PR Editorial Calendars & Lead Times
This is all about editorial calendars and the times in magazines, because planning ahead is the key to your success. If you are let's, say it's november and you want your products featured as a holiday gift and oprah magazine it's probably too late, that issue has already gone to print months ahead. So how do you know one magazines are working on? So this is where the editorial calendars come in because the editorial calendar is really a listing off plant themes that magazines have that their editorial side follows, and they planned this a year ahead, so they know what they'll be working on every single month that there will be working on sometimes, if maybe there's a new, some sort of breaking story or something with a celebrity or something like that. They might tweak their things a little bit, but usually their editorial calendar a set in stone from the beginning of the year, or even ahead of the year. So you know what they'll be working on, and they know what they're working on as ...
well. And interestingly, this editorial calendar is design, or at least the ones that you have access to their designed for the magazine's advertisers, because let's say they're having a huge beauty issue. In november? Well, they're trying to get a lot of beauty brands to advertise in that particular month for that particular issue, because it's all about beauty, so they usually create these for advertisers by you can use them as well for your own editorial needs when you're looking to pitch your product, so an editorial calendar looks like this. Oh, this is from a top magazine, and you'll see here it has the issue date when the issue will hit newsstands, it usually hits newsstands about two to four weeks in advance of that date, so even though it says july, you probably could get it starting in mid june, it also has their themes, so you'll see for this particular editorial calendar. The themes are somewhat generic, some other magazines will have really detailed editorial counters, they'll tell you exactly what they're working on for almost every part of their editorial side, and then you see here the space closing date and the space closing, this is particular to their advertisers, so this is one, advertisers need to get their ads, and if they want to make it into that issue, so, again, this is designed for advertisers, but what you need to know, because you're not going to be advertising, I don't recommend that I think you can get plenty of free editorial coverage what you need to do is take that date and backdate about thirty days ahead of time and that's going to be the deadline that you're working with as you're pitching your product. So for example, if you want to be in the december issue of this magazine for favorite things feature, you wantto be pitching probably by mid august, and I would say even earlier because you want to give yourself a little bit more time to follow up, and we're going to talk about why and when and how you should follow up as well. But this is the editorial calendar if you google the magazine name that you are wanting to get into, and if you google that name and magazine and editorial calendar you'll see here this is really easy to get this I just that a generic search for magazine editorial calendars, but I have a my disposable are at my disposal, five media calendars right here. So if I wanted to be an entrepreneur magazine, I'll download that I'll plan, I'll look at what they're looking for, and I'll plan my pr efforts according to what they're working on because remember, pr is all about pitching the right person. With the right story at the right time and this is where the timing comes in, it comes into the editorial calendar here so if for some reason you having trouble googling the words editorial calendar, you can also search for a media kid or advertising oftentimes the editorial calendars will be in the advertising section of the magazine, which makes sense because it's designed for advertisers oftentimes it's had the bottom off their website and sometimes you do have to enter your name and email address because again, this is for their advertisers and they're hoping that if you're interested in their editorial calendar, you're interested in advertising and they might want to follow up with you it's rare that I actually get called oftentimes if I put my name and email address and there they will just mail me something like the hard printed copy in the mail so I get even more information now, so don't be afraid to enter your information in there and get access to their editorial calendar so that's how you can get what they're working on. But there are also things that magazine editors are working on throughout the year and these are pretty standard for a lot of the magazines, especially a lot of the women's fashion magazines and more the lifestyle sort of products and I think a lot of our products khun fit into lifestyle or women's fashion or even the general the general population magazines that really appealed to the wide variety of audiences, but they do have specific features aimed at different types of audience. So usually in january, a lot of magazines are going to be working on wellness topics. They're going to talk a lot about weight loss and new year's resolutions, new year's activities and so on, and I like to think outside the box sometimes. So when I know a magazine is looking for let's, say, new year's resolution product, I will pitch one of my t shirts that's, inspirational and motivational and helps you to keep going because it can help you to kill. Seeing a message like that can help you to keep your new year's resolution. So yes, it's thinking outside the box a little bit, but we all have to think outside the box one it comes to pr in february. A lot of them are looking for valentine's day gift for winter travel, winter products like dry skin, sort of sort of stuff and how to beat the winter blues. So if we have a product that fits into that category, and I think a lot of our products would fit into the valentine's, they give theme, then you should definitely be pitching for valentine's day in march. There all about spring fashion and what's new and what's fresh they're looking for gardening types of products and usually a lot of magazines will cover this so you're pretty safe if you're pitching on one of these topics in april they're all about equal products april is earth day they want to celebrate birthday I just even oprah magazine this month hat or last month had a feature for green beauty products so if you know your product is equal friendly which mind wass I was able to get so much out of pitching my product as an equal friendly product for their april issue they also do a lot about more gardening stuff taxed if so we were talking about before what if you're an expert and you're selling your services that can fit in here too especially with in january we're talking by wellness if you're a wellness coach or a health coach january is the perfect time for you to be pitching yourself as a wellness coach and maybe provide tips on how people can lose weight or stick to their weight loss goals and sell on so most of these air focused just on product but a lot of times they do the same sort of thing for experts and the kind of topic said they cover as well may is all about mother's day if you're looking at any magazine right now it's all about mother's day gift and give guides they also do a lot of graduations sort of products and graduation gift maybe swim or because people are starting to think about going to the beach and garden parties and so on so if your products are a good fit for this type of segment definitely keep may in mind june is all about father's day and graduation and summer product and this is when people are really thinking ok school is out I'm planning my summer vacation and that's what their readers air thinking about as well so you wantto fill in that need where the readers are looking for these types of products from them july is about summer entertainment fourth of july products oftentimes magazines will do something along made in america products because we're celebrating independence they and what better way to celebrate that then we showcasing some u s made products august is all about back to school and getting ready for you know summer weddings there's a ton of weddings in august if you have jewelry that is great for wedding design or for wedding couples or gifts that are would make great gifts for wedding parties just picture products for summer wedding feature september is all about the fall just like march was a hole about spring fashion september is all about fall fashion full trends even more back to school stuff and I'm sure a lot of you can fine at least one or two things that your products fit into to be pitching pretty much every single month october is about halloween oftentimes they'll dio pink products for breast cancer awareness that might have a pink gift guide or product that give back to breast cancer awareness and if your products for that or even if they don't maybe you can decide for the month of october one of your products can donate back to breast cancer awareness and then you can pitch that product to be in line with that magazine and you could make it make it that that sort of theme and I've done this with my t shirt businesses or my teacher business I design a pink shirt and for the month of october I would always pitch it as ah, a product that gave back to breast cancer awareness and I got a ton of mentions for that as well and then I would just donate part of my proceeds for that month to breast cancer awareness and another great way to give back and to make a difference and to stand out from what everyone else is pitching as well. November is about thanksgiving recipes holiday gift a lot of magazines I don't have a december issue so they'll do ah holiday gift guide in november because they have a november december issue that's combined, so you do have to plan a little bit ahead of that or ahead of time for that sometimes they'll have an early gift guide in november and then the real gift guide in december so look at the magazines that you reading or that you want to be in and see or that fits and december this is my favorite time, especially for crafters one they're pitching, I would say if you pitch on ly one time a year, it should be for the december holiday gift guide. Many magazines now focus on handmade holiday gift unique gift gifts under twenty dollars gifts under fifty dollars, but I really feel like almost all of our products here and a lot of the audience listening all nine almost everything conf it and be given as a gift. So you should really plan ahead and pitcher products as holiday gift if you want to get any sort of press now that pitching is a lot more competitive than if you're pitching for a valentine's day or spring fashion, but just know that you still have a great chance of getting in if you're pitching in the right category. So this is just a new example. If let's say, if your jewelry designer, there are lots of different ideas and stories that you compete your products, too. For all of these magazines, these are ten different ideas I'm sure you can come up with more, but this is just to get it to think outside the box. Because you don't just have a mother's day gift, he also have a valentine's they give and a full fashion trend and spring fashion and holiday gift and so on. And I had asshole sheet with so many different ideas for every single month of the year with my t shirt business and yes, it's just the t shirt again, right? But how can I position it so that it's more than just a t shirt? And how can it really benefit people? And andrea lee fit in with what the magazines are working on? So thing brought here and think outside the box. Yes, kate head do they post their editorial calendars? Like, can we see twenty sixteen now? Or do they wait? Yeah, usually they will posted around january or february so it's a little bit into the new year, but oftentimes this things are so similar that if you look at this year's, chances are that they're doing the same thing or a version of the same thing next year are pretty high, so start looking now, but usually some of them are available in like november and december. Most of them are like january through march that they're available, yes, rob all these topics her you know it really greatest faras you know what? The media calendar is spread out per month? Is it crazy toe pitch every month if you feel like your product is in line with what they're doing, is it too much to do that? Oh, and if you've been featured already once is it so low? Kato continue tio pitch the same magazine? Yeah, great question so it's totally ok to be pitching every single month, even every single heat because you're going to be pitching different people, you're not always going to be pitching the same person, so that's what I used to do and it works really well, there's no reason if your product fits why you shouldn't be pitching and your second question about how often should you or how long should you wait? I would recommend waiting at least a year or a year and a half to maybe two before you pitch the same magazine again. If your product has made it in that magazine, usually they won't even feature you if they just featured you a year ago. So yeah, great questions all right? So now let's talk about the lead time because we do have to plan ahead here with publicity, so national magazines usually work about three to six months in advance of the issue publication date and I'll give you another handy count there in a second, but these are things that you need to know and plan ahead for as you're writing your pr plan regional or regional magazines trade magazines those have a little bit of a short early time about two to four months in advance and online web sites weekly magazines like some of the celebrity magazines they usually work about one to two months ahead of time so your plan would be completely different if you're pitching regional magazine versus the weekly celebrities magazine the timing is a little bit different there online media outlets blog's tv shows they have about two to four weeks so it's getting even shorter and lastly radio newspapers on average have about one to two weeks of lee time so now by no means is this a hard and fast rule where every single radio will on ly book stuff one to two weeks in advance this is just a general overview so you sort of concert planning and not wait too late but don't it really still depends on the outlet you pet you pitch but this is just on overview so you know where you stand and how far you need to plan ahead so this is a little cheat sheet I'm not expecting you to write everything down that'll you know here so if our current months is may you know that national magazines are working on their october issue regional magazines are working on their july issue so what sort of topics were they looking for in october and do your products make a great fit for those particular topic so this is something that I usually put up on my wall, so I know exactly what I'm looking at for every single month. So, yes, you could go crazy and pitch every single month if your products are a good fit for that month. So just an example here, um, let's say you're a jewelry designer and its july, you can pitch every single week here even better than pitching every month. So the first week you khun pidge, the best iko gift, tio women's magazines for their december issue, or in week two, you can pitch back to school products for bloggers. If you want to reach out to bloggers the third week of july, you can pitch gifts under fifty dollars to parenting magazines and fourth week you can pitch a local entrepreneur. Oftentimes I think we focus on our products when it comes to getting p r but your you have your own story, too, and you could be featured as an entrepreneur, who's doing really awesome things, right? We were talking about that and I know even oprah magazine, I think it's called women who create or women who do great things are I can't remember the name of the column, but in every single issue, they profile a women entrepreneur. Or a woman who is doing really awesome things. So if you made it your mission to make a difference in this world and to really cool things, you can pitch yourself nadia products for that particular column and oprah magazine, so don't forget that you can be your own media story as well. I know when I had my t shirt business, I would often pitch myself as an entrepreneur, and I was featured on radio shows I was featured on tv and radio show is not going to talk about product, they're not going to say this is, you know, the latest, the latest makeup or the latest boots that we have that's now more usually they dio, but they will feature your story as an entrepreneur, and then you could get publicity through that because they will ask people how they could get in touch with you, and then you can share your your girl and your website, so don't forget that you can get press for yourself, too. In addition to getting press for your products and usually are your page that you're pitching is not necessarily as an expert like you would, for example, now I would pitch myself as an expert, but when I had my t shirt business, I was really not an expert unless I was talking about, you know, a story about launching a business, growing a business selling online sourcing organic cotton t shirts and so on so you're still on expert just in a different way away, so those are just some ways that you can really get yourself out there and don't be limited by your products put yourself out there as well. So now I want to hear your stories I'm going to put all of you in the hot seat or some of you in the hot seat and I want you to start thinking on the online audience as well start thinking about three story ideas that you can pitch to magazine editors in the next few months and it doesn't have to be in the next few months if you have a story idea for december january february sure that too, but I'd love to know what ideas you have as you're sitting here listening tio how you compute your products and all of the different stories what comes up for you first in terms of I really want to pitch from this angle. So whoever wants to share yes, I think it says this may it wouldn't be in a national magazine comes back to school is before like they've already done, but I sell pencil cases so somehow pitching it as a back to school item yes um I guess at this point it would be more to bloggers or to an online or even like local local tv or something like that? Great yeah, local tv would be great local magazines, they're still working on back to school stuff, so local magazines would be great as well. Oh yeah, I was thinking because you said about the breast cancer awareness on dh I've thought about that before with too late, too late to really think about it, and I have a love bracelet, which is pink on that's the perfect thing to use for that particular, you know, aspect that particular pitch? Yes, exactly. And this is where we talked about your product story, so that particular bracelet can have its own story when you're pitching that to the media. Yes was anyone most of our products have a social good or iko element to them. So I'm thinking we could on by april, I think we'll be ready to have samples to send people, so maybe planning for april earth day. Awesome, yes. Did anyone know thinking? I mean, because what we're offering is is a bit different, but because it's educational of doing something that you know, the kids are going back to school, so for those of now it frees up some time for moms too pursue maybe a passion that they have for making jewelry, and we offer courses so that's great and I actually have seen those stories in magazines where it literally says now that your kids are back to school, what can you d'oh and can you start your own business so yes, brilliant, you know, in the chat room as well. People are doing some local media as well as larger media sandra glover clark says, I'm currently pitching to cottage cottage country ontario magazine newspapers and some online websites as well and a knotted says I would love to come up with a creative pitch for valentine's day for people who are going through a divorce and sassy seamstress says that I'm working on a line of sassy and snarky t shirts for other people with chronic illnesses and I'd love to work on pitching to a local news and arthritis disease based website and block is getting super specific there that's awesome, the more specific you can get, the more success you're going tohave and just like with my choose happiness t shirt right it was to a choose happiness along if you can find something like that with your brand it's pretty much you're guaranteed yes, hopefully, but usually it will be a guaranteed yes did anyone else want to share any other ideas? Yes, my mind it's actually made out of all recycled precious metals and that's something that I didn't even really think of that sustainability and recycled and equal, conscious I mean, I think about it, but I wasn't really thinking of pitching that, yeah, great, so you can pitch that for their iko issue. Some magazines will dio recycled gift or things that are like me, you know, reused or second time around, things like that. So that would be great for that, too, that just made me think there's so many magazines out there that you just don't know how without there, and also some very specific teo different regions, or even, you know, different cities and things like that. So there's a lot of opportunity that I think sometimes everyone's focused on the bigger magazines, that they're not really lazing. Yeah, and I'm so glad you mentioned that because there is a huge opportunity local magazines, because they're always looking for stories, and you can start with your own regional magazines and pitch yourself as a local product or as a local entrepreneur. I know I read the local magazine in denver, which is the closest city next to me, and every single month they have a product of the month of companies that are based in the denver area, so you can start there, but also thinking other regions I've had my t shirts featured for holiday gift guides, and texas in new york, I mean, really a minnesota all over the place, so when you're pitching for those magazines, you obviously wouldn't be pitching yourself as a local entrepreneur, but they still would love to get your product and to know about them because not everything that they write about is local, as you'll see, some product round ups are products from everywhere. So as long as someone combine your products online, you really competes them anywhere and often times that super easy to get in the local magazines. This is something that people don't really think about, but they're not being pitched the same way that the big national magazines are being pitched. They don't get hundreds of e mails a day, they still get a lot, but it's so much easier to get featured in some of the local magazines. And yes, the reality is that the readership is not in the millions, you know, or even in the hundreds of thousands, but they do have a loyal readership whom really does look through every single page, and they buy products that are mentioned in the magazine and it's. So funny because I sometimes I was getting let's say my products were in a magazine in rhode island. And I would see orders from rhode island more than like any other state that month, so it really it still works for pr and it's a great way to sort of practices you know, your pitch and get used to it, and c o magazine editors are looking for and what they are sort of meeting from you and how you can interact with them. The one thing that you kind of have to keep in mind is that often times the regional magazines and the local magazines they rely a lot on advertising dollars so they might want you pitching them, they might get back to you and they'll say, ok, we'll consider this. Would you also consider advertising in our magazine so you totally can say no, you don't have to feel like all the on ly feature me and the editorial side if I'm paying for advertising too so you can just politely say, no, I don't have a budget for advertising, but but yes, so just keep that in mind because you will get a little bit of those requests that never happened or it's never happened to me when I pitched a big national magazine, but it depends to happen once in a while with the local magazines, you actually just gave me a great idea because when I was in college I did an entrepreneur program where I was basically running a little project of painting houses over the summer, and I got into the local paper because they really pressed that, and I was just wondering, maybe if I could go back to the local paper again and have them do maybe a side by side hi feature of years ago, where is this alum now? Now? And I was heavily embedded in the community, so that's kind of a good start, I guess definitely definitely, and I have to say there there's a lot more than sales that can come out of being featured in a local magazine because other local businesses that might sort of be able to relate to you or that have something they can offer you and on interesting stories that I got, I used to live in boulder when I had my t shirt business, and I got a full page story and the boulder business report, I think it was called about my t shirts and why I started my business, and then once that story one live yes, I did get some orders from it, but then I had someone with a fulfillment house in colorado say, I just read your story that you're selling t shirts. I have a fulfillment house I know in the article, you said that you're not ready for a fulfillment house yet, but when you're ready I'd love to talk to you and they take me I took me about a year before I connected with her and I said thank you so much this is great and I ended up actually hiring her as my fulfillment house and it was just awesome I think I would have spent so much time looking for a fulfillment how is getting recommendations, but the fact that she reached out to me it was obvious that she read my article because in the article I was talking about how I still ship everything at home and I'm not quite ready to, you know, move my shipment out of my house and she mentioned that in my article so in a way she was pitching me, but it totally worked and now any time I have clients and they all have products and ask me for recommendations for a fulfillment how's the on ly place I ever send them to is her so it really just from that story I don't think I would have found her otherwise so there's other things that can come from your publicity that you you're not even know that are out there. Yeah, I'm still on some sort of list from a trade show that I did two years ago and, um I always get these e mails from fulfillment houses and people like that in it, how do you know which one to go with all with a fulfillment? I mean, I just I interviewed her and I went and I met her and I really liked what she said on dh the way she presented her business and it was local which I was looking for at the time, so for me it just made sense to go with her buddy I usually just interviewing, asking for referrals or recommendations is is what people go with and that's why I feel like that's why I have a lot of people come to me asking me for recommendations because it's so hard to choose like you don't really know how do you choose someone? So usually with things like that, I try to go with recommendations and people that have used them before? Yeah, what were you going to say? Of course I've got a million ideas way have a couple of questions that came in from the online audience throughout this segment and I know some of these you may touch on in our next couple of segments were dive deeper and some of these pitches but I wanted to get your take on these now we had one that had a couple of votes and they want to know I wonder how you recommend distinguishing my personal story I'ii who I am and why I run my business and my product story I e the characteristics of my products they seem to be very intertwined, they serve different purposes and I'm not sure how to use each of them in the pitch process that's a great question and I do have an example of an email pitch that you can use that incorporates both of those andrea lee can be as short as a sentence where we were looking at that one sentence from the skin care line you are or the three bird's nest that once that one sentence really showed what the companies about so you can you can do that in your email super easy and I'll show you what I mean by that when we come back okay? And you talked about going to these local newspapers, local magazines, kind of the small publications, but this specific question says magazines are great, but I feel that I want to start with local p r first, how do I apply pitching in person toe local retailers and media? Are we going to talk a little bit about that? Yeah, we're not going to talk about how to pitch local retailers, I think there's other courses that talked about how to get and stores that they could get access to, but local media you would never pitch in person, you would always pitch by email, and we're going to talk about that, too why you should never pitch by phone or in person but I would recommend, even if it's someone local pitching by email by mentioning that your local and why they should feature you. So, you, it's, not the case where you would walk into an editor's office and sit down, haven't appointment with them and tell them why they should feature product, which is something you would do with the retailer. So totally different strategies here. Yeah, appreciate your dropping in with your good say, right about me. Yeah, doesn't always work.