When I first starting doing my own PR, I did it all wrong. What did I know? It seemed to make sense. I submitted back-to-school ideas in August; gift guide suggestions in November; Mother’s Day in April. That certainly seems logical doesn’t it? You pitch right before a publication comes out, right?
What I didn’t know is that national magazines plan their publications four months out. Regional publications are about two months out. That means that my back-to-school idea needed to be submitted in late March/early April and my Mother’s Day idea should have been sent in January.
Even further out is the holiday gift guide. Would you believe that the gift guide of most national magazines is booked by July 1st. It’s hard to think Christmas and holidays when the flowers are blooming and the sun is shining and warm, but if you don’t get your submission in by June, don’t count on seeing it in any magazines when it’s cold and snowy.
So what does all this have to do with an editorial calendar? All publications have what is called an “editorial calendar.” These calendars are designed for potential advertisers to know what that month’s magazine is going to be about to see if they are interested in advertising in that edition. The great news for people like us trying to pitch a magazine is that it also lets us know exactly what the content of the magazine is going to be that particular month.
Knowing the themes of a magazine in a particular month lets you know if your story idea might be a potential fit. If you have a new anti-aging skincare line and you see that Prevention Magazine is highlighting beauty products in their July issue, you should reach out to the beauty editor in March. If you are the author of a business book and you see that in September, Inc. Magazine will be featuring business books, you should be sending a copy of your book to the business editor in April.
Plan out your own editorial calendar of what you could possibly pitch every month. Then, find the magazines that your customers read. This is so important because you will benefit from being in a publication that your customers are reading. Bottom line, getting publicity is about the bottom line and generating more revenue.
Research magazine demographics and see which publications your customers are reading. Pull up their editorial calendar. (Most are easily found by Googling “Publication Name editorial calendar year” so Prevention editorial calendar 2015. If you can’t find it that way, go the magazine’s website, click on the advertising tab, and look for media kit. You can usually find it there.) Once you have the calendar up, see where you can pitch your story ideas. Remember to count back four months for national publications and two months for regional publications.
My clients have been featured in national publications like Health, Fit Pregnancy, Shape, First for Women, Woman’s Day, All You, Parenting, Smart CEO, Inc., Entrepreneur, and more.
Let me know if I can help you in any way with editorial calendars or pitching your story to a publication. You can reach me at Christina (at) PrforAnyone (dot) com or call me at 844-PR4-ANY1/844-774-2691
To Your PR Success,