Good morning SOTGC community!
Now that spring is here, it’s time to get together your fall and winter press kits …. Sounds crazy right? When pitching your products to the press, it is imperative that your offerings match what they’re working on right then and there. This can be tricky, however, since the timing is different for every type of outlet.
Magazines such as People StyleWatch, Pregnancy & Newborn, or Better Homes and Gardens, work anywhere between three to six months into the future. So, that means while we’re frolicking in swimsuits, the editors are picking out what winter coats are best for the upcoming season. Be mindful of their office hours, and try to reach them during normal business times of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Editorial calendars are planned far in advance, and if you’re not ready to send out summer pieces by January, you may as well hold off until you can pitch them to newspapers.
Which brings us to another type of media – the daily papers (i.e. The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Mail). Members of the daily press have to be approached in a different way from the long-lead editors. Of course they are on a tighter deadline than magazines, and their content is constantly changing, so it is very important to be on the ball. What’s lucky about newspapers is that because their articles are acquired so quickly, what you pitch them can be used right away. While this is great for those who may miss the long-lead summer deadline, it also means that everything you pitch to them needs to be readily accessible. Their deadlines are usually in the late afternoon, so the earlier you can pitch to them the better. They’re also a great way to get instant press for your brand!
Another form of “instant gratification” press are the national morning shows. Much like newspapers, their deadlines are very tight and require immediacy in getting the necessary materials to show on air. This outlet is very sensitive to when you pitch to them. Although we want to get all of our work done as quickly as possible, pitching to morning shows first thing in the morning won’t get you very far since that’s when they are filming their live segments! Wait until the mid-afternoon when they’re having their planning meetings and will be thinking about tomorrow’s show.
Whomever you are pitching to, try to be mindful that you are emailing or calling the correct person. Constantly keep your contact list updated using whichever database works best for you. Angering the editors will only take you a step back! There are many websites that update contacts as quickly as they know them. Keep those sites bookmarked and handy for the days when you have a big pitch to send!
When do you find the best time to pitch to the press to be? Do you think that different forms of press require different pitches? As a member of the press, what is your favorite mode of communication to be pitched on? Email, phone, etc.? Answer in the comments section!