When to Pitch to Newspapers, Magazines, & TV Show
Pitching to the media, regardless of the channel, can be stressful. One of the most important things you can do is make sure you pitch to them at the right time.
Figuring out the perfect time to pitch your story is a challenge. There are numerous articles telling you when the optimal times are, but in reality, timing is different for every media contact. People who write for newspapers may not have the same pitch timing as a producer of a morning show. You need to learn a bit more about each contact’s business in order to determine the ideal time to reach out.
Let’s take a look at when to typically reach out to various media outlets and talk about tips to help you make sure you are choosing the best time…
Media Contacts at Newspapers:
Newspapers have a general flow to their process. They may go over stories on Monday, for example, that are going to be published on Wednesday. However, reporters can work on stories for weeks before submitting them to their editors for publication.
So when do you pitch your story idea to a newspaper?
As far in advance of the date you want it to be published as possible. If you can give them a week or two notice, that’s always appreciated. If you want the story to go out on a specific date, write an embargoed press release. That way they won’t publish it until the date specified.
Do research on the journalist, editor, columnist, etc. that you are trying to target. Get to know them through social media and their writing. Give them the chance to get to know you and your business. Extending that outreach outside of an email will get you and your company’s name known. Plus, it gives you better insight as to when they publish their pieces.
Media Contacts at Magazines:
Magazines plan far ahead into the future. Typically planning the magazine’s “theme” 12 months ahead. As for content: a full month or two’s notice is ideal to be published.
Magazine editors will plan content ahead of time, but also leave room for new pieces to be inserted (if needed). If you have a story that needs to be published sooner than later, don’t be discouraged from reaching out to a magazine. They may be able to insert your story in their next publication.
But, if you have a bigger planned out announcement, make sure to let them know ahead of time. This gives you and the magazine ample time to ensure it fits the month’s specific publication, as well as align with your launch needs. It’s a balancing act between your news and theirs.
How do you find out their editorial needs ahead of time? Through an editorial calendar! You can request an editorial calendar, or simply find it on their website. If that fails, you might need to rever to a database. Some media databases have access to different editorial calendars: newspapers, TV, and magazines. But, things are not as easy as it seems. Media databases are not free, often have a heavy price tag attached to them.
Media Contacts in TV:
TV moves pretty quick. Producers are constantly looking for the next story to cover, scratching and moving up certain interviews and segments to satisfy ratings. If you’re looking to get on a particular show or segment, start planning ahead now and begin your outreach.
Do research on the show you are trying to be featured on. Find out who calls the shots or books casting. Reach out to casting agents, producers, directors, hosts, etc. to get the best chance of getting your story covered on the show or on a specific segment. Start engaging with them on social media, or let them know you have a great story that fits their needs.
Things are constantly changing TV, most of the time because of how quickly the news changes, and what trending topics are in demand. If your news fits, make it known.
Depending on who you’re aiming to reach, pitch to those contacts accordingly. As convenient as a timed blast pitch seems, getting to know the best times to pitch to each individual contact is more idea. Based on research and engagement you will be able to tell when the perfect time to pitch to each media contact may be. Most newspapers, magazines, and TV shows have guidelines on pitching or their editorial calendars displayed that you may find helpful. Take a look and take them into account when pitching.