An Editorial Calendar, "ed cal" for short, shows the major editorial features that are planned for upcoming magazine issues, newspaper issues, and websites. They are primarily used by marketing professionals to decide which issues to place their advertisements in. Public Relations professionals & businesses use editorial calendars to increase their chances of coverage by pitching products, stories, experts, tips, or themselves to an opportunity of the month that their brand could fit into.
DOWNLOAD & LISTEN: How to Use an Editorial Calendar to get Press
Because of the transient nature of editorial staff members, 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. Often, a small business member of Tin Shingle who is working on pitching their brand to magazines will have two browser windows open: one for looking through Editorial Calendars, and one for finding the best Media Contact for that magazine.
Before pitching a magazine, make sure you've covered these bases:
- 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 at least two recent issues.
- Use the masthead in the first pages of the magazine to determine which editor to contact.
If you cannot determine which media contact to share your information with, call the magazine's main phone number and ask for an editorial assistant. The editorial assistant will be able to direct you to the best editor to share your story with.
HOW TO PITCH AN IDEA USING THE EDITORIAL CALENDAR:
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. Using your pitching skills (and if you need to build your pitching skills, review our Expert PR articles), employ the 3 Pitching P's ™:
Using the 3 Pitching P's ™, contact your target editor or the editorial assistant. Politely share your pitch, being sure to mention that you would love to have them review it for the specific editorial opportunity you are focusing on. Be sure to ask them for more information about this opportunity if you don't have the specifics, and also get their email address so you can send them all the information they need instead of using their time on the phone.
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.
WHEN TO PITCH A MEDIA STORY 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. Call the outlet or 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. As always, the early birds get the worms, and there are several birds across the country hoping for the same worm as you are.
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, Editorial Calendars, select PR Leads, an all-access pass to all classes in our .EDU Education Program, a connection to a trusted community of other businesses who are going through what you are experiencing as you grow your brand. Click here to learn more about membership with Tin Shingle.
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