Oh, hey there April! Spring has sprung, the pandemic is in our rear-view mirror and it’s the perfect time to get your ducks in a row to secure that all important press coverage for your brand. Our Junior PR Account Executive, George, is back with his monthly round-up of all the trends, events and opportunities to pitch for the month ahead and beyond.
Our last minute recommendation for April is Earth Day on 22nd April, which provides a perfect opportunity to share any of your business’ sustainable ventures. This year’s theme is ‘Invest in our Planet’ and is focused on promoting sustainable business practices for the private sector. Perhaps your business has a B Corporation status or you’re making conscious efforts to reduce your carbon emissions. Alternatively, if your brand has not been so environmentally inclined in its messaging in the past, then Earth Day is an ideal time to make some impactful commitments. I would expect some journalist requests for sustainable products, expert comments, and businesses to appear online soon, so do keep your eyes peeled. As always, #journorequest on Twitter is your best friend.
SHORT LEAD VS LONG LEAD
Understanding the difference between long and short lead media and how to pitch accordingly is a topic we’ve already covered on EV Insight; but to keep it short and sweet, the key to differentiating between the two is in the name!
Traditionally, ‘Short Lead’ has a turnaround of about 6-8 weeks from pitching, editing and publishing whereas ‘Long Lead’ follows a much longer timescale of anywhere from 3 – 6 months. However, due to the impact of COVID and the rise of WFH culture and digital-only media, there is certainly more flexibility and scope for last-minute opportunities than ever before.
Looking further ahead to the Summer, Father’s Day is on Sunday June 19th and is definitely not a date to overlook for you retailers. Retail spending on Father’s Day has significantly increased in the U.K over the past few years, peaking at £951 million last year. So, if you have a product or service that could be effectively tailored and targeted to father figures, then be sure to get pitching now. It’s not just product guides and listicles; in recent years we’ve seen some innovative stunts and campaigns for Father’s Day from big brands. Peta chose to mark the day in 2020, by spotlighting ‘proud rescue dads’ of adopted animals on their social media channels and on a custom gallery on their website. Whilst Aviation Gin released a cheeky advert last year that showed Ryan Reynolds prepping a “Vasectomy Cocktail” – a tongue-in-cheek spin on the joys of fatherhood. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box with a left field campaign: a quirky stunt is definitely more likely to hit the headlines.
Example Short Lead Forward Features:
Pick Me Up! – ‘Shopping’ – product pages: Shopping page featuring around 6 inexpensive items and deals, for areas including home, beauty, technology, fashion, and food & drink. With prices and stockists. (Leadtime: ASAP – 6 weeks)
Daily Express – ‘Environment – weekly column: An environmental column which includes topical news and events. (Leadtime: ASAP – 2 weeks)
Bella – ‘Home’ – product pages: A theme of home products trends, e.g. ‘sustainable swaps for summer’ plus competition page and exlcusive offers for readers. (Leadtime: 6-8 weeks.)
April is the optimal time to start pitching for summer trends, products and experiences in long-lead titles. Publications will also most likely be looking for fashion, homeware and lifestyle products for broader themes and features, so be flexible and have those samples and high-resolution images ready and on hand. World Humanitarian Day on August 19th will undoubtedly attract more press attention this year, following the devastating recent developments in Ukraine. A crucial requirement when approaching such a sensitive topic is authenticity. We have already seen some brands receiving backlash for publishing tokenistic and ‘empty’ statements on the crisis in Ukraine, so make sure you are following up sentiments with concrete action and adding value to the cause.
Example Long Lead Forward Features:
25 Beautiful Homes – ‘5 Best Buys’ – product page: New products and collections, emerging trends, eco buys, award for service, best websites, investment buys, high street buys, factory shops, shopping pages. (Leadtime: up to 3 months)
Cosmopolitan – ‘Beauty Buzz’ – product pages: Cosmopolitan’s pick of the best new beauty products. With prices and stockists. (Leadtime: 3 – 4 months)
Women’s Fitness – ‘Three of the Best’- product pages: Food product page based on a particular theme/food type, with prices and stockists. (Leadtime: 2 – 3 months)
So, that’s April mapped out for you… head on over to @eastvillagepr and share with us how you get on!