As mentioned in previous blogs there are two types of media: long lead and short lead. Long lead media are things like print monthly magazines that have issues ready to print in 3 to 4 months in advance. Monthly magazines typically hit newsstands the month before their issue month, meaning that the July issue is available to readers in June. This is why if you when it comes to pitching you need to be working 3-4 months in advance. In July the editors at national magazines are working on their November/December issues, so if you are a product-based business that wants to see your items in the Christmas Gift Guide June is the time to start planning what products you think will appeal to the Christmas market and ensure that you have all your images ready.
The online counterpart of print magazines is short lead. Other short lead media include local and regional TV, radio, daily and weekly newspapers, and anything online. Unlike long lead media that needs to be pitched months in advance, short lead media can be pitched anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks beforehand for a planned feature. Some blogs and regional media will run things at even shorter notice. In the past I have sent information to local radio and newspapers and had clients interviewed a day or so later. This type of media run a 24-hour news cycle they need to keep content fresh.
So, you don’t miss those long and short lead deadlines, it’s a good idea to get all your seasonal stories planned out in advance. Perhaps create your own editorial calendar.
Below is a brief example with some ideas of what you need to be thinking about pitching for the rest of 2023.
· July – Pitch national magazine Holiday Gift Guides for the November issues of magazines.
· October – Start reaching out to short lead media such as local newspapers who do holiday gift guides. You can pitch gift ideas right up until the week before Christmas for all those “last minute holiday gifts!”
· October – Pitch long lead media for Valentine’s Day themed items.
· November – Start pitching long lead media for your spring line.
· Next May – Pitch to promote for Halloween.
Rebecca Slater is a PR Consultant with more than 20 years public relations experience. She is based in Staffordshire and provides support to businesses all over the country.