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5 Tips for Effective Editorial Calendar Planning

The New Year is almost here, and there are countless opportunities out there for you to tell your story to journalists, bloggers, influencers, and consumers. Taking a strategic, research-based approach to editorial contact – by using editorial calendars and adopting a commonsense way of managing this information – can let you cash in on those opportunities and make your public relations program far more effective. The time to plan your 2016 pitching efforts is now.

So, how do you transform your editorial calendar information into a strategic media plan?  Consider these five tips:

Know the outlets to focus on

The right kind of editorial calendar research gives you a solid idea of exactly where to go with your story. First, look to the outlets that are the most widely followed in your industry. But also look for the perfect fit with story ideas and angles listed in the editorial calendars. Seek out opportunities where you can give a publication the lead for its major annual trend or round-up story.

Be timely

Being timely is a crucial step in not only effectively planning your opportunities research, but also developing important relationships with key members of the media. Make sure you don’t miss the deadlines, and keep in mind that outlets are not created equally. Magazines may plan features for to six months in advance,  newspapers may accept features a week before publication, and online publication even a couple of days prior.

Be prepared

Doing your research and showing journalists that you are prepared can take you further then you think. You will save journalists valuable time when you identify the opportunity you are pitching by date and description when sending your press release.

Be mindful

Check editors pitching preferences, and know their specific coverage, likes and pet peeves. Just because your dream outlet has an opportunity that fits your pitch doesn’t mean to ignore the editor’s pitching preferences. If you ignore their pitching preferences, your perfect pitch may go unnoticed.

Stay on top of your story

Editorial calendars are living documents. As the year wears on, editors reacting to a changing news environment may be looking for new and different angles for scheduled stories. Plan to revisit the editorial calendar throughout the year with fresh ideas that will put you at the front of the line.

 

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Image: Dafne Cholet via Flick

About Anna Marevska

Anna Marevska is an editor and writer for Cision Blog, and writes media updates, media influencer and industry features. She is also manager of content and research at Cision’s research department, and the editor of FashionFilesmag.com. Find her on Twitter at @Anna_Mar3.

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