Here’s a great truth for those seeking media coverage – the media needs you. Without publicists just like you, journalists wouldn’t be able to fill the space left between advertisements, promos, banners, songs and theme tunes.
Truthier still; sometimes that space is harder to fill than at other times. Early morning radio bulletins are always hard to fill with fresh, timely content – just imagine getting an interview for your 6am radio news at 5.40am.
Monday is harder across the board as less happens on weekends and contacts are harder to reach. Public holidays – especially a four day weekend such as Easter – are harder than most. Little is happening, yet media outlets have weekday programming / papers to fill. Awkward.
That’s one of the reasons why Alzheimer’s Australia was able to score such huge coverage of its report into the aged care sector and its treatment of people with dementia. (See Google results left.)
With no parliament to cover, stockmarket to report on nor corporate news, the opportunities for a story on aged care rises exponentially. Incoming calls from publicists to media dropped 90% on Friday, meaning less competition. Kudos to the PR folk at Alzheimer’s Australia (AA) for knowing this.
Really smart tips to take advantage of this whole time-space continuum thing:
Look ahead at the calendar – when is the next sleepy public holiday / long weekend? Can you create a story angle that relates to the holiday? (If not; don’t fret, AA wasn’t able to connect to Easter and it didn’t hurt them.)
You will have to do / release something on a certain day to tie your story to a certain date. That date is often entirely arbitrary and selected to maximise coverage. Eg: AA chose to release its report on Easter Monday April 9 yet, as far as we are aware there was no need for this beyond the desire to benefit from a slow news day and little competition.
Start pitching early as journos can be hard to reach around public holidays too but have an embargo in place.
Mention in your pitch that the story is embargoed until a certain holiday or slow news day but don’t make too much of it unless you know the journo well. Eg: “Professor Expert from the UK will be available to talk to media on ANZAC Day April 25…” Let the journo think to herself: “Oh goodie – slow news day.”
Offer to pre-record radio news grabs the night before, for use early the next morning. This is a Godsend for radio journos who looove to have a fresh story or two “in the can” for those hard-to-fill early morning news bulletins which are in fact the peak listening times. This tip is GOLD any day of the week. Email us when you use it and tell us how it worked.
Similarly, pitching a print story that can be written on Sunday for hard-to-fill Monday newspaper editions is a smart move.
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