September 28, 2009
Are you missing this easy opportunity to get magazine coverage?
If you aren't using editorial calendars to get more publicity and to build a powerful presence, you are missing on a great - and free - public relations tool. Understanding this all-important calendar can help your group coaching program get some much-needed and best of all, free, exposure.
Besides including months and the year, these calendars bear little in common with the ones you are familiar with. An editorial calendar is a strictly functional item: there are no swimming suit models or adorable pets here, just lists of the significant issues and future features slated for future stories. While most people wouldn't be all that interested in these calendars, they can be a gold mine for savvy publicity seekers looking to get more coverage.
More than 7,000 publications in the U.S. and Canada publish editorial calendars and a few thousand do so for TV and radio shows.
Typically, editorial calendars can be found in advertising sales kits. The calendar topics are included so advertisers can tie their ads into topics covered in the publication.
The smallest niche publications (those put together by a single enthusiast, for instance) generally don't work with an editorial calendar. Media outlets which are not supported by advertising may not use one - or just may not make it public. The same goes for publications whose content is entirely reader-contributed. Most new media outlets also don't use editorial calendars, since they're generally still trying to find their way in the industry.
There are even nationally recognized publications which don't use editorial calendars; these tend to be weeklies focused on current events (such as Time or People). These media outlets need to be flexible enough to cover events as they happen and can't plan within the confines of editorial calendars.
Once you've looked over a media outlet's calendar, you can choose which of their upcoming stories you may be able to offer your knowledge as a source. If you're looking at a trade journal, you may want to look at the calendar in terms of what topics you could offer an industry-insider opinion piece on.
Look over editorial calendars regularly, since these calendars are updated as the news dictates.
Don't wait to the last minute to pitch your idea, however. If the publication isn't working on a tight deadline, a good rule of thumb is that they will be looking for information about four months ahead of publication.
Shannon Cherry is the publicity/media expert for Group Mastery, and the founder of Be Heard Solutions. Known as The Power Publicist, she helps coaches, entrepreneurs, consultants and solo professionals attract more clients and customers through the power of publicity. Grab your free publicity power pack to help you start establishing your media presence at http://www.beheardsolutions.com