The world of PR is fast-paced. News and deadlines come and go, so it’s important to keep up.
Timings in PR are crucial. Used mindfully, they can make the difference between getting one small news in brief or ten pieces of decent coverage across a variety of media channels.
PR professionals mine the news daily for relevant opportunities they can piggy back onto, whether it’s to create a hook to promote a client’s product or service, or raising a client’s profile by providing their opinion or comment on a story that’s hit the headlines. However, PRs and clients need to be quick off the mark. If left too late to respond to news – the moment has passed.
Journalists often do shout outs for articles or features they are writing, requesting case studies, comments or interviews. Usually accompanied with tight deadlines, responses need to be speedy to be in with the chance of getting picked up. Too late and another PR team will beat you to it.
TOP TIPS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Press releases are usually best sent out in the morning, on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, which guarantees journalists are at their desks to receive e-mails and in most cases avoids deadlines.
- Make sure you consider deadlines. Weekly newspapers and publications will have a set deadline during the week to receive content by, to allow time for design and print. Monthly publications will work a lot further in advance, usually six to eight weeks prior to publication, if not more. Check their websites for deadlines or just pick up the phone and call the editorial team. Online platforms tend to have looser deadlines as content can be uploaded instantaneously.
- Consider the urgency of the release. Does it have to go out immediately or can it wait to a better selling-in time? Check what’s happening in the news. If there’s any breaking news, your story will just get lost, so remember to check the day’s headlines first if time is on your side.
- A press release can also be sent under an embargo. If you’re announcing something for a particular date, but keen to send the release out a day or two before to hit journalists’ radars early, add ‘embargoed’ to the release along with a date and time of when the information can be released. Journalists usually respect the embargo and will publish the information after the date.
- If you’re inviting broadcast media, in particular TV, make sure you allow time for crews to get to you to film and back to the studio for editing.
- Remember, timings are important. If you miss the bandwagon, your news will become old news.
Getting your timings right is key to successful PR. Time it well and you and your client will reap the benefits of great coverage.