PR Tool: Using Editorial Calendars for Targetted Coverage
Here’s a simple PR trick that will yield great results for the hard working tech start up/SME – using the editorial calendars of your chosen media.
Obviously first you have to compile a wish list of desired media (See: “Please find attached a Press Release that will be of interest…”). Once that is done though, it’s just a matter of locating the ‘media information’ section on the website of your chosen publication to find the ‘publishing schedule’ aka ‘editorial calendar’.
Editorial calendars are published so advertisers can identify when is a good time to buy ads to sit alongside relevant content. They generally identify the themes or subjects the editor is intending to follow month by month, and many also give details of trade shows that the publication will be working alongside, and at which they will be distributing the magazine. Here’s an example of a 2016 editorial calendar from EETimes EU.
Any good PR programme should contain relevant ed cal entries from a range of your chosen media. For planning purposes, it’s always worthwhile identifying what you intend pitching for - that way you can consider developing a spread of press releases against the gaps in your ed cal topics, thereby spreading your media activity, both in terms of subject matter and time
It’s also worth recognising the reason ed cals are published in the first place: if you have the budget, you might consider advertising if the topics are relevant to your market or your activity ie a product announcement, trade show engagement, etc. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that buying an ad will automatically 'entitle' you to editorial coverage, because it won’t.
After that it’s just a matter of lining up your pitch. I say ‘just’ but this is actually where the work is – making a compelling case for your inclusion, and putting it to the editor or writer in question. This involves lining up your story, any third party input (third party validation will always add to your chances of acceptance), and any pics/illustrations you will need to accompany it. This needs to be properly put together, and confidently delivered; it’s not called ‘earned’ media for nothing.
The end result is worthwhile though - and looking through Google Analytics after your story appears will confirm a spike in qualified traffic - the readership of your chosen vertical media are the very people you want delivered to your website.