In the Beginning There Was Reality…
Exposure grows over time, generating business leads, begetting relations with clients. PR facilitates exposure and strengthens branding sentiments, necessary in compounding and conveying company messages.
Like content marketing, no magic genie lamp or Harry Potter wave of the wand makes success. The story is enchanting, much like watching our hero achieve a mountain’s worth of feats in two hours or less of blockbuster viewing time.
The reality, the part you see when the makeup comes off and the fiction-driven cameras are not in use, is that PR takes time and dedication.
Rather than hope your next attempt is an Oscar winner, form a PR editorial calendar, instituting regular behavior and commitment.
PR Editorial Calendar
Depending on in-house and client demand, you may devise your calendar and intentions to be as robust as needed.
Consider three parts of the calendar:
Sheet 1 – What’s trending?
Let’s think like major publications. We can tell what’s popular by peering at headlines as well as listening to everyday citizens.
It’s winter time in America. Most states experience colder climates, alerting citizens to pump up the heat in their homes. If most homeowners are like my father, intense and regular attention is given to the thermostat measurements in relation to impending energy bills.
Let’s peer at the topics of ‘heating costs’ vs. ‘cooling costs,’ using Google Trends to elicit further details.
This is what the topics look like based on the last 12 months:
Google Trends allows us to dice the topic in several ways. Using metrics against the needs of clients, we get a better sense of crafting our calendar.
Heating costs begets more curiosity than cooling costs. Additionally, heating with oil is mentioned, presenting opportunity to explore a ‘green’ theme. We’re in luck; we have a ‘green’ related client!
Sheet 2 – Who’s Writing?
On the second sheet of our PR editorial calendar, we’ll consider people and/or publications addressing trending topics identified.
Let’s combine the consumer need, savings on energy, with our client’s related service, green living.
How can being green also save? Who’s writing on that and similar topics?
We could use Google search operators, unearthing web content related to our topic.
intext:oil heat intitle:green tips
Here, we’ll gain a sense of what publications are covering the topic, noting entities we may approach for client-related stories, stats, case studies, etc.
Furthermore, I’m going to take note of individual personalities covering the topic.
Let’s use Gmail in combination with HARO for a moment.
Did you know you could use search operators with Gmail? Let’s take note of how queries are engineered and delivered. Are reporters asking the same questions, curious about the same topics? If so, it’s likely we can use the offered information to better craft a pitch.
Sheet 3 – What/When We Pitching?
Now, we’re aligning trending topics related to our client with publications and reporters featuring such information. Crafting a pitch requires diligence; but, too many factors are involved to believe in a magical, guaranteed process.
Sometimes, you can do all the the right things – conducting research, aligning topics with publications, and reaching out, but there are no guarantees in the PR game.
Readers, the post I sent was not promotional. I promise. And it was all the same font – can’t say the same for Dana’s response. Like in love, the PR game is filled with heartbreak and rejection at times. However, like Tupac, I get around, keeping my head up and finger on the pulse of the PR, digital underground.
Be consistent, and as James Agate reminds me, “Keep your chin up.”
Do you know what’s cool about reporters and editors? You can talk to them like…people. #mindblown
Regardless of initial response, shopping ideas and stories around is beneficial.
Fielding editor responses creates two advantages:
- Firstly, we may please the reporter, getting a PR opportunity for the client
- Secondly, closely chasing real-time and developing trends, getting associated clients to make notes and monitor developing stories, gives us a better pitch to present when similar queries come our way.
Additional outreach references:
Preparing Your PR Editorial Calendar
To create a basic, PR editorial calendar, you’ll need to:
- Create an Excel file with three separate sheets addressing trends; authors and publications; and, leveraged pitches and associated notes.
- Use Google Trends to get a broad view of popular topics, changing geographics, seeing rising trends, and modifying the search as you see fit.
- Exercise Trendsmap, HARO, and search operators to see who is discussing what, especially minding top and major publications recently covering developing stories.
- Note how professional reporters, such as those on HARO, phrase questions and shape their intended stories, using pitches initially as well as reincarnating endeavors in exploring other opportunities.
- Maintain a PR diary, taking note of relations forms, rejections, and insights to better future pitches
Can I be of further, PR assistance? Please provide me with your questions and comments. I’m lonely. :)