Friday, August 28, 2020

‘Tis (Always) the Season for Pitching

We all know the goal for PR pros is to keep our clients top of mind with reporters and editors, but it’s not as simple as blasting a general pitch every couple of weeks to the same media list. Planning is vital to successful pitching – and a year-round seasonal pitching schedule is an essential component of a successful media relations program. Having a well thought out calendar of when to pitch, what to pitch and how to pitch is very effective, and will help set you and your client up as a go-to resource for editors.

Here are a few tips to help you launch a seasonal pitching program:

What to pitch
The goal is to have relevant and timely pitches strategically planned throughout the entire year. Magazine editorial calendars, typically found in the media kit or advertising section on the publisher’s website, list topics that will be covered in each issue and can act as a guide to crafting targeted pitches. Take note of any key focus points, like trade shows, product launches or events that will require media outreach. Finally, take a look at seasonal opportunities including other recognition months and days, holidays and important times of the year for your client’s brand or products.

When to pitch
Depending on the type of media outlet you’re pitching, your lead time could range from days to weeks to even months in advance. Make note of magazines editorial deadlines, then backtrack a few weeks on your own calendar. While lead times vary by publication and writer, as a general rule of thumb, our agency sticks to long lead times when pitching media. Here’s an example: 
  • Magazines: 5-6 months in advance
  • Regional magazines: 3-4 months in advance
  • Newspapers: 4-6 weeks in advance
  • Online: 2-4 weeks in advance
Whom to pitch
It’s important to prioritize media opportunities. If you work through all your valuable pitching opportunities for the year, you’re bound to see some overlap. Take into consideration your goals for media coverage for the year – whether it be national magazines, regional or local coverage – and prioritize media opportunities based on the best fit for your client’s news or product.

Seasonal pitching calendars can be a valuable roadmap to year-round media placements. Keep these tips in mind while building out your calendar and you’ll have great media opportunities and placements to share with your client in no time! 

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