How to Develop an Editorial Calendar

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Editorial calendars are a very important PR tool that are often times overlooked. Having a good editorial calendar of when to pitch, what to pitch and how to pitch is very effective, and will help you meet editor needs and deadlines. Do Your Research

Start by researching magazine editorial calendars. These are usually for potential advertisers, but are useful for publicists to see what topics will be covered in each issue for the year.

They can usually be found in the media kit or advertising section on the magazine’s website. If they don’t have it posted, request one.

Magazine editorial calendars are important to note on your own editorial calendar because you can tailor pitches and releases to fit into what editors are already working on. Also, pay attention to the deadlines on the editorial calendars, and set an earlier deadline when transferring dates onto your own. This helps tremendously, so you aren’t pitching holiday styles in November, when the issue already closed end of September.

Pay Attention to Important Dates

Other things to take into consideration while researching for your editorial calendar are seasons, holidays and special dates. These can help you come up with newsworthy topics for your pitches and releases. Is it almost the first day of winter? You can start pitching great winter styles in advance to bloggers and online magazines.

Create Pitch Topics

Once you’ve done your research, use your findings and dates to come up with newsworthy pitches, press releases and social media posts for each of your clients.

Use this opportunity to also create bundle pitches for your clients. If you’re working on summer pitches and have several clients that might be a good fit, include them all in one pitch, and make it one big summer story.

Support with Social Media

Ensure that your social media accounts and those of clients are communicating information relevant to what is going on in terms of seasons, holidays, important markers, etc. Tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts and other social media should be included in your editorial calendar.

You never know what opportunities might come about from connecting a client product or service to a particular story idea, event or piece of news.

Keep Everything in One Calendar

Keep all of the above in one large calendar that your whole team has access to. It will help everyone be more organized and efficient since they can all see it in one place. Stick to your editorial calendar, and you’re pitching will not only be more fluid and timely, but you will appease more to editors/bloggers since you know what stories they are working on, and will in turn increase editor response.

Don’t forget holiday gift guides

Gift guide season is here! Put together by editors from various media outlets, from print magazines to blogs, gift guides are a compilation of their recommendations on what products their readers should buy as gifts.

Even if they don’t start appearing until December, now is the most competitive times of year to secure editorial coverage. Why? Because everyone in every product industry wants to be included. Don’t overlook this fall as the perfect time to pitch for the holidays. Holiday gift guides can be a vital component to garner awareness for your brand.

While holiday pitches for print pubs and most digital outlets are best made months in advance, there still may be opportunity, particularly on blogs, to be included last-minute came November.

Learn more holiday gift guide tips here.

Elements of Newsworthiness

No matter how amazing your pitch is, if it’s not newsworthy you won’t get the media’s attention. What makes a pitch newsworthy?

Here are eight elements of newsworthiness to consider:

  1. Timeliness
  2. Impact
  3. Prominence
  4. Human Interest
  5. Visibility
  6. Proximity
  7. Strange, shocking
  8. Conflict

Do you have an editorial calendar to help with your pitching and media outreach?

Want more helpful tips like the ones above plus more? Check out The Buzz: A Media Darling’s Guide to Press Coverage or sign up for exclusive Hearsay content.