"Holiday shopping is going to be different this year than it was last year in three ways," Bollare Communications vice president of brand integration Kathryn Hayman tells Doug Simon. "One, people are really craving that holiday shopping experience, physical, in-store. Two, supply chain issues. And three, it's starting earlier than you ever imagined."

Hayman says that when communicating around in-store shopping this year, it is essential that PR pros be "very cognizant of the market as well as the demographic that you're speaking to." She says it's important to keep in mind the varying rules and regulations for COVID in locations around the country and to incporate them into targeted messaging.

As far as supply chain issues are concerned, Hayman says that while "the supply chain impact is greater than it's ever been," she says that there's "a silver lining" to the problem. "A lot of companies," she tells Simon, "have made some really clever decisions and are getting around some of the delays and issues."

For both in-store and online shoppng, Hayman says that "you're going to see a ton happening earlier and earlier than ever, and it's going to be around sales." Black Friday, she tells Simon, is "almost going to be a week earlier, starting this year. That's a big change."

To handle that change, she says, communicators need to focus on "getting ahead of it and speaking to the consumer early."

Hayman also notes the influence that key opinion leaders, digital influencers and content creators are having on holiday shoppers.

"I think when it pertains to holidays and holiday shopping and connecting with your customers, it's perfectly acceptable for influencers to go in-store, show their followers what they can expect," she says. "The way that you bring it to a broader audience is by allowing there to be a swipe up or how to shop that collection, whether that's physical or digital, it gives people options."

Overall, Hayman tells Simon that she thinks "this is going to be a really special holiday season. I think people have been through a lot over the past year and a half, and they're looking forward to celebrating and showing their gratitude for others. And the holidays are the perfect time to do that."

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