Can you believe it’s August?! With all restrictions now officially lifted across the UK and the summer in full swing, there’s lots happening and many things in terms of short-lead and long-lead ops throughout Q3 and Q4 on the horizon.
TeamEV’s Account Executive, Holly, is back again with her round up of essential dates, editorial themes, and forward features to keep in mind during August and beyond!
KEY AWARENESS DAYS
At this point, there’s an ‘awareness days’ for pretty much every occasion. To save you some time, here’s some the most notable dates for your diary this August:
6th – Cycle to Work Day
8th – International Cat Day
12th – International Youth Day
15th – Relaxation Day
19th – World Photo Day
26th – Dog Day
28th – 30th – Bank Holiday Weekend
LAST MINUTE PITCHES
There are some quirky universal awareness dates and themes throughout August that you could pitch around. As with any last-minute or trend-led pitch strategy, our priority is always to check #journorequests on Twitter to see what’s newsworthy and topical. Whilst this strategy can often feel a little hectic, it can throw up some unique opportunities that are at the forefront of today’s news or may have otherwise flown under the radar.
If you don’t have time to scour through Twitter on a daily basis, our #TeamEV top tip would be to sign up for a mailing service such as Editorielle, so that you can receive the crème de la crème of #journorequests direct to your inbox! Making use of tools like this has led to coverage in an abundance of titles including Livingetc Magazine, The Metro, The Evening Standard, Founder@, Woman & Home magazine and many more, so it’s definitely worth giving it a shot!
One of the most notable last-minute opportunities this month is the August Bank Holiday Weekend (28th – 30th). As the last bank holiday of the year (and the first that is restriction-free in 18 months), now is the time to pitch for last minute seasonal guides, listicles and round-ups within consumer and trade business. Alternatively, booking in influencer activity could be a fun way to promote and bring to life your goods/services; whether that’s by running a private event or creating a social media campaign.
Plus, if you’re a wellness-oriented company, then Relaxation Day (August 15th) is a key date to keep in mind this month; from running PR visits or sending out tactical gift drops, there are plenty of avenues for you to explore in line with this date.
EV’s Top Tip: Want to get ahead of next year’s crowd for these dates? For long lead titles, May 2022 will be the best time to begin pitching, whilst June through to July is the best time for short-lead press.
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 4-8 weeks from pitching, editing and publishing whereas ‘Long Lead’ follows a much longer timescale of anywhere from 3 – 6 months. However, largely due to the impact of the pandemic, there has definitely been an increase in the number of short-lead and last-minute opportunities available. So, if you want the best chance of success, it pays to get everything in order ahead of time!
SHORT LEAD: AUGUST FOCUSES
If your business is food or hospitality-oriented, then Organic September (September 1st – 30th) and Sourdough September (September 1st – 30th) are two key dates to plan ahead for next month. ‘Sourdough September’ could definitely be a fun opportunity to reminisce about the baking-led trends from the very first lockdown in 2020 – whether that’s by pitching seasonal recipes or launching limited edition menu items.
If your business lies within the Third Sector or wellness-oriented industries, some other short-led dates for your diary include: International Day of Charity (August 5th), Youth Mental Health Awareness Day (September 7th), World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th) and International Week of Happiness at Work (September 21st – 26th)
Example Short Lead Forward Features:
Closer – Shopping Pages: A full page of nine desirable objects of the week, including fashion, beauty, food & drink and home items. With prices and stockists. (Leadtime: ASAP – up to 1 month in advance.)
Men’s Health – ‘Insight’ – Product Pages: Four-page feature of interesting lifestyle goods. With prices and stockists. (Leadtime: 2 -3 months in advance.)
Yours – ‘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.)
LONG LEAD: AUGUST FOCUSES
As we said in last month’s ‘What to pitch in July‘ guide, the time to pitch for long-lead Christmas gift guides is right now. It’s an extremely competitive field and can yield great results and brand awareness for you and your company, so don’t miss out! Even if you don’t have a dedicated Christmas range or offer, it’s definitely still worth taking a chance!
However, there are plenty of other gift guides and product pages within the next quarter that are worth pitching for. Depending on your business, products or services, some key dates to keep in mind include: Autumn Equinox (September 22nd), World Tourism Day (September 27th), World Coffee Day (October 1st), World Vegan Day (November 1st) and of course, Black Friday (November 26th).
Plus, if applicable, we’d suggest keeping your eye on Black History Month (October 1st – 31st), World Mental Health Day (October 10th), Halloween (October 31st), Social Enterprise Day (November 18th) and Black Friday (November 26th). From themed PR stunts, awareness campaigns and pledges, all of these long lead dates offer you the chance to plan a standout seasonal PR strategy.
Example Long Lead Forward Features:
Men’s Health – fashion product pages: Page featuring the latest clothing and accessories. All fashion, not merely active lifestyle products. (Leadtime: 3 months)
Woman & Home – ‘Home Edit/Style Steal’ – Product Page: Single page highlighting around 5 new home products. With prices and stockists. (Leadtime: 3 months)
delicious. Magazine – ‘On our shopping list’- product pages: A mixed food product section, featuring a selection of new items (usually around 3). With stockists and prices. (Leadtime: 2 – 3 months)
Well, that’s a wrap on August… head on over to @eastvillagepr and make sure you let us know how you get on. Plus, don’t forget to check out Pocket Sized PR: it’s full of *free* downloads, resources and advice that are perfect for any start-up or SME.