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The Question On Everyone’s Lips

The question on everyone's lips

It’s the question on everyone’s lips – or maybe just mine – when it comes to pitching Christmas stories, how late is too late? As a journalist who mainly works for newspapers and writes a high proportion of “on the day” stories, my answer might surprise you.

Even on newspapers, Christmas fashion coverage tends to be planned and scheduled in advance, and will already have peaked, either in the last weeks of November or the first week of December. This is when editors judge that most people will be buying clothes, either for Christmas party season, or as presents. So while last-minute gift guides will run later than this, they’ll still tend to have been compiled well ahead of publication. 

If you are a PR pitching a Christmas fashion or shopping story at this time of year, don’t be disappointed if nobody bites. And definitely don’t be surprised if your pitch is “I’m an expert and here’s my guide to x” and nobody bites. I’ve received a surfeit of pitches like this in recent weeks, and they don’t impress me much. As the saying goes, people have had enough of experts – particularly if they’re names we’ve never heard of. Also, no hate, but the journalists you’re pitching to are considered to be experts, so it’s unlikely they’d defer to another one unless it was a definitive expert that was well known in their field. Here’s to a 2023 in which quality is upheld, talent is valued and differences of opinion are respected – respectfully.

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