Editorial Calendars – Hidden Gems for Marketing Your Business
Perhaps one of the most useful – and most often overlooked – tools in getting media coverage is the content or editorial calendar.
These are calendars for the year, usually set up by collaboration between the editorial, marketing and advertising teams, to plan special sections or theme issues. They are often found on a publication’s website, either by themselves or as part of a media or sales kit. If you can’t find one by poking around a publication’s website, contact the advertising or editorial departments to see if they have one.
In the example from Business in Vancouver newspaper (right in the image), the year is broken into weekly supplements that include Human Resources, Hospitality and Tourism, Small Business, Asia Pacific Markets and Commercial Real Estate, among many others. In the September/October editorial calendars for the online magazine Vitamin Daily, content includes fashion trends, back-to-school ideas, lawn party suggestions, tech gadgets and cultural hotspots.
Using these calendars to your advantage in marketing your product or service is easy.
Knowing in advance that an editor has to fill a special section or theme issue with a certain topic means the editor has a problem that you can help solve. The editor will be looking for several stories to create a good balance of information, advice and entertainment value to the reader.
If you have a product or service or can offer an advice column that relates to the theme, getting coverage can be as simple as sending a well-written story pitch.
Let’s say you work in the human resources sector and you just came across a new report that deals with absenteeism at work. A pitch to Business in Vancouver’s HR section might look like this:
Subject line: HR section: 10 Tips to Reduce Absenteeism at Work
Email content: A new report has just been released that uncovers interesting information about why employees are taking more and more days off. Here is a link to the report [xxx]. I’m available for an interview on the subject, or I can offer a column with tips on how companies can reduce absenteeism.
If you’ve developed a new gadget, say a high-tech cooler that can blend drinks and charge your iPhone (hmmm… where have I heard of this before?), and wanted to get coverage in Vitamin Daily’s lawn party planner, your pitch could say:
Subject line: Story idea: September Lawn Party Planner or Fall Upgrades
Email content: Your readers may be interested in this new high-tech cooler that could work in your Lawn Party Planner or Fall Updrades sections. This cooler comes with its own battery-operated blender, Bluetooth speaker, USB charger, cutting board, integrated storage and rechargeable battery.
Each of these examples needs more work on the content, but the key point is in the subject line – connecting what you have to offer, be it a service, advice or product, with what the editor needs – content for that special section or theme issue.
For more easy tips on how to access media coverage, Small Business BC is offering courses and webinars. Pick a date that works for you: http://phase2coaching.com/workshops/
More sample story pitches can be found on my website for free: