Traditional PR

November 27, 2017

Tis the Season…Media Gifting Holiday Gift Guide

Wow, say that title ten times fast. I’m sure that’s not a SEO-friendly situation but whatever…it get’s the point across, no?

Media gifting.

I love media gifting, not going to lie. Which is hilarious, because I’m pretty terrible at giving gifts in real life, but media gifting is so strategic it makes my little public relations heart sing!

What is media gifting?

Well, in general it refers to the art of saying THANK YOU to a media outlet. Maybe it’s for an awesome piece that featured your client, or maybe it’s to celebrate the new baby that your longtime on-air guest who constantly name-drops your products for free-ninety-nine. This shouldn’t be confused with media mailers or product mailers or product gifting. That’s a totally different PR act in which you send your client’s products to media/influencers in hopes of them being included in an article/video/YouTube vid/ Instagram post/ whatever. Media gifting is gifting media an item that isn’t branded with your company’s logo, and not manufactured by your company.

Media gifting can be a touchy subject because there’s a lot of misconception about what constitutes as a gift and what constitutes as a bribe. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a fine line to toe, because while saying THANK YOU is nice…bribery is tacky. And illegal. But you’d be surprised how many PR people straight-up bribe with no regard to tying the gift back to the company or the company’s values or even their products.

Shit happens. I don’t believe in bribery, but I do believe in showing appreciation for those who do right by you 365 days a year.

What better time to show your appreciation than during the holidays, right? Now here’s the deal. You could do flowers and call it a day, but I’ll be upfront that that is a waste of money.

Get a little creative here, folks.

Really take into consideration what your brand is and what you stand for. Think about your products and how your brand is represented to the world, and figure out a gift that will convey that message without having to shove your branding down the recipients throat.

Here’s a good example. I work in the beauty industry, right? And my brand stands for being vegan, cruelty-free, and affordable. Think of these core pillars, here are two gift ideas at two different budget points that can either be combined (to gift top tier beauty directors, second tier beauty editorial assistants, and influencers) or not if sky is the limit for ya.

Why do magazine beauty directors get a higher budget?

Well, they run their department. They do most of the top-editing and they have seniority. Kind of just how the cookie crumbles, you know? In reality though, we should address the elephant in the room that is how the print industry is going through it’s own set of changes. Many magazines have consolidated or cut staffing, meaning that traditional roles or titles might not exist. Do your research for your vertical or niche.

Bottom line? The most senior person on the receiving end of your pitch from a traditional media standpoint should get a bigger gift than the rest of the supporting staff.

One other key detail to think about is location. Nearly all major magazines are headquartered in New York City. That allows some flexibility for gifting because you can do something geographically relevant. Influencers are literally all over the world, limiting the gift to something that can be mailed. The other tricky bit with influencers is the volume that you could potentially have to gift…that really takes a chunk out of budget!

  • Beauty Directors
    • Budget: $250+
    • Gift:  An overnight trip to a NYC-local animal sanctuary, all expenses paid, to be redeemed during the 2018 calendar year
  • Beauty Assistants/ Influencers
    • Budget: $75+
    • Gift: Bangle Up bracelet inscribed with the initials of the recipient. For each Bangle sold, Bangle Up donates 50% of profits to save the elephants

Both gift ideas tie back into our core values as a brand, reinforcing what we stand for…but are a nice token that aren’t branded that people might actually use in “real life.”

Remember, the point of doing this is to say THANK YOU. Add in a handwritten note that shows you really appreciate the recipient for their hard work throughout the year, and you’re golden.

What will you be gifting this year?

Happy Holidays!

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