As the temperature rises and the sun has got his hat on, it’s difficult to believe that Christmas is just around the corner. In both the PR and the retail world, the festive period has already started.
The joyful season is an enormously important date in the retail/ PR calendar. According to the National Retail Federation, Christmas sales account for anywhere between 20-40% of a retailer’s annual sales.
What is ‘Christmas In July’?
The phrase ‘Christmas in July’ is used to refer to the Christmas season press events. They mainly happen around July/August. ‘Christmas in July’ is an event hosted by major brand’s and their PR teams to showcase consumer products from their festive collection to the media.
The event was initially only targeted at monthly publications, such as glossy magazines that were finishing their Christmas-themed issues by September. Progressively, PR teams have spread the word wider and invited daily papers, weeklies, online writers and bloggers to these events, resulting in a greater mass of media publicity.
For both brands and media, Christmas in July is about showcasing collections and gathering feature information and products.
Christmas is always a lot closer than you think
It may be five months away, but those five months are a very short amount of time to complete your never ending list of holiday-related marketing and PR tasks.
Why? All magazines will be working to certain deadlines. Some weekly magazines will have to finalise everything one month from print. Other monthly magazines extend this lead time to 3-4 months.
It’s just the way PR strategy works
Timing is truly everything in the PR world. Missing a deadline means missing the opportunity. Christmas in July gives brands the chance to get their products into gift guides or Christmas features in time for the demanding schedules.
It is all in the planning! While we’ve only just got our heads around the fact it’s almost the end of July, consumer PR teams are three steps ahead and are already in talks about the latest product ranges to hit shops in time for Christmas.
What can you take away from it?
Gaining coverage is key. The industry becomes more and more competitive and editorial magazine space decreases quickly. Retailers and brands can use it to establish or develop their relationships with journalists further, creating additional journo opportunities for the future.
Journalists have the chance to preview the all-important festive ranges. They will decide what will make the edit while retailers will get coverage of their products in the run-up to their busiest time of the year.
Have you been ‘celebrating’ Christmas in July this year? The key thing to remember is to be prepared. Timing is everything. Whether you’re looking for a product to feature in a gift guide, or if it’s your product you want to make the headlines, be sure to plan ahead. Space is limited, and as soon as you get some coverage, the sooner you can relax and enjoy the festivities.