Marijane Funess February 11, 2014 | 11:46:58

PR Pros, Get Your Clients into Long-Lead Publications

Even as another snowstorm bears down on us in the East, smart NY PR firms know that now is the time to pitch relevant clients to the glossy pages of shopping and shelter magazines for summer issues. Although it may seem quaint to work on a consumer or B2B story that won’t appear online instantly, people still enjoy holding and reading a magazine (or holding and reading a magazine on an e-reader!) Either way, there are smart tips to employ whether your pitch falls into lifestyle, tech or other categories.

Review the entire year regularly. Look for annualized events that everyone knows, like major holidays and seasonal happenings as well as lesser-known occasions that your client can “own.” And of course you will have all pertinent editorial calendars already!

Gauge your client’s comfort level. Before you pitch a story on summer weight loss that bashes certain foods or “Sexy Tech Gifts for the Bride and Groom” for June wedding season, make sure your client has no conflicts of interest or discomfort with a particular angle. Of course, if your team believes strongly that the angle will benefit, advocate for it with a strategic approach, but be prepared to tweak.

Have all your “ducks in a row.” Well in advance of key seasonal time periods, make a list of what publications typically need. This way whatever is missing or isn’t up to snuff can be fixed ahead of time. The list includes:
• Samples
• Expert Topics and spokesperson info
• Images
• Short product description
• Short, relevant pitch
• Quick tip sheet

Use Listicles. Journalists receive seasonal pitches constantly and you want yours read! Make it easy to scan through your pitch and quickly pick out the important information. Use bullet points and numbered lists to save a journalist’s time and if you can make it graphically appealing in an e-mail, even better.

Get the timing right. Do your research and determine when decisions are made. If you send your “Best Back-to-School Tech Tips” too early, they’ll be lost in the shuffle and you’ll be lost in a cycle of re-sending. Be aware of the deadlines and the process so your timely pitches get the (actual) ink they deserve.

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