Imagine this scenario: you’ve written a press release for a seasonal product that you need to increase awareness for at a certain time.
The copy is easy to read, packed with facts and insightful comment, all contained within a single page. Proofed, double checked and presented with a professionally photographed high resolution image, you issue it, a couple of weeks before the magazines hit the news stands.
Then you get your coverage report back. You flick through the magazines. Nothing. What’s going on?
Timing is everything
Most glossy monthly magazines (especially the ones everyone wants to be seen in) operate on a publishing deadline that is usually three months prior to its cover date. For example, in January consumer copy should be written for April issues (which generally come out in March). In some cases, especially for events news, some monthly magazines will need your copy up to 6 months in advance. Short leads (weekly magazines) tend to work 6 weeks in advance, so for April we’d issue releases mid February. Local and National newspapers features are also planned well in advance, so put forward your ideas at least a month in advance to have any chance of getting your copy used.
News stories are particularly time sensitive, and with each day that goes by, the smaller the chance of take-up from any media source, so make sure whoever approves your release knows this as well.
How to get timing right
Copy deadlines – you may not have time (or space on your calendar!) to record the deadline dates for each and every target publication, so start with the main titles and work your way down.
Forward features – although not usually available from consumer magazines – can give you an idea of a publication’s seasonality relating to your product/service category.
Ask – If in doubt, ask your media contacts when would be ideal for them to receive information on a chosen subject.
Sign up to a media enquiry service – we use ResponseSource – which although prohibitively costly for individual companies, agencies like ours use it to get clients’ stories directly to the individual journalists that have explicitly asked for it, and on a specific deadline, giving us the highest chance of success with our releases.
TV and radio producers – these can work anywhere between 2 and 12 months in advance depending on what show they are working on, what channel, format etc – it’s always best to reach out and ask.
Bloggers and vloggers can be the quickest to respond to your news, but don’t be fooled – the top names are highly organised and have plans for their content weeks and months in advance so must be treated with the same care and forward planning as your other target media outlets.
We hope this helps – remember if you want expert PR advice stay tuned to the blog, and get in touch if you’d like to discuss how we can help you further.
Contact our home and garden consumer PR expert Robbie Cumming via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 7765251173