Timing is crucial in the world of pitching. Being knowledgeable about how news is delivered and how outlets cover certain beats is critical to your success in media relations.
Successfully fitting your client into the discussion of trends or holidays ensures the brand stays top of mind, relevant and engaging for consumers. It’s important to pitch to these outlets at the right time, especially when you’re hoping to secure coverage in holiday themed stories.
Be knowledgeable of which outlets work with long leads and short leads. Set all of these dates and timelines in your head to ensure you don’t miss a deadline. Magazines work at least three months ahead of the current date, while most live TV and radio news shows prepare for the show the day before or the day of. Online media has the quickest turnaround. Online news websites are your best bet for when you have very little notice about a story and want to see results fast.
Stay in the loop by researching the types of seasonal stories media outlets covered from previous years. Their storytelling techniques and the way they format the stories will give you new inspiration for your pitches. You can also search for media kits online to find a list of topics or themes the outlet plans to cover over the course of the year.
Become familiar with the media’s deadlines by reviewing their editorial calendars. An editorial calendar lists the planned content and themes or focus a publication has mapped out for the year. Be proactive and plan your own PR editorial calendar featuring all of the different holidays and events for each month. This method will keep you organized and ensure you are sending a pitch or press release at the correct times of the news cycle.
Below is a brief list of topics and themes for each month to help get you in the mindset of the media. Be sure to build it out with local events, your own national holidays and festivals.