Happy Halloween PR Tips

chamber_of_commerce_witchty_business_own As Halloween trends into a major holiday, why not tap into the promotion potential and be part of the revelry?

For a few Halloweens, I promoted my business by posing as a PR Witch. How did I get visibility? By judging the local chamber of commerce costume parade, of course. That’s me over there getting ready to size up the little ghosts and goblins in the  parade.

I first published most of this post in October 2006. Reading it two years later, I realize how much more I use social media now. Here’s the original with an update . . .

Seriously, I get a big bang out of this. But, I could get an even bigger PR pop than just showing up by sponsoring the parade and sending out a press release to publicize it.

What can you do to promote your business next Halloween? Consider these options:

– send out a press release [preferably with video] on or around October 1, at least 3 weeks in advance of your event or promotion

– participate in local events to raise your profile

– partner with collaborative businesses and brew up a bubbling promotion

– sponsor a spooky story, coloring/art or pumpkin carving contest and post the results on the Web

– use the keyword “Halloween” in your online releases with a relevant reference to the holiday and your event or special offer

– email your list with a limited time offer

– host a costume contest/party/reception for adults and/or children, depending on your audience -this could be virtual or real

– establish an annual tradition that your customers and communities anticipate each year

– decorate your store with a traffic-stopper like the flower-arranging gorilla that happened to inhabit a storefront in our downtown for a week or so

– send out a clever Happy Halloween mailing with a bewitching call to action

– take complimentary photos of kids in costume and set them up on your site with the parent’s permission

For some spooky Halloween retail stats [from 3.3 billion in 2005 to an expected 5 billion in 2006], check out the ABC News “Is Halloween the New Christmas?” story.

10/31/2008 Update

According to the National Retail Federation, total 2008 Halloween spending is expected to reach $5.77 billion. Wow – that’s a major amount of revelry!

In the original article, the press release would go to local media. Now, we suggest extending reach to the web with distribution via an online service.

Most of the tips I shared above are geared to local retailers. But these ideas can work online as well via email, blogs, Facebook and twitter. It’s fun to get into the spirit! Today, I swapped out my twitter picture with the one I use in this post.

Although I can’t predict what social media tools will be making news in 2009, I can tell you that pictures, video and stories will be big, big, big. So start making plans now to make October 2009 a fun month for you and your community, whether you’re local or online!

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