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A digital content calendar: Key dates in the PR industry for content planning

    There are over 30,700 ResponseSource requests sent in a year and many of them centre around key dates in every journalist and content marketer’s calendar.

    Events in the calendar like this create natural opportunities to get your products or services seen, with gift guides and features being published daily. The holiday season contributes up to $843.4 billion for businesses and we want you to capitalise on it.

    With this in mind, we have analysed ResponseSource enquiry data to put together a white paper for the key dates in any PR calendar. By analysing numerous existing ‘content calendars’ and ResponseSource enquiry numbers, Impression has collated the most popular journalist holidays to create a textbook guide for quick wins.

     

    New Year

    Date

    1st January 

    Event

    New Year’s Day marks the first day of the new year on both the Gregorian and Julian calendars. It is synonymous with resolutions, diets and wellness, where individuals often see the day as an opportunity for a clean slate in their life. 

    Popular opportunity for

    Gyms, Health Clubs, Leisure Centres, Personal Trainers, Nutrition and Wellness 

    What trends did we find?

    The largest proportion of enquiries for the term “New Year” were submitted in December by journalists and PR requests on ResponseSource. 

    As the graph shows, New Year’s enquiries are prevalent throughout the majority of the year, with the exception of March, April, July, and August. We see a steady increase in the number of journalists submitting enquiries for their New Year’s features in November, with the majority submitted and with deadlines in December.

    Common requests in this period include:

    • New Year’s resolutions for 2022 or if you have kept/achieved your resolution for 2021
    • Products (cocktail recipes and top alcoholic drinks) for New Year features
    • Tips from fitness/health experts on keeping fit in the New Year

    The most common deadline for New Year ResponseSource enquiries is December. As demonstrated on the graph, over 43% of total New Year enquiries hold a December 2021 deadline, highlighting the number of journalists rounding up their features in this month.

    A few enquiries submitted in December 2020 had a deadline within January, showing the tight turnaround time for New Year content produced in January 2021. Enquiries and deadline quantities were lower in December 2020 – January 2021 which we can attribute to the Covid-19 lockdown which the UK faced during these months.

    Takeaways for New Year content

    With the largest proportion of New Year enquiries in December, journalists have provided themselves quite a short turn around for New Year content planning and writing. However, as the Omicron variant picked up speed during this time, planning for New Years was uncertain.

    For those specialising in the health, wellbeing and fitness industries, there is a clear opportunity to get involved in features far in advance of the big event itself. 

    Surprisingly, the data demonstrates a short period of time for outreach opportunities, as most journalists were heavily enquiring in December. For those who started planning in November, businesses and PR experts may consider avoiding saving their content for mid/late December where it can easily get caught up in the Christmas break. Instead, a well thought out campaign can lend itself to multiple rounds of outreach, beginning in November and running as far as late January.

     

    Chinese New Year

    Date

    12th February (2021)

    Event

    Chinese New Year signifies the beginning of the lunar new year, where the start of a new moon takes place. This date changes each year in correlation with the moon, but will fall between the dates of 21st January and 20th February. 

    Popular opportunity for

    Chinese restaurants, Event planners, Food retailers.

    What trends did we find?

    In comparison to the Gregorian and Julian New Year, the trends for Chinese New Year point to different demands from journalists on ResponseSource. 

    Specifically, the largest number of enquiries for Chinese New Year content were submitted in February, followed by January. Chinese New Year occurred on the 12th of February in 2021 which is around the middle of the month, providing journalists with short turnaround times. In December, we saw no enquiries from Journalists, this may have been due to the lockdown that occurred in the UK. At the time, it was difficult to determine when this lockdown was going to be lifted, therefore this may be the reason why we saw a large amount of new enquiries closer to Chinese New Year.

    Later into 2021, we can see that enquiries for Chinese New Year have been submitted throughout October, November, and December. From this, it is clear that as it was unlikely that we would see another lockdown occurring over Christmas, journalists were seeking comments to round up their pieces far in advance of the Christmas break. 

    Enquiries made in February were very time sensitive, with deadlines averaging 2 to 3 days and the longest up to 7 days. 

    Common requests in this period include:

    • Events taking place for Chinese New Year
    • Products (particularly food) suitable for Chinese New Year
    • Recipes for traditional Chinese meal recipes

    Takeaways for Chinese New Year content

    Early in the year, journalists begin considering their Chinese New Year content quite late, with the highest ResponseSource enquiries submitted during February. However, further into the year, in preparation for this year’s Chinese New Year, journalists submitted their enquiries up to 4 months in advance, starting in October.

    Outreaching for Chinese New Year in December isn’t necessarily discouraged, but the data demonstrates that journalists and PR’s are not actively seeking for Chinese New Year content in December. We still need to keep in mind other social factors that happened during this time which may have affected the amount of enquiries, such as the lockdown in December 2020 and the Omicron Covid-19 variant in December 2021. With the peak in content centered around Christmas, Chinese New Year campaigns are (most) likely to be swept under the carpet. 

    Chinese New Year is still good content to consider after the Christmas and New Year coverage which peaks around November and December. However, other days such as Valentine’s Day and Shrove Tuesday/Pancake day which also occurs in February, may take precedence for journalists in the UK.

    Valentine’s Day

    Date

    14th February

    Event

    Valentine’s Day occurs across the world, in a tradition where loved ones exchange flowers, gifts and chocolate on this romantic holiday. The history of Valentine’s day derives from St. Valentine, a saint who stemmed the tradition which today is a retailer’s dream.

    Popular opportunity for

    Cinemas, Film producers, Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Florists, Boutique stores, Travel Agencies, Hotels, Airlines, Lingerie retailers, Jewellers.

    What trends did we find?

    70% of the Valentine’s Day ResponseSource enquiries recorded were submitted in January 2021. This demonstrates the high number of journalists writing features on the romantic holiday during this month, ahead of the day itself on the 14th February. 

    Enquiry deadlines were again high in January, with the number falling to 37% during the month of February. 

    13 enquiries were submitted in February 2021 down from 72 enquiries in January, reiterating how the majority of journalists begin their research far earlier than the month of Valentine’s Day itself. 

    Common requests in this period include:

    • Gift guides for him/her for Valentine’s Day presents
    • Restaurants to visit & recipes for Valentine’s Day

    When looking into specific content requests, it is clear the enquiries for Valentine’s Day are heavily centered around gifts. The vast majority of the enquiries for Valentine’s Day were from journalists creating gift guides and seeking products to review for their publication.

    Other common themes for Valentine’s Day ResponseSource enquiries are for publications looking to list popular restaurants/date nights and recipes for stay-at-home dinners. It is important to note that the enquiries for this type of request are significantly less than those for gifts.

    Takeaways for Valentine’s Day content

    The data demonstrates a demand for Valentine’s day content as early as November. However, since the lead deadlines for features are mostly populated in January, it can be concluded that this is the month in which journalists begin finalising their content and publishing any articles. 

    With 37% of deadlines in February, the romance month itself is obviously not too late to begin outreaching a campaign. Saying this, the numbers imply that the majority of journalists and PR’s are creating their content in January, with many publishing their articles in this same month. Therefore, beginning outreach in January can help campaigns to get a head start, as well as helping marketers to avoid ‘missing the boat’. 

     

    Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day

    Date

    16th February

    Event

    Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day, is the day before lent starts on Ash Wednesday. Derived from the English custom of using up all the fattening ingredients in a house, the custom of Pancake Day still exists today in the UK.

    Popular opportunity for

    Restaurants, Cafes, Recipe Blogs 

    What trends did we find?

    The number of overall inquiries for Shrove Tuesday & Pancake Day were low in comparison to other holidays, with 8 submitted overall. 

    ResponseSource saw the majority of enquiries for the day made in February itself and the next highest number from January. Enquiries made in January and February had a very short turnaround with deadline averaging between 2-4 days with the longest being 13 days.

    Common requests in this period include:

    • Shrove Tuesday recipes
    • Products to review for a Shrove Tuesday feature
    • Healthier alternative ingredients for pancakes 

    Shrove Tuesday enquiries from 2021 were based on three major themes. Firstly, publications were seeking pancake recipes to include in their February features. Secondly, bloggers were asking for products to review and lastly, journalists were seeking healthier alternative ingredients for pancake recipes.

    Takeaways for Shrove Tuesday content

    Unsurprisingly, the number of ResponseSource enquiries for Shrove Tuesday are significantly lower than other holidays. This can be attributed to two major factors:

    1. Expert comments/tips are not as essential for a Shrove Tuesday feature, since publications can very easily access recipes elsewhere
    2. Shrove Tuesday commonly has less of a ‘buzz’ than larger holidays such as Christmas, Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. Typically, less content is produced around this area than the aforementioned celebrations. 

    Despite the lower number of enquiries into Shrove Tuesday, there is still an opportunity for restaurants, food bloggers or cafes to capitalise on the holiday. Journalists are seeking recipes for their sites and having one feature on a national publication could lead to wider syndication. 

    For those considering a campaign centered around Shrove Tuesday, the data demonstrates February to be the best month. With journalists submitting their enquiries mid/late February, it would be interesting to see the success of a campaign released just prior to this.

     

    Mother’s Day

    Date

    14th March (2021)

    Event

    Falling on the fourth Sunday of Lent in the UK, Mothering Sunday is a Christian celebration of honoring mothers in the family and society as a whole. 

    Popular opportunity for

    Florists, Restaurants, Retailers, Card/Gift Stores, Beauticians

    What trends did we find?

    Mother’s Day saw the joint second highest number of ResponseSource enquiries across all the data alongside Father’s day. Submissions were made by a wide variety of publications, with notable enquiries from Health & Wellbeing Magazine, Natural Way Magazine, and nationals such as The Independent, MailOnline, and The Daily Star.

    ResponseSource enquiries for Mother’s Day run through most of the year. 20% of submissions began in January, with the highest peak seen in February. March saw the next highest number of enquiries for Mother’s Day, with these submissions typically holding a 2-3 day deadline during the peak period, focusing heavily on “last-minute” gifts. The highest number of deadlines for leads for Mother’s Day enquiries was in February, the month before the event itself.

    Common requests in this period include:

    • Gift ideas or Last-Minute Gifts for Mother’s day guides
    • Mother’s Day restaurant deals
    • Alcohol Mother’s Day deals
    • Recipes for Mother’s Day meals at home

    Takeaways for Mother’s Day content

    With 20% of overall enquiries for Mother’s Day content submitted in January, journalists clearly get the ball rolling with their content very early in the year. Although over 50% of these deadlines are not until February, the data demonstrates that at least 28 journalists are planning their articles and concepts during this first month. 

    The largest proportion of ResponseSource enquiries for Mother’s Day are submitted in February which reiterates that most journalists are planning their content ahead of March itself. Having a campaign in front of a journalist before they have finalised their Mother’s Day concept is ideal, since there may be a movement for them to include the campaign in their original piece.

    (This is not to say that a journalist who has already written or finalised their piece about Mother’s Day will not consider your campaign, since this will depend more specifically on the strength of your story).

    Fewer deadlines are in March, with enquiries focusing specifically on “last-minute gifts”. For campaigns centered around gift buying, this small window of opportunity should not be ignored. Media outlets such as The Independent and Health & Wellbeing Magazine sought content in these areas in 2021, showing it to be a quick way to gain extra coverage for a client. 

    St Patrick’s Day

    Date

    17th March

    Event

    Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious and cultural celebration held to commemorate the death of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. It is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland and is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. 

    Popular opportunity for

    Pubs, Bars, Clubs, Events Companies, Restaurants, Retailers, Travel Agencies, Hotels, Airlines. 

    What trends did we find?

    St Patrick’s Day falls on the 17th March. Equal numbered enquiries were submitted for St Patrick’s Day features in both January and February.

    Enquiry submissions for March were uploaded no earlier than the 3rd March, with the last submitted on 15th March. Few deadlines for St Patrick’s Day in March fell close to the 17th, with two deadlines on 15th March. 

    Common requests in this period include:

    • Items, events and recipes to feature for St Patrick’s Day
    • Props/drinks/food for a St Patrick’s Day party
    • St Patrick’s Day gifts

    80% of enquiries for St Patrick’s Day focused on product features, ranging from recipes and food to party props and free venues. The remaining 20% were seeking event information and ideas for children, looking for fun things to do on St Patrick’s day itself.

    Takeaways for St Patrick’s Day content

    With the majority of publications seeking products to review and feature for St Patrick’s day articles, there is an opportunity for events companies and retailers to benefit from closely monitoring ResponseSource enquiries around the date of event. 

    St Patrick’s day enquiries are submitted close to the date itself, demonstrating that publications are planning their content for the holiday mainly during early March. Any outreach of a related campaign may benefit from tailoring their dates accordingly, to avoid being forgotten in a list of emails if outreach is conducted too early.

    Easter

    Date

    4h April (2021)

    Event

    Easter is a Christian festival which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, held on the weekend from Good Friday to Easter Monday. Easter eggs are a common symbol for the holiday, used to represent the resurrection of Jesus. Today, they are mostly made from chocolate, covered in foil and sold in supermarkets for children.

    Popular opportunity for

    Supermarkets, Card Shops, Gift Stores

    What trends did we find?

    According to the data, ResponseSource saw the highest number of enquiries for Easter than for any other holiday included within the report. 

    Enquiries for Easter slowly started to begin in January 2021 with it seeing 8% of the overall Easter submissions. The highest number of enquiries submitted for Easter was in March, where 54% of overall submissions were made. National publications such as The Sun, Daily Mail, and Daily Star were seeking products or recipe ideas for Easter weekend itself.

    The deadline for Easter ResponseSource enquiries was highest in March. Whilst few enquiries closing close to the holiday itself, certain publications left their enquiries open up to 1st April. 

    Common requests in this period include:

    • ‘Healthy’ easter eggs
    • Non-chocolate gift ideas for Easter
    • Milk/Dark/Kids/Luxury Easter eggs
    • Easter recipes for baking
    • Easter wreaths & trees

    2021 saw surprisingly high enquiry requests for Easter trees and wreaths, looking for ideas on how to decorate your house in time for the Easter weekend. Partnering this trend, a number of journalists were also seeking non chocolate gift ideas as an alternative to the traditional chocolate easter egg.

    Takeaways for Easter content

    Easter held the highest number of enquiries on ResponseSource for a holiday in 2021, according to the data set. This demonstrates the demand for features which focus on the Easter celebration. 

    The most common request from journalists pointed to easter egg products, focusing in particular on up and coming markets such as gluten free or vegan easter eggs too. For clients centered around ethical products, restaurants (or any other loose tie in), this could be the centre of a campaign ideation. 

    The deadline for leads on Easter ResponseSource enquiries varied significantly, with few publications aiming for January, whereas nationals like The Sun and Daily Star holding later deadlines. This demonstrates the wide scope for Easter campaigns and the long calendar period which the holiday can be capitalised for.

    Whilst 68% of Easter enquiries held deadlines in March, February also saw the roundup of just under 61 enquiries. For those considering an Easter related campaign, this demonstrates the opportunity for several rounds of outreach within the two months.

    For businesses hoping to score a feature using ResponseSource for their Easter oriented products, keep your eyes peeled from December for the hundreds of enquiries coming your way over the next few months. 

     

    Ramadan

    Date

    12th April (2021)

    Event

    Ramdan is a tradition followed by people of the Islamic faith. During the month of Ramadan, many Muslims choose not to drink or eat between dawn and sunset, taking part in a fasting period allowing them to devote themselves to their faith.

    Popular opportunity for

    Retailers, Supermarkets, Health and Wellbeing experts, Fitness Coaches

    What trends did we find?

    66% of ResponseSource enquiries for Ramadan were submitted in April, within the month of the event itself. Enquiries for Ramadan had tight deadlines in April with one closing on the day before the event. 

    Enquiries were varied for the period of Ramadan, with one common theme found which related to food. Journalists were seeking explanations of where good restaurants were which featured Ramadan/Iftar themed food. 

    Common requests in this period include:

    • Exercise during Ramadan
    • Restaurants offering Iftar menus during Ramadan
    • Locations for food with Ramadan/Iftar themed menus

    Takeaways for Ramadan content

    There were far fewer enquiries for Ramadan on ResponseSource than other events within the data set, demonstrating a lesser demand for expert comments on this topic. 

    Despite this, enquiries were submitted by publications which shows the opportunity for health or food experts within the Islamic community to give their response and gain coverage in return.

     

    Father’s Day

    Date

    20th June (2021)

    Event

    Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in the UK, where family members put in a special effort for their father figure. This can include visiting their father, sending a greeting card, or the exchange of gifts such as flowers, clothes or chocolates. 

    Popular opportunity for

    Shopping centres, Card Shops, Supermarkets, Retailers, Travel Agencies, Airlines, Hotels, Train Services

    What trends did we find?

    Father’s Day ResponseSource enquiries began early in 2021, with the first enquiry submitted for March. April saw 34% of submissions, where a large part of enquiries came through for Father’s Day. This event is joint second place with Mother’s Day for the most popular event of the year.

    The highest number of enquiries were seen in May, where 40% of submissions for Father’s Day enquiries were made. Enquiries came from a range of regionals, lifestyle blogs and parenting sites. 50% of submission deadlines were also scheduled for May.

    National publications such as The Sun and other consumer media like ITV’s This Morning submitted enquiries closer to the event itself. Other national publications like The Daily Star Online submitted their first enquiry early in April for a deadline later in May and Hello! Online followed with theirs in early May with only a deadline of 2 days. June saw 18% of enquiry submissions and 34% of deadlines for leads. 

    81% of ResponseSource enquiries for Father’s Day were submitted before the month of June. 

    • Products for a Father’s Day gift guide

    Majority of enquiries for Father’s Day were seeking ideas and products for gift guides. All types of gifts were welcomed by publications including, but not limited to:

    • Books
    • food and drink items
    • Clothes
    • Grooming products
    • Experiences
    • Ethical and vegan products

    Takeaways for Father’s Day content

    With over half of Father’s Day enquiries submitted in May and 81% submitted before June began, businesses interested in capitalising on Father’s Day should begin monitoring ResponseSource requests before the month of the event itself. 

    When considering creating a campaign centered around Father’s Day, it is worth noting that the highest number of deadlines for leads were seen in May. With journalists rounding up their content as early as May, PRs may wish to outreach their campaign in advance of June rather than waiting closer to the time. This way, a second round of outreach can be conducted targeting nationals in June. 

    For businesses specialising in gifts which may be suitable for Father’s Day gift guides, this holiday is an incredibly efficient way to secure coverage in a number of relevant publications. 

     

    Summer Holidays

    Date

    22nd July (2021)

    Event

    The summer holidays are a break in the summer between school years, in which students have roughly 6-9 weeks off before they begin the next academic year.

    Popular opportunity for

    Retailers, Restaurants, Shopping Centres

    What trends did we find?

    ResponseSource enquiries for the Summer Holidays began later than what has been seen in previous years. Living in a post-pandemic world, publications may be cautious about planning for events which may occur in densely populated spaces.

    Enquiries started flowing in around May where journalists requested tips for those planning summer breaks and looking for destination inspiration. Submissions for May and June generally followed the same pattern, such as where publications focused on where to take children to keep them busy during the holidays.

    25% of enquiries were submitted in June and 58% in July, where these publications focused more heavily on activities and days out for families during the summer period.

    Common requests in this period include:

    • Activities and places to go out during the Summer Holidays
    • How to cut costs of days out for children during summer

    Takeaways for Summer Holidays content

    Coverage during the summer holidays has definitely been hit harder than it has been since the start of 2020 with far fewer enquiries than in previous years. In a post-pandemic world, there has been a shift towards days out and national holidays, also known as staycations, with a focus on families keeping their children occupied.

    The above data can be used to assist with outreach planning for Summer Holiday related campaigns. For example, due to current circumstances, any content centered around family holidays at home, according to the data, would ideally be pitched in June and July. However, content focused on holidays abroad may return in the coming years.

     

    Halloween

    Date

    31st October

    Event

    Halloween is a holiday celebrated annually across the world, a day marking the start of Allhallowtide, a time of remembering the dead. On the day and night of Halloween, children and adults dress in scary costumes, carve pumpkins, light bonfires and go trick or treating. 

    Popular opportunity for

    Supermarkets, Clothing Retailers, TV Networks, Film Producers, Bars, Restaurants, Cosmetic Brands

    What trends did we find?

    Halloween ResponseSource enquiries began in July, with journalists seeking Halloween recipes and food product reviews for their October features. The amount of submissions start to grow rapidly as journalists start submitting enquiries throughout August, September, and October.

    12% of submissions were made in August for Halloween enquiries, with requests varying in topic from journalists seeking Halloween related cocktails, to others looking to write about spooky games and crafts ideas.

    37% of enquiry submissions and 54% of enquiry deadlines took place in October, demonstrating that the majority of publications planned and finalised their Halloween content within the month of October itself.  

    Common requests in this period include:

    • Alcoholic drinks for Halloween
    • Spooky days out for Halloween feature
    • Party products
    • Vegan friendly Halloween makeup and costumes
    • Halloween recipes
    • Halloween themed decorations and homeware

    The details of Halloween enquiries were typically varied, with journalists seeking Halloween party products, drinks, costume ideas or makeup products, recipes for Halloween treats, and scary tours or events to visit.  

    Publications such as The Grocer submitted enquiries as early as July. Many nationals submitted their enquiries in October, with The Sun, Express, Daily Mail, Daily Star Online, i Newspaper, and the Metro submitting ResponseSource enquiries throughout the month of the holiday itself.

    Takeaways for Halloween content

    Research highlighted that a variety of publications submitted their enquiry for food and drink products to review in July, presenting an earlier opportunity for related businesses to gain exposure. 

    ResponseSource enquiries picked up significantly in September, demonstrating the point in the year when the majority of journalists begin to plan their Halloween related content. The highest number of enquiries were seen in September and October which signifies this may be the best time to pick up related campaign outreach. 

    Since national publications such as The Sun and Express held tight deadlines, any campaigns outreached too far in advance of Halloween could risk being lost in an inbox. This, of course, also depends on the quality and content of a campaign.

    Unlike many other holidays, the data demonstrated the wide range of opportunities for ResponseSource enquiries. Events companies should closely monitor enquiries from August onwards, to capitalise on the number of journalists seeking information on spooky days out. 

    For drinks based firms, the data highlights Halloween as the perfect time for a creative campaign to catch the attention of journalists. With publications spoilt for choice with hundreds of alcoholic drinks to feature, yours must stand out in a crowded market.

     

    Bonfire Night

    Date

    5th November

    Event

    Bonfire Night marks the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt by Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The night is celebrated across the UK, with fireworks, bonfires and sparklers. 

    Popular opportunity for

    Supermarkets, Recipe bloggers, Drinks brands, Restaurants, Bars

    What trends did we find?

    28% of Bonfire Night ResponseSource enquiries were submitted in October. Of the enquiries submitted during October, they had a deadline of 1-3 days on average. This demonstrates the quick turnaround by journalists with their Bonfire Night content. Within the same month of the holiday, 1 enquiry had a turnaround of a day, which was the day before Bonfire Night itself.

    Common requests in this period include:

    • Firework products to review
    • Recipes for Bonfire Night
    • How to look after your pet on Bonfire Night

    Enquiries from publications generally followed two major themes; journalists seeking recipes to include in their Bonfire night features, or products to review ahead of the 5th November.

    Takeaways for Bonfire Night content

    In comparison to previous holidays discussed, the enquiries for Bonfire Night were highly compacted into a handful of months. With 57% of enquiries in August and October, this is clearly the best time to contact journalists with a related campaign rather than waiting for the month of November. 

    ResponseSource enquiries for Bonfire Night focus specifically on seeking recipes and events related to the holiday. This is a great opportunity for bloggers, restaurants and food brands to get involved in capitalising on Bonfire Night by securing a feature with a high authority domain. 

     

    Black Friday

    Date

    26th November (2021)

    Event

    Black Friday refers to the shopping day after Thanksgiving and was given its name because of the vast number of shoppers, traffic jams and chaos which arises on this day. 

    Popular opportunity for

    Shopping Centres, Retailers, Supermarkets, Restaurants, Hotels, Travel Agencies, Airlines

    What trends did we find?

    84% of enquiries were submitted with deadlines for November, demonstrating the last minute nature of this holiday in comparison to others. Deadlines in November included journalists seeking enquiries for MailOnline, Radio Times, Express, Channel 4 and The Sun.

    October saw 13% for deadlines from October submitted enquiries by publications such as Retail Gazette, The Times and Mail+.. 

    The data revealed a number of interesting opportunities for Black Friday with ResponseSource. Retail experts, psychologists and shoppers were welcome to give their take on how to find bargains, why Black Friday is popular, and what the future holds for this holiday. 

    Retailers were welcomed by nationals, lifestyle magazines, and bloggers to provide the best deals they were offering, with enquiries heavily submitted through mid-late November.

    Common requests in this period include:

    • Shopping experts to talk about how to find bargains
    • Retail expert on future of Black Friday
    • Psychologist on why people love Black Friday
    • Furniture discounted for Black Friday
    • Best deals on Black Friday

    Takeaways for Black Friday content

    According to the data, the largest majority of journalists finalise their Black Friday features during mid-late November. From this, it would be wise to consider a first round of outreach for any Black Friday related content no later than mid November. 

    Digital PRs hoping to feature their retail expert clients in related publications should focus close attention on ResponseSource from October. Since the data shows that industry specific publications plan their content early, campaigns centered around Black Friday statistics, advice or history could be outreached earlier than November. 

    Black Friday is an excellent opportunity for retailers to have their products and deals featured in a number of national publications. Retailers should be prepared with the details of their deal and high resolution images far in advance of October. 

     

    Christmas Eve

    Date

    24th December

    Event

    Christmas Eve refers to the day/evening before Christmas Day. This holiday is observed around the world in anticipation of Christmas Day, the festival celebrating the birth of Jesus. 

    Popular opportunity for

    Shopping Centres, Retailers, Supermarkets, Drinks Brands/Stores, Travel Agencies, Airlines, Hotels, Events Companies, Film Companies, Theatres, Restaurants, Bars, Events Venues, Clubs. 

    What trends did we find?

    No enquiries on ResponseSource for Christmas Eve were submitted until October in 2021, with the highest number of requests seen in November. No enquiries were submitted in December, signifying that most publications begin seeking content for their Christmas Eve features in advance.

    ResponseSource requests for Christmas Eve were generally from ‘parental’ orientated blogs. Few national publication enquiries came from The Independent and Newsweek for this particular holiday. Blogs were generally seeking products to feature in their Christmas Eve box orientated posts, as well as for features on gift ideas for the holiday. 

    Common requests in this period include:

    • What to put in a Christmas Eve Box
    • Gifts to give on Christmas Eve

    Takeaways for Christmas Eve content

    The data demonstrates a smaller pool of opportunities on ResponseSource for Christmas Eve than the number of enquiries submitted for Christmas Day. For retailers who are able to market their products as gifts, however, this holiday still presents a unique opportunity to have their products featured within the Christmas period. 

    In terms of national coverage, the ResponseSource enquiries for this holiday were limited. This should not impact attention on the holiday by retailers, since the number of parenting blogs looking to feature family related products makes Christmas Eve a potentially lucrative topic.

    The data demonstrates that blogs begin seeking content for their features as early as October, therefore interested parties are urged to begin monitoring requests after the Halloween holiday.

     

    Christmas Day

    Date

    25th December

    Event

    Christmas Day is the annual Christian festival celebrated to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Christians use the day to remember the presence of God in the world through Jesus. Non-Christians also celebrate the holiday through seasonal food, present giving and visiting family.

    Popular opportunity for

    Shopping Centres, Retailers, Supermarkets, Drinks Brands/Stores, Travel Agencies, Airlines, Hotels, Events Companies, Film Companies, Theatres, Restaurants, Bars, Events Venues, Clubs. 

    What trends did we find?

    Enquiries for Christmas Day 2021 began in August, with Top Santé seeking their first comment by 19th August. An equal amount of enquiries on ResponseSource followed throughout to December, with December receiving 36% for deadlines.

    Common requests in this period include:

    • Psychological wellbeing for people working on Christmas Day
    • Exercise on Christmas Day
    • Recipes for Christmas Day
    • Volunteering on Christmas Day
    • Gift ideas for Christmas Day

    Enquiries for Christmas Day varied in their requests for comments, features or products. Regarding products, journalists generally requested food and drink products or gift suggestions. 

    Insight sought someone volunteering in a soup kitchen for Christmas Day, while IT Pro looked for people working the holiday. Other requests included suggestions for gifts and exercise routines.

    Takeaways for Christmas Day content

    The data clearly demonstrates that the majority of publications begin planning their Christmas Day content far in advance of the holiday, with 72% of enquiry deadlines passing before 1st December. This highlights to both businesses and PRs that Christmas outreach can begin as early as September or October, although a note should be taken that Christmas content sent out too early may fall victim to being forgotten.

    For those seeking national coverage with their campaigns, the data suggests journalists begin planning their content most heavily during November. With the majority of deadlines also in November, the data suggests features are rounded up in this month or early December. 

    The wide topic variety for Christmas Day ResponseSource requests implies an opportunity for a number of businesses to succeed in achieving coverage. Monitoring should begin as early as August to ensure no relevant opportunities are missed. 

     

    Boxing Day

    Date

    26th December

    Event

    Boxing Day takes place the day after Christmas Day, where the majority of the UK population has a day off. In today’s modern age, Boxing Day signifies a day of important sports events and the start for retailers Christmas sales.

    Popular opportunity for

    Shopping Centres, Retailers, Supermarkets, Drinks Brands/Stores, Travel Agencies, Airlines, Hotels, Events Companies, Film Companies, Theatres, Restaurants, Bars, Events Venues, Clubs.

    What trends did we find?

    Despite the low number, enquiries submitted for Boxing Day came from national publications such as the Daily Star which sought expert food advice. 

    All enquiries and deadlines for Boxing Day were in December, with a turnaround average of 2 to 3 days, demonstrating the timely nature of content for this holiday.

    Common requests in this period include:

    • Recipes for Boxing Day

    Enquiries were generally varied, however, both Evening Standard and Yahoo sought comments related to Boxing Day sales and advice on finding the best discounts.

    Takeaways for Boxing Day content

    The few enquiries were hardly varied. Due to the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant and fear of another lockdown at this time, publications may have been hesitant to seek comments or advice on topics such as sales, events and travel deals.

     

    New Year’s Eve

    Date

    31st December

    Event

    According to the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Eve is the last day of the year. The holiday is widely celebrated across the world with evening parties where people light fireworks, dance and drink. 

    Popular opportunity for

    Shopping Centres, Supermarkets, Clothing Retailers, Travel Agencies, Airlines, Hotels, Cinemas, Events Companies, Theatres, Restaurants, Bars, Events Venues.

    What trends did we find?

    Enquiries for New Year’s Eve on ResponseSource began in September with Good Housekeeping seeking women’s comments on how New Year’s Eve has changed their lives in some way. 

    In October 40% of all enquiries were submitted. These enquiries had a deadline average of 2 to 3 days or more, giving interested parties a short length of time to submit their comments or products. 

    30% of all New Year’s Eve enquiries were submitted in November and only 10% in December. This demonstrates that journalists generally begin planning their content earlier than the month of NYE itself.

    No deadlines for New Year’s Eve enquiries passed the 31th December. After this point, no journalists were using the tool to seek comments or features, which is quite a late deadline!

    Common requests in this period include:

    • New Year’s Eve party food
    • What to do on New Year’s Eve with kids
    • Things to do in London & Edinburgh on NYE
    • Party items/cosmetics for NYE

    20% of enquiries for New Years Eve were seeking to create guides in London and Edinburgh for the event. Common requests also included party food or items for the holiday, as well as stories related to New Years Eve.

    Takeaways for New Year content

    New Years Eve enquiries for 2021 began in mid September. For businesses seeking to have their comments featured in New Years Eve features, it would be wise to begin monitoring enquiries from late September or early October to ensure that no opportunities are missed. 

    The data revealed that the highest number of enquiries were submitted in October, suggesting this is where journalists begin planning their NYE features most commonly. The long deadlines imply features are being planned rather than written in early November, especially since most enquiry submissions fell toward the later end of the month. 

    A large amount of deadlines for NYE content took place in both October and December. This implies that journalists are writing up their features during mid October or throughout November and December. For those planning outreach for a New Years Eve related campaign, this is something to bear in mind. If journalists are finalising their content in December, you may wish to outreach your campaign during or before this period.

    Overall, it is clear that New Years Eve presents a great opportunity for party or event oriented brands to gain quick wins.

     

    Conclusion

    Evening out the playing field between PR experts and businesses new to the game, this report provides a useful insight to the key moments when holidays can be used to improve your brand coverage.

    In this report, we have analysed 17 key dates for any PR calendar. With the impressive results a holiday orientated campaign can pull in, this data presents an exciting opportunity for businesses to better grasp the ideal times to capitalise on these key dates.

    The significant number of ResponseSource enquiries for holidays such as Mother’s Day, Easter Sunday, Father’s Day and Halloween points to a lucrative opportunity for brands. These enquiries provide quick wins for brands to achieve coverage, with the vast quantity of enquiry submissions playing in their favour.

    For the PR industry, this paper provides an insight for future campaign ideations and outreach considerations. It has provided data on the types of publications submitting enquiries for each holiday and the dates of these submissions.

    The takeaway from this report is a better understanding of the differing publication time scales for each holiday and an insight for brands on when to pay close attention to holiday ResponseSource opportunities.


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