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As PR pros, we love it when there’s a timely news hook, event, holiday or awareness day that we can tie our client’s news and stories to – when it’s the perfect fit, of course. Other times, it can seem a bit more arduous to leverage that hook. This can happen because it’s not an ideal fit or because you simply can’t seem to stand out in the noise.

Pitching around holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday should be just as strategic as all your other media efforts – if not more. After all, you don’t want to send a pitch just to send it. And, more importantly, you want to make sure your clients know you’re identifying spot-on opportunities for them and not grasping at straws.

To help you determine when and how to pursue those hooks, we’ve put together a list of dos and don’ts to serve as tips for ultimate holiday, awareness day and news hook success:

Do ensure the topic you’re pitching is actually relevant to your news hook.

Don’t just spin information to “make it work.”

Do say something different – otherwise, you’ll blend in with everyone else trying to jump on the same news hook.

Do double check that your targets care about whatever trend, prediction or topic you’re pitching.

Don’t wait until the last minute to plan and execute your outreach whenever possible. In fact…

Do plan ahead as far as possible. This can help you come up with a creative, provocative pitch angle and beat the wave in terms of timing to cut through the inevitable noise reporters will face as these special dates approach.

Don’t promise your client you’ll come up with a timely angle until you’ve thought about it strategically. The last thing you want is to promise your client outreach around top Black Friday trends, only to realize you have no relevant material to work with or targets to pitch.

Do think further beyond this one day or event when sourcing new content or re-purposing older materials. Try to find ways to get more mileage out of whatever angle you’re creating by thinking about how you can make it relevant and evergreen for broader outreach outside of this hook.

Here’s an example to help paint a picture of how you should approach holidays and awareness days. Looking at Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there may not be many B2B companies that have something to say. If you can’t find a natural tie between your client’s messaging or topics of interest and these major shopping days, move on!

However, if you’ve got a client in the e-commerce space, or one who provides the backend technology to help retail customers keep their website up and running, then you’ve got some inherent parallels to what goes on during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Then, you can start to consider what you might have to say that’s unique and forward-looking.

Thought leadership pitching is all about strategic storytelling and positioning your client as an expert in their space. If you’ve got a great angle that can be propelled forward with an event or holiday news hook, take advantage of the opportunity and use it strategically. But more importantly, know when it’s not relevant for them. That way you can better focus your efforts on outreach that helps you get results.