence and then cutting and pasting the boiler-plate pitch you send to normal news outlets, with products you describe as “sentimental” or “heartwarming” is an obvious example,” notes Moye.
“I want my mouth to drop or my eyebrows to raise when I see a product,” says Moye. “A reaction like WTF is what I’m hoping for.”
3. Don’t penny-pinch on product samples.
“It’s a pain in the neck to send back samples. Unless you have a really expensive or one-of-a-kind product, don’t tell me you need the sample back. It’ll make me think twice about including it,” Moye asserts.
4. Follow pitching instructions.
Moye often posts on HARO (Help a Reporter Out). He usually includes instructions on how to pitch him. Here is an example from his recent request:
40) Summary: Looking for weird and wacky Christmas gifts
Name: David Moye The Huffington Post
Category: Lifestyle and Fitness
Media Outlet: The Huffington Post
Deadline: 7:00 PM EST – 4 October
Every year, I do a guide of weird and wacky Christmas gifts for
Huffington Post. Help me make this year’s guide the weirdest.
1. Please review my previous weird Christmas gift guides. You
can find them by going to the HuffPost site and doing this:
“David Moye” + “weird Christmas gifts.” Last year’s guide
included a crime scene terrarium and a Santa Claus costume for
hamsters. Help me make this guide even weirder 2. Good photos
are crucial. I prefer photos showing humans using the product
(the cheesier the better). WARNING: HARO strips out photos so
let me know if you have good photos. 3. If your product only
qualifies as “quirky” or “unusual,” don’t pitch — helpful
keywords for me include “weird,” “crazy,” bizarre,” “stupid,”
“asinine,” “wacky” and “delusional client.” 4. Send complete
product detail in the body of the email. Don’t send only the
link and say “click on this.” 5. My gift guides average 1
million page views. 6. Yeah, that’s a lot. 7. No, I don’t anyone
at another section who is working on a normal gift guide. 8. No,
I’m not interested in interviewing your client about the
product. As you know from the extensive research you’ve done,
you are aware it’s a photo-driven gallery with a few pithy
In a typical HARO request, Moye will receive 100 pitches, “Most of the people who pitch don’t read these instructions, which is why only about 10 of the pitches contain products that are viable for the Gift Guide.”
Last but not least, I’ll end with my favorite answer from David to one of my questions:
5. What wording do you like to see in Subject Lines?
“I’m actually familiar with your work and didn’t get your name off a mailing list.”
(He’s still waiting to get that one!)
We hope these tips lead to more successful pitching and media placements.
Thanks to David for an entertaining and informative interview! You can check out his posts at the Huffington Post here.
Oh, and if you’re interested in more information on Holiday Gift Guide P.R., you can get it here.
This post is now available on LinkedIn. You can see it here.
There’s nothing like picking up a magazine or newspaper and seeing your product featured in it. Oh, wait, there is one thing better than that. What is it? Watching all the sales coming in from that placement!
I’m excited to announce that this month we have an amazing lineup of Holiday Gift Guide media folks willing to share insider tips on getting Holiday Gift Guide placements.
Join us on May 29, 2014 teleseminar at 1 p.m. Eastern (it will also be recorded). We are featuring editors from:
First for Women
Gannett Special Sections
You can sign up here: (See below for a special bonus if you’re one of the first 50 people to sign up.)
Why do we offer this teleseminar about fourth quarter publicity in May? The answer is because most magazines have a lead time of six or seven months and stop accepting submissions during the summer. So you need to get ready for pitching now.
Why are Holiday Gift Guide Editorial Placements so Important?
The fourth quarter holiday season is the time when most people are in “buying” mode. Publicity placements that occur during that time can (and have) led to thousands, even tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales.
Why Is This Call So Important?
As you can imagine, competition is fierce to get holiday gift guide placements. Insider tips from the actual Holiday Gift Guide Editors are extremely useful in the success of your media efforts.
What Will You Learn on this Call?
What types of products top magazines and other media are looking to feature
What to include in a pitch to get the attention of top Holiday Gift Guide Editors
How to find the right media contacts to pitch your product to
The five pieces of information you must include in your pitch to make it successful
Examples of successful product placements – and why they got in
And much more!
Early Sign-Up Bonus: If you’re one of the first 50 people to sign up, you’ll also receive a list of 10 Top Holiday Gift Guide Editors’ contact information. In addition to the contact information for the Editors listed above, you’ll also receive contact information for Editors from InStyle, People StyleWatch, Family Circle, and more!
Don’t miss out on this call and bonus. Sign Up Now. You Can Sign Up here.
Disclaimer: At the time this message was sent, all media had confirmed attendance. Occasionally breaking news and other business demands will lead to a confirmed editor not participating in the call.
Throughout the year, the media offers Gift Guides for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation, Back to School, Halloween, Thanksgiving and more, depending on the product.
As you might imagine, getting coverage in a Holiday Gift Guide is not all that easy. There’s lots of competition from hundreds, sometimes thousands, of other P.R. and product companies that are also pitching gift products.
My new report can help! This is free to you, as a thank you for checking out my tele-seminar with Holiday Gift Guide Editors. You can get the report, Nine Tips For Getting Gift Guide Placements All Year Long, here.