|by Thea Zagata|
Outreach to the media takes a great dealing of planning, which is why I usually suggest to my small business public relations clients to start thinking about their PR strategy as early as possible. There are may reasons to start planning early, but one of the most important is to make sure you don’t miss any media deadlines, especially if your product is seasonal.
Lead times for various media outlets can vary quite a bit, which is why it’s a good idea to have a media execution timeline in place that reflects the timing of when you’ll start your outreach.
There are always some exceptions, but you can follow the below timing as a general guideline as to when you should start pitching your product/service.
General Consumer Magazines (e.g. InStyle): three-five months
Blogs/Web Sites (e.g. ivillage.com): one – four weeks
Newspapers (e.g. Washington Post): two – six weeks
Trade Magazines (Gourmet Retailer): two months
Regional Magazines (e.g. New York Magazine): two months
Bridal Magazines (Brides): six months
For example, if your product is launching in January, you’ll want to start your media outreach to magazines as early as July or August. If you’re offering a media exclusive, then that publication should be pitched in June since the publication will want to write about the product/service first. Exclusives are another topic, but I recently did a DIY PR post called The Art of the Media Exclusive if you’re interested in learning more on this topic.