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Keeping on top of digital PR trends can be tricky, especially in such a dynamic industry as marketing. Still, there are moments throughout each season when digital and traditional PRs truly put on their thinking caps to create campaigns that will land well in the media, and Christmas is the ultimate, trickiest, season of all for media coverage.

Understand which PR trends have worked in the past

If you work in PR, you know coming up with an idea for a Christmas PR campaign is never easy. Designing a campaign perfect enough to get snapped up from the slush pile and published with a link is what most PRs want for Christmas, but there are ways to increase the chance of success.

Learn from previous digital PR trends

Have you run a digital PR campaign in the past around Christmas that performed well? Or perhaps it underperformed, and the campaign ended up being a flop? It can be hard to understand what makes a campaign stand out to journalists and what doesn’t, but taking learnings from it is important. Some things you can do are:

  1. Evaluate your previous Christmas campaign success: What theme did you focus on? Did it appeal to a broad audience or a niche group? Understanding the intrigue of your story can help you shape your future digital PR campaign.
  2. Keep yourself up to date with what newspapers are covering: You might have come up with a great idea for your brand, but will it appeal to the publications you want to cover the story? Before your ideation, make time to go through your dream publications and backtrack to Christmas in 2022/2021, to see what they wrote about. What is their tone of voice? What is their audience demographic? This can help you with your ideation and coming up with a story you know journalists will want to cover. If you want some ideas on how to run a great ideation session, check out our blog on how to have better brainstorms with your internal teams.
  3. Review what competitors are doing: Finding inspiration from previous work from your competitors can help you find that new spin on a story or explore a topic you haven’t seen before in the media.

Do you need some campaign inspiration? Why not check out the previous PR campaigns we’ve run at connective3?

Christmas PR campaign ideas based on sectors

PRs know that different strategies are required for different sectors. It isn’t easy to create a one-size-fits-all strategy for multiple markets. Instead, break down your understanding of each sector and do market research to better inform your strategies.

Christmas ideas for the retail sector

Luckily, there are some tell-tale signs of what will be trending during Christmas for the retail sector. With the competition being impossibly hard, big brands such as John Lewis and M&S will be trying to secure themselves coverage early, ahead of the crowd.

John Lewis has already revealed their Christmas decorations for this year, with the themes being Rainbow Time Capsule, Winter Fairytale, Polar Planet, Beyond Christmas, Royal Fairytale and Christmas Cottage. John Lewis has already secured coverage, particularly for their ‘Christmas shop’ and ‘Christmas tree decorations’. Taking a reactive approach and jumping on trends the big brands set can benefit your strategy in the lead-up to Christmas.

Thinking about the core Christmas values such as kindness, generosity and spending time with your family can also be a good way of starting your ideation. Can you flip anything on its head, and create a new story?

Publishing Christmas content early can also help brands in the run-up to Christmas as their content has had time to make an impact on the SERPs and Google has had time to index, validate, and push the content.

John Lewis Retail

Source: John Lewis

Christmas PR ideas for the travel sector

For travel brands interested in running a Christmas campaign, being influenced and inspired by other sectors can prove beneficial. An example of this is travel brands being inspired by the retail brand John Lewis, and their Christmas Cottage theme, an indication that this is a theme that might become trendy in the months leading up to Christmas.

Keeping yourself up to date on recent reports and articles, such as Conde Nast Traveller’s ‘The best Christmas holiday destinations for 2024‘, can help you better understand what is trending from a news perspective.

It’s also smart to keep yourself updated on reports. PWC, for example, has released a full report on Christmas consumerism and what shoppers want. Reports like these can help you predict what consumers want, and how they will be getting it. These kinds of statistics can inform your upcoming ideations and campaigns.

Christmas bauble on a tree


PR ideas from a finance and insurance perspective

Coming up with a great campaign can be tricky in the finance and insurance sectors. It’s important to evaluate previous campaigns and the media landscapes around Christmas in the years before to determine what is the best approach for your insurance or finance brand.

You might want to consider keeping a loose tie to the two sectors with the influence of lifestyle topics, such as parenting, weddings, or big lifestyle decisions, like purchasing a house or a car.

Think; are there common denominators causing arguments in families over Christmas? Can you survey parents to see if they spend more, or less on gifts for their children and partners than before? Does Christmas influence people to buy more? Are there ways to ensure you have the best Christmas with your family, without feeling external pressures?

Regardless of which sector you work in, it’s important to be fluid in your approach depending on the emerging trends. Keeping yourself up to date on big industry news from market leaders and checking out what’s previously worked can help form your Christmas campaign and secure great coverage.

If you’re interested in seeing how the PR team at c3 works, please visit our digital PR page or head over to LinkedIn to keep yourself updated on industry news from our team.