Well, hello there July! It’s officially full steam ahead for the Great British summertime, with warmer weather, the school holidays and even the relaxing of final restrictions now (hopefully) locked in for July 19th and beyond. It should go without saying: now is the time to get ahead of the competition by planning ahead for an array of short-lead and long-lead ops throughout Q3 and even looking ahead to Q4.
TeamEV’s Account Executive, Holly, is back again this month, with her round up of essential dates, editorial themes, and forward features – keep reading to discover her top picks for July 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 July:
1st – 31st – Plastic-free July
1st – 31st – National Picnic Month
4th – Independence Day (Also known as ‘Independents Day’)
7th – World Chocolate
17 – World Emoji Day
19th – Daquiri Day
25th – Wine & Cheese Day
30th – World Friendship Day
LAST MINUTE PITCHES
Whilst not the busiest month for universal awareness dates, there are still plenty of key themes and dates to take a punt at during July! 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 last minute, it can throw up some unique opportunities that may have otherwise flown under the radar. Plus, being quick off the mark can provide you with great scope to position your client’s expertise or services at the forefront of today’s news.
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 like DIARY Directory or Editorielle so that you can receive the very best #journorequests directly via your inbox! As a team, utilising these tools has led to coverage in an abundance of titles including Metro, The Graham Norton Show, The Evening Standard, Woman & Home magazine and many more, so it’s definitely worth trying.
Two of the most notable last-minute opportunities this month are Plastic-free July (July 1st – 31st) and World Friendship Day (July 30th). From sustainability pledges to PR stunts, there are several ways you can tweak the angle of your PR activity or pitching strategy to ensure more likely to bag some great coverage. One of our clients – Love Logs, the UK’s first 100% plastic-free firewood retailer – is leading from the front when it comes to sustainability pledges: during July, every order placed with them will remove the equivalent of 10 bottles of ocean plastic. In even better news, this is on top of its signature eco-promise to plant two trees per order with the Eden Reforestation projects. By combining ethical action with a topical campaign, Love Logs is in prime position to hit the headlines this month – so what this space!
Plus, if you’re a hospitality business or venue, there are tonnes of fun food-related awareness dates to capitalise on this month, from World Chocolate Day (July 7th) to Daquiri Day (19th). From expert comment pieces to limited edition menus or tactical gift drops, there are plenty of avenues for you to explore as the summer gets into full swing.
EV’s Top Tip: Want to get ahead of next year’s crowd for these dates? For long lead titles, March 2022 will be the best time to begin pitching, whilst April through to June 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 COVID, there has definitely been an increase in the number of short-lead and last-minute opportunities available; if you want the best chance of success, it pays to get everything in order ahead of time.
SHORT LEAD: JULY FOCUSES
We’ve said this before, but we’ll say it again: don’t sleep on seasonal listicles! Since lockdown restrictions surrounding hospitality and leisure have begun to ease, we’ve noticed a surge in trend-led guides and round-ups to help sign post consumers to new openings, offers and much more. As well as there being several food-led awareness dates in July, here are some more to be aware of during Q3: Watermelon Day (August 3rd), Organic September (September 1st – 30th) and Sourdough September (September 1st – 30th).
There are also lots of other great consumer-related opportunities on the horizon for Q3, so do make sure that you are planning for these dates whilst keeping tabs on any quick-fire opportunities that may crop up ahead of time. Some other short-led dates for your diary include: International Youth Day (August 12th), International Cat Day (August 8th) and Relaxation Day (August 15th).
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.)
LONG LEAD: JULY FOCUSES
We have three words for you: Christmas. In. July. You heard that right – now is the critical time to get ahead of the curve and begin planning your Christmas gift guide outreach. It’s an extremely competitive field: any brand or marketer worth their salt knows how invaluable inclusion in even one national gift guide can be for brand awareness. Even if you don’t have a dedicated Christmas range or offer, it’s still worth pitching your core range or hero products to journalists – remember, don’t ask, don’t get!
However, if you’re not quite ready to start thinking about Christmas, now is also a great time to put the feelers out for autumnal features, product pages and reviews. It’s exactly the same process as pitching for a normal product page: just remember to include a hook or tie-in that directly correlates with the season and you’re good to go. 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 Recycle Week (September 20th – 26th), Black History Month (October 1st – 31st), World Mental Health Day (October 10th), Halloween (October 31st). 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:
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)
Well, that’s a wrap on July… head on over to @eastvillagepr and make sure you let us know how you get on. Plus, don’t forget – if you have similar ambitions or need any help on how to craft the perfect press release or DIY PR strategy, make sure you check out Pocket Sized PR: it’s full of *free* downloads, resources and advice that are perfect for any start-up or SME.