Holidays are a great opportunity to pitch consumer products, as many media outlets share product roundups associated with the occasion or observance (think: gift guides for Valentine’s Day, Back to School must-haves, fall-themed snacks). To earn holiday-themed coverage, brands need to know how to cut through the clutter, so their product stands out in a meaningful and relevant way.

Here are four best practices to follow to secure meaningful product coverage during seasonal moments throughout the year:

1. Show not only how your product fits in, but also how it stands out!

Most importantly, your product should be relevant to the holiday you’re targeting. Equally important is sharing why it’s unique and what sets the product apart from competitors. For example, is it a new product, is it sourced in a unique way or is it available for a limited time?

We helped a chocolate client secure 26 pieces of coverage in outlets like CNET, People and Tasting Table for Valentine’s Day, a chocolate-centric holiday with plenty of sweet options for consumers to choose from. A compelling pitch that highlighted key product differentiators and included the brand assets and photos reporters were seeking for their roundups helped us secure the news wins our client needed to stand out.

2. Hone your media list through research

A well-crafted media list should include outlets your target audience trusts and contacts that have written about the targeted holiday or a similar observance in the past. Additionally, look for opportunities to connect with reporters on a more personal level. If the product is local to where they live or if it aligns with their interests or hobbies, call that out in the pitch.

3. Offer samples

If your brand or company can offer a sample or trial, do it. Why? It gives the reporter an opportunity to experience firsthand what you’re asking them to write about – which only helps your case for coverage inclusion. A good rule of thumb is to offer samples in your pitch, but only send if the reporter expresses interest – mailing unsolicited items can be a turnoff. Lastly, be mindful of timing, deadlines and the weather. Holiday stories are sometimes planned months in advance, and consider temperatures when shipping perishable products too.

4. Ensure your pitch gets seen

Reporters receive hundreds of emails each day. To help ensure they read yours, consider putting the sample offer in the subject line; making your pitch scannable by bolding words or using bullets; emphasizing product information, like if the product is limited-edition; or including a countdown to the holiday you’re pitching. Another successful method is to respond to a published roundup article with information about another relevant product that could be added. You’d be surprised how often reporters are open to refreshing or updating their published online content.

Pitching media around busy holidays can be challenging, but when you do your research upfront, start at the right time, and incorporate strategies to make your pitch noticeable, it can lead to successful outcomes. And when you land a story, don’t stop there! Thank that reporter and continue to cultivate a relationship with them.