Editorial calendars provide a roadmap for public relations professionals by outlining the content that media outlets will focus on for the entire year. With the right approach, editorial calendars can make a PR professional's job easier and could generate some great feature coverage. Here’s how to make use of editorial calendars.
Dust ‘em off
Toward the end of last year, you carefully researched and organized editorial calendars for the upcoming year. When things slowed down during the holidays, you started to think about your approach to pitches and maybe even got excited about the time to pitch. Then, the new year started and your editorial calendars got buried by other more pressing media opportunities.
Well, we’re nearly halfway through the year, so it’s a great time to dust off those editorial calendars and pick up where you left off.
Prioritize your pitching
Once you ensure you have pulled calendars for your top targets, start to prioritize. Which opportunities are your dream opportunities? Which opportunities are low-hanging fruit? Which opportunities will make your client beam?
Here’s where you start to map out a plan of action. Using your own calendar or spreadsheet, focus on your top pitches. Sort the top priorities by date and start to think about what information you may need to craft the perfect pitch.
Don’t play the guessing game
Many media editorial calendars provide really limited detail. An editorial calendar may tell you that a month will focus on technology, but it’s unlikely that the editors are planning to focus simply on the general topic of technology. Articles within the issue may be “The top 10 technologies of the year” or “Technology that saved my life.” Knowing this information will change your pitch and approach dramatically.
So how do you find out the details?
Get in touch with the editorial assistant. All it takes is a quick email: Hi there – I see the August issue will focus on technology. Could you tell me a little more of what you’re looking for? I may have some ideas in mind, but want to make sure I’m on point. This gives you insight to craft a more tailored pitch. It also establishes rapport with the journalist by showing you don’t want to waste his or her time. Bonus: You won’t waste your time either!
Establish your own pitch/editorial calendars
Take a note from your editorial friends and map out your content. Maintain a calendar that outlines the topics you want to promote or share via media pitches and even social media throughout the year. Think about spending your pitching time each month between three categories: editorial calendar pitching; proactive pitching based on your calendar; and reactive media relations.
Using this approach, you’ll begin to see how editorial calendars can be your best friend. Want more advice on media relations? Download Axia Public Relations’ media relations e-book today.
Julie Miller is a marketing and communications professional with more than seven years of experience in the industry. She specializes in technology, digital marketing and communications. Julie has worked for Axia Public Relations since November 2015. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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