A classic trick PR pros use for getting placements is tying pitches and press releases to seasonal events like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.  Shining the light of Holiday Cheer on your company or expertise helps you stand out from the crowd. By connecting your press releases and pitches to seasonal events like holidays or seasonal weather changes, you’re helping a reporter answer the important questions of “why should I care” and “why should I care now.”

The media is looking for content related to seasonal news daily. Even more important than weather, though, are breaking news headlines. This can be crime, celebrity hiccups, political matters, or other headlines of the day. Get into the habit of watching what’s breaking and be the first to reach out to your media contacts with content to help them cover the story around that breaking news. You might even tell your local media contacts how the national breaking news impacts the community locally. The trick here is to only comment on breaking news that furthers your brand. Otherwise, you’ll be diluting your brand and wasting your time and the media’s time. For example, if you’re a therapist, don’t offer commentary about winter tires on cars.

This may seem obvious, but some news headlines may not be that obvious. For example, you may be an author on the law of attraction. You think your commentary around unemployment is essential. To a Wall Street Journal reporter, though, your credentials have to back-up what you say. They cannot quote you on unemployment and the economy if your credentials are ‘law of attraction guru.’ If your book is about finding work in a tough economy using the law of attraction, then the reporter may be able to use you. However, just keep in mind, they can get the best experts in the world to comment for them. So, choose to find and work with media perfectly suited to your expertise and the breaking news commentary you can create.

When using the simple trick of connecting your expertise to breaking news, you must say immediately how you can help the journalist advance their story. One way to do this is to list topics that you can discuss that will shed new light on the news. Another is to give the journalist a sampling of key tips or advice that you can offer their audience. These should be short, concise, single sentences. Get to your point quickly or you risk losing the journalists attention. Use this simple trick and you dramatically increase your chances of finding PR under your tree this season!