From one of my PR heros, Joan Stewart:
This is the time to start collecting editorial calendars so you can begin creating your media plan for next year.
Contact the advertising department at each newspaper and magazine where you want publicity and ask a sales rep to send you a calendar or lead you to it at their website.
Editorial calendars list special sections and other topical features being planned for specific publications. They tip you off to sections where your story would be a good fit. Find out who edits the section, write a pitch, and then deliver it. Using editorial calendars will put you miles ahead of everyone else who’s pitching.
Here are three more tips for creating a media plan:
–Less is more. You’re better off targeting fewer media outlets and writing customized pitches for each, rather than delivering the same one-size-fits-all pitch to dozens of media outlets, many of which will have very different audiences.
–Use the social media sites to find journalists who cover your topic. If you find a beat reporter on, say, Twitter, follow him. Pay attention to topics he’s writing about. Retweet his content. Start the conversation. And then pitch.
–Think of ways to repurpose your publicity, using multi-media. If a local newspaper prints a story about your company’s new product, don’t stop there. Create a video for YouTube. Post photos to Flickr. Feature the product on Company Pages on LinkedIn. Consider hosting a free webinar showing people how to use the product, and offer replays of the video at your blog.
If you aren’t creating a strategy right now to generate publicity in the next 12 months, in another month or two, it may be too late. Long lead times for some media outlets, like national magazines for instance, mean you need to be pitching stories six months before the magazine goes to press.
But you don’t have to start creating a plan from scratch. Let me help.
“How to Create a Media Plan” is a graduate-level course on how to get worldwide attention for your product, service, cause or issue, by creating and following a well-thought-out, month-by-month strategic plan that also leaves room for publicity ideas when there’s breaking news.
It’s available as electronic transcripts, CDs or MP3s. Read more about how it will shorten your learning curve.