An image of various gift boxes wrapped in ribbon. With overlay on top saying 'a guide to gift guides and product roundups for digital prs'
5 minutes

A Guide to Gift Guides and Product Roundups for Digital PRs

In today’s digital landscape, effective PR tactics are essential for businesses looking to increase brand visibility and boost SEO efforts. One tactic you should have in your digital PR strategy is to secure product placements in relevant gift guides or product roundups.

It’s becoming increasingly important to integrate both digital and traditional PR tactics to maximise your PR efforts. Typically, product roundups might be referred to as a ‘traditional’ tactic but they provide an opportunity for eCommerce brands to showcase their offerings in front of relevant audiences and earn backlinks in the process. 

Being included in reputable gift guides lends credibility to your brand and will boost your digital PR efforts and increase sales.  When consumers see your products or services recommended alongside other trusted brands, it enhances their perception of your credibility. Backlinks from authoritative websites hosting these gift guides signals to search engines that your website is a reliable source of information, consequently boosting your SEO efforts. 

So, how do you secure a gift guide or product placements? For a jewellery brand, we successfully built links in the likes of The Evening Standard, National World and Glamour UK using the following steps. 

1. Identify recurring events 

First things first, identify any key recurring events relevant to your brand. For most eCommerce brands, Black Friday, Christmas Day, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day provide excellent opportunities to showcase your products and services to a wider audience. For many of these key dates, gift guides and product roundups are essential to any publication’s content calendar. 

2. Master your media list

Building a robust media list is essential to securing product placements. Utilise manual search to identify journalists who cover your industry, niche or product category. Look for reporters who have previously written about similar products or topics.

A top tip is to use specific keywords in Google like ‘Black Friday gift guide’ and select a custom date range for the previous year (1 Oct 2022 – 30 Nov 2022). Dig through the articles to find journalists who tend to write up product roundups relevant to your brand and add those journalists to your list. Use a media database tool or X to find the journalist’s contact details. Don’t overlook freelance writers who contribute to various publications. They often have niche expertise and are open to pitches from brands. Screengrab of Google search results showing 3 media articles, each about the best retailers to shop with on black Friday.

You can also use a media database tool like Vuelio to look for journalists with specific job titles, such as ‘shopping writer’ or ‘eCommerce editor’. 

3. Craft the perfect pitch

Next, prepare your product roundup. Ensure you have all the key information ready, including:

  • Product names
  • Product description
  • Links
  • Price, including any discounts e.g. 20% off this Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • High-resolution images – Product and lifestyle shots – in a dropbox folder for ease

Always include the discount percentage for easy reference by journalists.

In your personalised pitch, it’s important to identify any USPs. Whether it’s unique features, suitability for specific occasions or exceptional quality, emphasise why journalists should feature your products in their publications.

Make sure to tailor your pitches to each journalist or publication, highlighting how your products align with their audience and editorial focus. 

Don’t forget your subject line! Arguably the most important step, journalists are inundated with PR pitches daily and a good subject line helps you cut through the competition. A simple tip is to include “For your [key date] gift guide” in the subject line. This way, it’s super clear for the journalist and they can use the search option to find your pitch when crafting the guide. 

 

4. Timing is everything

Timing is crucial when it comes to gift guides and product roundups, as a rule of thumb we’d recommend reaching out to journalists at least three weeks prior to the event or occasion. Early engagement increases the likelihood of securing placements and allows you to send any samples, should journalists require. 

Once you have your media list finalised, get in touch with all your contacts ahead of the date. Using Black Friday as an example, we know that journalists often do pre-Black Friday roundups to give people an idea of what deals those brands would have on this year. So, work backwards based on this and get in touch as early as possible, so you’re putting your brand to the forefront. 

 

5. Utilise #journorequest and ResponseSource

ResponseSource is a great tool to identify product placement opportunities. Around key dates, such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day you’ll see a host of journalists requesting products for their upcoming gift guides. Simply respond to that journalist with the product roundup you created earlier.

You can also harness the power of social media platforms like X with hashtags such as #journorequest to connect with journalists looking for specific product recommendations. You can narrow down your search as far as you’d like, if you’re searching for roundups in a specific niche.

Screengrab of a journalist request looking for Mother's Day gift ideas. Screengrab of a journalist request looking for foodie gift ideas for Easter for a blog round up. Screen grab of a journalist request for valentines day gift ideas for PAUSE magazine.

Affiliate links are becoming an increasingly popular topic within the digital PR industry. With gift guides and product roundups, a number of tier one publications will use an affiliate programme. While affiliate links may not directly impact your search rankings, they can significantly contribute to generating traffic and revenue to your website. 

However, if you want to avoid affiliate links all together:

  1. Understand the sites your clients are in an affiliate programme with. 
  2. Find new journalists in different news teams.
  3. Reach out to niche publications. 

 

If you’re looking for a hand or just want to learn what digital PR is all about, browse our digital PR services or get in touch.