December 9, 2011

Those Editorial Calendars Are Just So Handy!

I spent most of today hunting down editorial calendars and media kits. I’m doing this a bit later than I would normally like, but the holiday season tends to be a quieter time when I can settle into planning and administrative work. Yes, collecting ed cals to create my MASTER LIST is an ideal Friday activity accompanied by a cup of President’s Choice Mulled Apple Herbal Tea (shameless plug … I suggest you try it!).
Not only do editorial calendars help me determine what opportunities are going to be relevant to my company and where we might add value, it also helps me to suss out what the media industry is going to be focused on as a whole. Even more important it lets me determine what they’re NOT going to be writing about. By evaluating the media landscape from a birds-eye-view, I can figure out what will be of most value to the editorial team and what trends and issues they may be interested in but aren’t scheduling into the magazine.
This is where the real opportunity is – cultivating a unique and compelling story that you can pitch to one or two publications to provide added value and help them to differentiate from the competition. Publishing is a fierce business and I’d like to think that smart PR people can help to make a difference here by offering up stories that help reporters stand out from the crowd. Can you propose a sidebar about a related topic to a commonly discussed theme? Is there another issue that isn’t commonly addressed that would be of interest to the audience? Getting creative here and pulling resources together not only helps you, but the reporter and publication stand out.
If we don’t think strategically about this, then we can’t complain when publications disappear. Yes, the editorial calendar which is so simple in its concept can really be a game-changer if you think about them in new light. What trends are you seeing this year? Any gaps your company can fill?


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