February is finally here! After *subjectively* the longest month of the year, we are at long last in the final weeks of winter and brighter days are surely ahead. Even more so, now that pandemic restrictions have been fully eased – offering much needed reassurance for those of you in the hospitality, leisure, and travel sectors. With this new sense of optimism in the air, there’s never been a better time to start planning your pitches to secure that all important coverage for your brand. Our PR & Communications Trainee, George, has pulled together a round-up of all the trends, events and opportunities to pitch for the month ahead and beyond.
KEY AWARENESS DATES
4th February: The Winter Olympics start
12th February– Chinese New Year
13th February– World Radio Day
13th February– Galentine’s Day
14th February– Valentine’s Day
15th February– Single Awareness Day
17th February– Random Act of Kindness Day
20th February– World Day of Social Justice
LAST MINUTE PITCHES
Valentine’s Day is a key date for securing and pitching press coverage: whilst many of the larger publications will have most likely wrapped up their pieces,
there may still be a few last-minute opportunities with more small-scale regional titles. Ensure you’re regularly checking Twitter (#journorequest) and I would also recommend having a line sheet of themed products readily prepared– journalists can be lazy, so do the hard work for them! Random Act of Kindness is also coming up on February 17th, which could offer your brand a chance to hit the headlines with a wholesome angle.
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!
Our short-lead recommendation this month is Mother’s Day in March. There will still be a great range of major publications that are accepting submissions for their Mother’s Day gift guides. A top tip for sourcing these requests would be to sign up to a range of PR weekly ‘mailers’- nearly every major media software offers them for free and they often include useful pitch requests. During the pandemic, we saw the average consumer increasing their spend on more material physical goods. As we fully ‘unlock’ all restrictions (for now!), it would be wise to expect a considerable uptick in interest and consumption of ‘experiences’ like meals out, leisure pursuits and breaks away. If you’re in the hospitality and leisure sector, then perhaps you could start planning a creative
stunt to create some media buzz around your brand for Mother’s Day. Most hospitality venues offer a standard set menu or a ‘Mum’s eat free’ offer every
year; but to gain column inches, you’ll need to think outside the box. What would appeal to your local demographic: could you do an unexpected collaboration with another business in your area?
Examples of Short-Lead Forward Features:
Birmingham Mail – ‘Album Reviews’ –Review page: Single page featuring reviews of new music releases (Leadtime: 2-3 weeks)
Time Out London – ‘Comedy’– Events page: Single page events page (Leadtime: 2 weeks)
Metro –To-do List: A weekly round-up of events and activities in London (Leadtime: Weekly)
Looking ahead to the summer, we have a range of key dates for your calendar! Father’s Day on June 19th will undoubtedly bring more opportunities to be featured themed listicles and gift guides. If you have a product or service that could be effectively tailored and targeted to father figures, then be sure to get strategising! On a different note, June 20th marks World Refugee; if you’re an NGO or charity that actively supports refugees in your local community, or your business is planning innovative fundraising efforts to help vulnerable displaced groups, now would be the time to shout about your efforts. Similarly, following the political turmoil last year in Afghanistan, I would also expect to see journalists looking for ‘expert comments’ in relation to the ongoing situation: if you’re not afraid to share your views, then this could be a chance to gain some coverage.
Examples of Long-Lead Forward Features:
Cosmopolitan – ‘Beauty Buzz’ – Product Pages: Cosmopolitan’s pick of the best new beauty products. With prices and stockists. (Leadtime: 3 – 4 months)
Woman & Home – ‘Home Edit/Style Steal’ – Product Page: Single page highlighting around 5 new home products. With prices and stockists. (Leadtime:
GQ – Shopping Pages (Fashion & Grooming): Double page spread of around 10 mixed products (including fashion, beauty and food & drink items). With images and a short description of why the product is topical. (Leadtime: 3 – 4 months)
Well, that’s a wrap on Feb… head on over to @eastvillagepr and make sure you let us know how you get on!