Hello March! Spring has truly sprung this year – it’s brighter, warmer and it is our first March without any pandemic restrictions in two whole years. How are we nearly at end of Q1 too? Don’t panic, if you haven’t even thought about PR for your brand yet, then we are here to help. 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
1st March- Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day
3rd March- World Book Day
4th March- National Grammar Day
8th March- International Women’s Day
14th March- White Day
17th March- St Patrick’s Day
20th March- International Day of Happiness
27th March- Mother’s Day
LAST MINUTE OPPORTUNITIES
Although we are always preaching about how it pays to plan ahead, occasionally some of the best coverage can come from being reactive to current affairs. One of the hottest topics in the corporate world is currently the ‘4-day working week’, following the launch of its widespread trial across 30 UK-based companies. PR-savvy brands have been using this trending topic as a spring board to secure maximum media coverage with well-timed announcements. A great example of this is Monzo, one of the UK’s leading online-only banks, which went viral after announcing it would allow its employees to take three months’ paid leave.
Similarly, many businesses are also gaining traction by providing thought leadership on how they are proactively providing a healthier work-life balance in response to largely Millennial and Gen Z feedback. If you’re a business that is making significant changes to your working patterns or ‘perks’, then now is definitely the time to reach out to B2B and industry 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 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.
Our short-lead recommendation for this month is April Fool’s Day – hear us out! It’s a left-field choice that may not be an ideal fit for every brand, but April 1st offers a unique opportunity to do a completely unprecedented and creative stunt. In recent years, we’ve seen some stellar examples of businesses embracing their goofy side and generating huge brand awareness; like Heinz and Innocent Drinks collaborating last year for the social media announcement of a nauseating ‘smoup’ product that blended the former’s iconic tomato soup with Innocent’s strawberry and banana smoothie. For consumer-focused brands in particular, there’s still plenty of time to start brainstorming for a clever hoax to hit the headlines.
EXAMPLE SHORT LEAD FEATURES
Grazia – ‘Fashion Charts’ – Product pages: Two pages featuring the 10 top fashion items of the week. With descriptions, prices and stockists. (Leadtime: 2 weeks – 2 months)
Men’s Health – ‘Insight’ – Product Pages: Four-page feature of interesting lifestyle goods. With prices and stockists. (Leadtime: 2 -3 months in advance.)
Sunday Times Magazine – Wine & Food product pages: Columnist reviews different wine / drink product with a weekly theme. Includes individual image of the product, price and retailer. (Leadtime: ASAP. Weekly editorial deadline is Thursday)
Looking ahead to the summer, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee falls on Friday 3rd June and will be marked with a bank holiday: if you run a family attraction or hospitality venue, then this will undoubtedly a key date for your diary. We predict that there will be a good few listicles and guides on the best royalist celebratory events (think street parties!) in regional press, so do ensure you’re fully prepared to pitch. A date that will likely be of more general relevance is Father’s Day (June 19th) which will also provide some gift guide opportunities. If you have a product or service that could be effectively tailored and targeted to father figures, then be sure to get pitching now. March is also the perfect time to start pitching for summer long lead features in fashion, homeware and lifestyle outlets.
EXAMPLE LONG LEAD FEATURES
Country Living– ‘Health and Beauty’–Product Page: A product page centred on different health and beauty products. (Leadtime: 4 months in advance)
Red– ‘If You Only Work One Trend This Month’–Product Page: A fashion product spread that is focused on a specific trend (Leadtime: 5 months in advance)
Cosmopolitan–‘The Look Book’ – Product Page: A multiple page feature centred on a particular theme with accompanying items. (Leadtime: 4 months)
So, that’s March mapped out for you… head on over to @eastvillagepr for more tips, tricks and insights and be sure to share with us how you get on!