An Editorial Calendar, or "ed cal" for short, reveals the general themes that a magazine is following for each month of the year. This means that you can know when Inc. Magazine is doing their Most Powerful Women issue, or when Bon Appétit Magazine is devoting their July issue to blueberries.
That is so amazing, right? Why do the magazines reveal their secrets? It's all to get advertising, really. Media buyers or PR agencies who are looking to buy advertising in the magazine want to know when the best timing is. For instance, if an outdoor gear company wants to promote their tent, then they would be a great fit in a magazine's "Great Outdoors" issue which might drop in June.
But you are pitching the media to get PR, not buy ads (though there is nothing wrong with buying ads! in fact, advertisers keep the magazines and newspapers in business, so go you if you ever buy coverage).
Knowing the magazine's Editorial Calendar can really help define what you are going to pitch at what time. Here at Tin Shingle, we actually reach out to bunches of magazines to get their Editorial Calendars and make them available to businesses like yours who are pitching the media. Editorial Calendars from over 80 magazines are available for you in Tin Shingle's Membership Level 4 Media Lists to flip through to really get your wheels turning.
Wow-Worthy Webinars To Help You Pitch Editorial Calendars
Here at Tin Shingle, we produce a weekly webinar called a Training TuneUp. We train businesses in how to do their own PR and reach out to the media with great ideas at the right time. We dedicate the first week of each month to go over ideas that magazines are working on right now - as inspired by their Editorial Calendars, This series is called "What To Pitch This Month," and you can find these Training TuneUps in our collection here. Sign up to our free newsletter to get alerted to find out the topic of each webinar, as the live broadcast is free to listen to.
RECOMMENDED TRAINING TUNEUP WEBINAR:
Finding Ideas in Editorial Calendars, Then Finding the Right Media Contacts
The best way to determine which editor at a magazine to pitch to is to go by the category (beauty, fashion, accessories, health & wellness, etc.) that you or your business best fit into.
For instance, if you sell organic granola bars, you will need a food editor. Lipstick? The beauty editor. Members of Tin Shingle have direct access to a list of contact details of the editorial teams at many top magazines, as well as a collection of Editorial Calendars from over 80 magazines.
Before pitching a magazine, make sure you've covered these bases:
- Read the Magazine!
You are familiar with the magazine. Don't lie to yourself - have you ever read this magazine in your life? Pick up and issue and get to know it. Visit the website.
- Read the Last 2 Issues
Things change at magazines, fast. An new editor-in-chief may have just come on board, and changed the direction of the entire magazine. Take Glamour, Allure and Vanity Fair for instance. All have new editors at the helm who are employing different visual looks as well as what you'll read in the pages.
- Read the Who's Who
The "masthead" at the beginning of the magazine, aka "front of book", lists the editorial and business staff who worked at the magazine at the time it went to print. However - by the time this issue is in your hands, these names may be old! Sad but true. Since magazines go to print at least a month or two before it hits the newsstands, an editor or assistant may have already left for another publication. Use the masthead in the first pages of the magazine to get an idea of which editor to contact, but double check that the person still works there. Tin Shingle does provide a list of Media Contacts at these magazines to make your life easier, which is available to our Level 4 Media Lists All Access Pass Members., but even those you will need to research. But here's the best part: when you're researching who is the best media contact to pitch an idea based on an Editorial Calendar listing, you will get to know that media contact better, and your pitch will be better also!
What To Put Into Your Email Pitch Using The Editorial Calendar As Inspiration
After you review editorial calendar opportunities for a particular magazine, you can decide which stories or topics you can offer your services or products for, or which months you could offer tips, advice, or statistical information.
Politely email your pitch to the best media contact. If you don't know how to pitch, or if you're unsure of your pitch, you can submit your pitch to Tin Shingle's Pitch Whisperer Group Editing Board, where members of Tin Shingle can read it and share their feedback. We keep a safe and supportive space here at Tin Shingle, so you're in good company. This benefit is available to our Level 1 Community Members of Tin Shingle.
Just so you know, there is no harm in emailing an editorial assistant to them for more information about this editorial theme if you don't have the specifics. However, don't wait around for them to answer you. Get creative with your pitch, and know that you can introduce different story ideas that may work within this theme.
This is why you really want to regularly read the magazine you are trying to get your business featured in. You will know their vibe, and thinking up a relevant idea will be so much easier!
When sending your editorial calendar opportunity pitch, it's a good idea to mention trends, research and other developments that may be relevant to the editor's story that you can provide, or how your product or expertise fits into this category.
Finally be sure you track your pitch using the guidelines we have provided in the "Media & Pitch Tracking Template" you can find in your Member Account Center.
All In The Timing - When To Pitch Your Media Story or Idea Using an Editorial Calendar
If you have a story idea you want to pitch to the media, and an editorial calendar opportunity you think you are a good match for, don't waste time. Email the media contact immediately. Explain how your story relates to the editorial calendar item. Be prepared to send in a press kit or facts/images and story outline ASAP. You should know that the "Issue Copy Deadline" is the date when the magazine closes the story and goes to print, so contacting them in advance is the ticket to your success.
Tin Shingle's Membership Program for Small Businesses Help You Pitch The Media Using Editorial Calendars
Knowing how to pitch the media is a major step to securing press for your brand. At Tin Shingle, we empower small businesses, experts and young and established brands to make this happen through our unique membership program. Once you unlock membership, you can have instant access to Media Contacts at major magazines, as well as Editorial Calendars from over 80 magazines.
Tin Shingle doesn't just give you the fish - we teach you how to fish. With our Online Classes Level 3 of Membership, you'll be able to watch any of our over 270 Training TuneUp webinars to train you in how to pitch the media using Editorial Calendars.