How do you get media contacts to ‘bite’ on your pitches? Try seasonal news, like Dog Bite Prevention week, which is this week! Medical professionals can talk about how to prevent children from suffering dog bites. Small town business professionals can talk about fending off dog bites at home and office when the mail is delivered. Animal experts can offer safety tips. Community leaders and relationship experts can talk about why communities need to protect themselves with dogs in the first place.
Treat your media friends with educational content on health (healing dog bites), wealth (the business of dog bites) and love (why families need dogs).
News related to dogs include the dog flu which is now in 12 states. People can’t get it, but your pet can.
Throw your PR campaign a bone by being an early bird. Media writing glossy magazines are working 3 to 6 months in advance and believe it or not, many are already approaching Thanksgiving, holiday of lights and New Year topics. If you want the “woof” to explode off your media coverage, pitch early.
To plan your early pitching, seek out editorial calendars from magazines. They typically post them at their website. Here’s one from the Meredith magazines, such as: Martha Stewart Living, Fitness Magazine, Real Simple, Family Fun, Family Circle, EveryDay with Rachael Ray (slow down to spell celeb names correctly!), EatingWell, Better Homes and Gardens, American Baby and more.
By the way, if you want to ‘treat’ media friends to a thank you after they mention you in their news coverage, take this tip. Print journalists often have limits on gifts they can accept so they remain neutral. A simple thank you to them is sufficient. If you must spend money, keep it to $20. Broadcast friends are more able to take gifts and I recommend food: nuts, cheese, candy or fruit. They are often left at the office working late hours and appreciate good nutrition or a quick pick-me-up. They typically don’t have gift cash limits. If in doubt, simply ask. The media person will tell you.
Research upcoming special days, weeks and months. Seasonal news is always a good way to get media to bite on your stories. (Tail wag.)