Using a Calendar-Based Event to Gain Media Coverage
Understanding and anticipating the type of content media outlets are looking to cover is half the battle in public relations. You have valuable insight to share with the media, but how do get their attention? Any journalist will tell you one of the most important criteria they keep in mind when selecting a story, is timeliness—if you have a story that’s important now, your odds of landing an interview are a lot higher. One of the quickest and easiest ways to do this is to offer your expert insight when news breaks in the financial world. But as a financial professional, the odds that you personally will have the time to not only monitor the news but also reach out to media during breaking news is slim to none. This is where a PR firm can help by managing your media relations—but if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you may be wondering:
“Is there any way I can proactively plan ahead and offer the media my expert insight on timely topics?”
The answer is YES!
Enter: calendar-based events. Events, like monthly observances, holidays or even reoccurring dates, like the tax filing deadline, provide great opportunities for you to share your expertise. Offering content ideas that are inspired by calendar-based events not only provide you with the timeliness needed to get the media’s attention, but it also gives you the chance to plan ahead. This all sounds great, right? Right! The only problem is, now you’re probably wondering:
“How do I take a calendar-based event and turn it into a pitch worthy of gaining media coverage?”
The following are four tips to consider as you develop calendar-based content for your media outreach:
Set a schedule
You’ll want to give the media plenty of notice ahead of your selected calendar-based event. If you wait too long and reach out just days before your event, you likely aren’t giving the media enough time to consider the concept. For this reason, you need to start planning early. Take a look at what dates and events are coming up during the next couple of months or quarters. Check for everything ranging from holidays and observances, to pop culture events like the Super Bowl or the Oscars.
Connect the dots
Once you have your calendar-based event selected, it’s time to get creative. Brainstorm ways that you can tie-in your particular expertise to the event. Once you’re able to tie the two concepts together, start drafting your pitch for the media and pulling together your story concept. The following are few examples of how to marry financial planning advice with calendar-based events:
Calendar-based event: New Years
Media concept: Financial resolutions for the New Year
Calendar-based event: Tax filing deadline
Media concept: Last minute tax tips to make the most of your return
Plan your attack
Don’t just start sending your pitch to anyone and everyone. Be strategic in your approach, and keep the type of media outlets in mind. Morning talk shows will love the light-hearted concepts that relate to holidays, while evening news broadcasts tend to look for stories that are more hard-hitting. For print publications, make sure you’re aware if they are daily, monthly or quarterly publications. Monthly and quarterly publications tend to have a longer lead time and decide on their content months in advance, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. Also, check out the type of content they have previously covered to get a feel for the kind of stories that get picked up (this can also help as you brainstorm ideas for your selected calendar-based event).
Send a reminder
Just like you need that reminder call from your dentist office for the appointment you set months ago, the media needs a reminder about your story concept and the approaching date or event. If they didn’t respond to your initial pitch, be sure to follow up shortly before your calendar event. Media may like your initial offer and plan to circle back to it when the time comes but in their hectic, fast-paced world, they simply forgot. You’d be surprised how often a quick follow up email or call can land you a media placement.
Looking for more guidance in turning your ideas and expertise into a news story? Learn about the variety of PR services available from AdvisorPR. If you are ready to start getting In The News call AdvisorPR at (866) 888-5333 or email info@AdvisorPR.com.
Jill Schofield is the Public Relations Account Executive with AdvisorPR and a former Executive Producer and Anchor for an NBC affiliate. Established in 2005, AdvisorPR is a branding, marketing and public relations firm dedicated to providing custom and turnkey marketing communications solutions exclusively to financial professionals and the corporate companies that serve them.