The media live by the calendar. Your story pitch might miss the mark with them the first time out, solely because it’s out of whack with the seasonal cycle (obvious examples: just try pitching another tax story on April 16, or offering the media your 10 tips on backyard barbecue safety the morning after Labor Day).
But come back when the time’s right, and you just might be golden: Personal finance and the holiday season Record keeping techniques for tax time… Saving for college at back-to-school time.
In fact, for just about any topic, with a little thought and creativity, you can work your way through the calendar and fill out a whole year’s worth of media stories based on seasonal tie-ins. You probably won’t land every story, but you will increase your results dramatically simply because you are stepping up to the plate – and getting to contact reporters – more often.
Following the seasons is one of the best – and easiest – ways to slice your topic.
Here’s one example. Let’s say our topic – we consult, write, and speak about it for a living – is time management. A yearlong spin through the calendar might start with this:
January: Keeping that New Year’s Resolution to get yourself organized.
March: Don’t let income tax season throw a wrench into your busy life.
June: School’s out! How to remain productive at work when the kids are at home and leisure activities beckon.
September: Fall’s here, time to get serious again! How to make the most out of your time.
December: Holiday season – how to get it all done.
And before you know it, another year has arrived, and now your media plan is to . start all over again! For two reasons: not every media outlet you’re targeting did the story last year, and (this is the part I love!) many of the reporters who turned you down last year have since left their jobs and moved on. That frees you to call their replacements, who will be hearing your story for the first time.
Try this right now. List the months of the year on a blank sheet of paper. Fill in one of your topics where it is appropriate for a particular month. See if you can find 6, 8, or even 12 reasons a year why the media should do your story.
Ned Steele works with people in professional services who want to build their practice and accelerate their growth. The president of Ned Steele’s MediaImpact, he is the author of 102 Publicity Tips To Grow a Business or Practice. To learn more visit http://www.MediaImpact.biz or call 212-243-8383.