The start of January is a good time to start planning a schedule for releasing news stories about your business throughout the year.
Every editor will say to someone pitching a story ‘what’s the hook’, ‘is there a peg?’, so one of the best ways to catch their attention is to find a way to link your story to the time of year, anniversaries or news events.
So, to start you off, I thought I’d give you a little month by month run down:
January: it’s probably a bit late for new year’s resolutions, but think about people going on skiing holidays, people trying to keep up fitness and dieting regimes. It’s Food Allergy and Intolerance Week. And of course – if you’ve got a cricketing link, there’s the Ashes
February: it’s pancake Day, Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year! And don’t forget National Storytelling Week
March: spring has sprung and it’s also Crufts, Mother’s Day, No Smoking Day, Fair Trade Fortnight and International Women’s Day
April: Easter. And, of course, The Wedding!
May: British Sandwich Week, half term, plus two anniversaries this month – the invention of Coca Cola and the election of David Cameron as Prime Minister
June: All about the summer! Royal Ascot, Wimbledon and, finally, Henley.
July: monthly magazines are going to be thinking about Christmas (yes really), so you need to too. It’s also the start of the school holidays, when parents are desperate to find way to amuse their little ones.
August: traditionally a very quiet news time, so if you’ve got a decent story, it has a good chance of running. Also be thinking about Festival season – Edinburgh, Reading and Notting Hill
September: will mark the 1oth anniversary of 9/11. And on a lighter note, it will be back to school! Plus don’t forget the Blackpool Illuminations, the Great River Race in London, Harvest and the Great North Run.
October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the clocks go back and of course it’s Hallowe’en
November: Bonfire Night, and of course Remembrance Sunday, Children in Need and St Andrews Day
December: if you’re aiming at weekly and daily news, pitch your Christmas and New Year stories now
This is just for starters – a quick Google search will be bound to yield an anniversary, awareness day/week/month or event that you can relate to your business or industry. There’s also a news forward planner on websites such as the Expert Sources site.
So from now on, when you contact an editor about a story, and they ask you ‘what’s the peg’, or ‘is there a hook?’, you’ve got no excuse!