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The Christmas Gift Guide

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I am loath to say that I am working on a Christmas gift guide in case my in-box combusts, but it’s that time of year and I’ve taken on two.

I like vicariously shopping for other people so I’m happy as Larry, but one thing that’s struck me (annoyed me) in the course of my research is the number of brands that don’t have press contact details on their website.

One guide is for a London-based magazine that needs gifts from a range of independent stores, several of whom I’ve never been in contact with before. So often they only allow you to contact through email inquiry forms – so clunky!

Plead with your clients to clearly specify a press contact on their websites. And also let them know that a call from a journalist to the shop floor is not necessarily a reason for alarm.

I phoned through to a high-end wine emporium and on hearing I was a journalist and I think having watched too much of BBC1’s Press, the panicking assistant said I would need to talk to his CEO.

Was that necessary when I was merely looking for a recommendation for a vintage wine? “Ah,” he said, sheepishly. “Yeh, I can probably help with that.”

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