Gifting and freebies for journalists… what to know

Gold gift with pink ribbon

uddenly it’s nearly the end of the year! Where the hell did that go?!

As it’s our final newsletter before Christmas, I thought what better time than now to talk about gifting journalists!

Now - don’t panic! I’m not talking about rushing to get a gift out to them before the end of the year, here! I’m talking about gifting your products and services as a means to getting your business featured.

This is what you need to know.

Journalists love a freebie

Here’s the thing. Just like the best of us, journalists love a freebie. They love being gifted a beautiful product or being offered a free session by an expert.

…And it can be a great way to get their attention

If you’re pitching a topic within your expertise or are trying to get your product featured in a gift guide, best list or on a shopping page, offering them a free sample - of either the product or what you offer as a coach/ consultant etc - can be an excellent way of giving them a taster - especially if you offer something they’d either like to try or have.

It won’t always result in coverage

Obviously, there’s a caveat here. You cannot bribe a journalist to write about you, nor can you expect coverage just because you’ve given them something for free. If you want an authentic, in depth piece about your brand, testing it out beforehand is often necessary for writers - after all, would you expect someone to review a film without having seen it? Exactly.

…But it often does

This is because when a journalist has been able to try out a product or service for themselves, it means they can write about it from a totally unique perspective - their own experience of it.

You don’t have to offer it to everyone

Obviously I’m not encouraging you to offer every journalist you contact your services or products for free, but I would suggest offering them as a supplement to your pitch to a handful of highly influential journalists that would be an amazing fit for your brand and, if they were to write about you, would have a huge influence on the success of your business.

Here’s how to do it

It can be worth leading your pitch of this sort with ‘Free 1:1 session with an XYZ expert’ subject line to entice them in. Then, deliver your pitch as normal, but sign off the email with something such as, “I’d love to offer you a free session/ product so you can try it for yourself - would this be of interest?”.