PR During the Holiday Season

The most wonderful time of the year is approaching: the holiday season. If you’re unsure of what I mean by this, I am talking about the period between Thanksgiving and New Year. Still, it’s up for debate if this is actually the most wonderful time of the year. For those in the PR industry — especially the product PR industry — it may be the busiest time of the year.

Consumer spending exponentially increases during the holidays. Some popular holidays — like Christmas — promote gift-giving. People are buying new clothes and technology for their loved ones as well as themselves, which is when PR tactics, campaigns, and more come into play. During these busy seasons, PR practitioners want to put their best foot forward to set themselves apart from the competition. They may do this through offering shows, movies, events, products, or food. PR is so versatile that the list can go on and on. 

PR during this time is not limited to just Christmas, either; you have to think about all the different holidays in between. Let’s start with Thanksgiving. The origin of the holiday has strayed away from its original meaning. Now, instead of thinking of pilgrims, you may think about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is a huge event for many PR people. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an opportunity to portray many different skills. First, you have to advertise the parade itself. On top of that, there are many different brands and franchises that fight to make their way into the parade. Just think about how many viewers watch this every year; the exposure organizations can get from this event is incredible. 

Following Thanksgiving, the frenzy of Black Friday begins. Black Friday has become a huge deal for consumers. Those in the PR industry spend a lot of time figuring out how they are going to promote their product and what consumers they should reach during Black Friday. With these sales bringing forth many crowds, PR professionals can only hope that the employees working that day know how to deal with all these people. If not, there may be an opportunity for the store or brand to attract bad PR if the consumers are unhappy with the customer service. 

PR professionals have to deal with these types of issues during every holiday, not just Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Producers must also remember to be inclusive during this time. People of many different backgrounds and religions have important celebrations during this season. PR professionals cannot be ignorant and only cater to what they think brings in the most money. Using this attitude will lead an organization to drift away from the true meaning of public relations and may cause others to view that organization negatively. 

It can be overwhelming but pulling off a successful holiday season from a PR perspective can be very rewarding. PR workers can take advantage of this busy time by showcasing their best work and reminding themselves why they got into the industry in the first place. 

Rowan Fossella, a member of the PRSSA 2022-2023 Publications Committee, is a sophomore at Villanova University majoring in communications with a public relations concentration. In high school, Rowan interned at the Staten Island District Attorney’s office, where she began to explore the field of public relations. Here, she realized the importance of PR and its ability to help others. Rowan has also gained public relations experience through her time at the VillanovaStudent-run Firm. If you are interested in contacting Rowan, you may reach her via LinkedIn.

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