You know what they say: failing to plan is planning to fail. And when it comes to PR strategy, that’s especially true.
But fear not – there’s a tool that can help you stay ahead of the game, impress the heck out of journalists, and generally make your brand look like the bomb.com.
We’re talking about the editorial calendar.
What’s an editorial calendar anyway?
If you’re not sure what an editorial calendar is, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Basically, it’s a schedule of the content that a media outlet plans to publish over a certain period of time. From articles to social media posts to email newsletters, it’s all in there. Editorial calendars are usually planned out months in advance and are used to ensure that a media outlet’s content is cohesive, on-brand, and speaks to their audience.
Why should brands care about editorial calendars?
It gives you the inside scoop: When you know what topics and themes a media outlet plans to cover, you can get a sense of what they’re interested in and what types of stories they’re likely to be receptive to. This can help you tailor your pitches and press releases to better match their needs. Plus, it gives you a great excuse to stalk them on social media and make sure you’re up-to-date on their latest posts. #researchfordays
It allows you to plan ahead: Knowing what’s coming up can help you plan your own content and PR activities accordingly. For example, if you know that a certain outlet is planning a feature on sustainable fashion in three months’ time, you can start preparing your own materials and pitches on that topic well in advance. It’s like a crystal ball, but for PR.
It helps you build relationships: By regularly engaging with media outlets and staying on top of their editorial calendars, you can build relationships with journalists and editors over time. This can make it easier to get coverage for your brand in the future. Plus, it gives you an excuse to slide into their DMs with a friendly “Hey, saw you’re covering X next month – we have some great ideas that might fit in with that!”
How can brands use Editorial Calendars?
Now that you’re convinced that editorial calendars are worth your time, let’s talk about how you can incorporate them into your PR strategy. Here are some tips:
Do your research: Identify the media outlets that are most relevant to your brand and track down their editorial calendars (which are often available online).
Plan your content: Use the information you gather from editorial calendars to plan your own content and PR activities. You know what they say – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So, if you see that a certain outlet is planning a big feature on natural beauty products in two months’ time, you could plan to launch a new line of natural beauty products around the same time. Genius, right?
Tailor your pitches: Use the insights you gain from editorial calendars to tailor your pitches and press releases to better match the needs of the media outlets you’re targeting. Think of it like matching your outfit to the occasion – you wouldn’t wear a ballgown to a backyard barbecue, would you? Similarly, you wouldn’t pitch a story about sustainable fashion to a tech publication.
Let’s reiterate the benefits…
Stay ahead of the game: By staying on top of what media outlets are planning to cover, you can get ahead of the competition and start crafting pitches and content that will really resonate with journalists and editors.
Build lasting relationships: By tailoring your pitches and content to match what media outlets are planning to cover, you can build relationships with journalists and editors that go beyond a one-time feature. This can lead to more coverage in the long run.
Make the most of your resources: By knowing what content you need to produce and when, you can better allocate your resources and avoid scrambling to create content at the last minute.
Boost your brand’s credibility: By consistently producing high-quality content that aligns with what media outlets are covering, you can establish your brand as a thought leader and boost its credibility in the eyes of both journalists and consumers.
Here are some actionable steps you can take, today.
Research: Take some time to research the media outlets and publications that your brand wants to target. Look for editorial calendars or media kits that outline what they plan to cover in the coming months.
Analyse: Analyse the editorial calendars and identify topics that align with your brand’s values and expertise. Use this information to start crafting pitches and content that will really resonate with journalists and editors.
Plan: Use the information you’ve gathered to create an editorial calendar of your own. This should outline what content you need to produce and when, as well as any events or deadlines that are coming up.
Execute: Once you have your editorial calendar in place, start executing on it! Create high-quality content that aligns with what media outlets are covering and pitch it to the relevant journalists and editors.
Evaluate: Finally, don’t forget to evaluate your results. Keep track of what coverage you’ve received and what content has performed well, and use this information to refine your PR strategy going forward.
Editorial calendars can help your brand stay ahead of the game, plan content and PR activities, and build lasting relationships with journalists and editors. By consistently producing high-quality content that aligns with what media outlets are covering, brands can establish themselves as thought leaders and boost their credibility.