Hello, Autumn! As the media stirs up panic at the pumps and concerns grow over a ‘winter of discontent’, you wouldn’t be blamed for being a tad concerned about the remaining few months of 2021. However, one thing that the petrol frenzy distinctly highlights is the deep reliance of consumers on the media for breaking news, information and recommendations alike. The latter in particular is particularly relevant to us PRs, as increasing brand awareness and favourability amongst the public are always two key aims for any client campaigns we undertake. To help you to hit the headlines and to stay ahead of the curve, our latest recruit – PR & Communications Trainee, George – has pulled together a round-up of all the trends, events and opportunities to pitch for during October and beyond.
KEY AWARENESS DATES:
1st – 31st – Black History Month
5th October – World Teacher Day
9th October – Beer and Pizza Day
10th October – World Mental Health Day
11th October – Coming Out Day
15th October – World Student Day
20th October – World Chef Day
31st October – Halloween
LAST MINUTE PITCHES
As previously mentioned in past pitching guides, brand vocality has quickly become a growing ‘trend’ in the marketing world. For example, the events of last summer in America and the resulting resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement emphasised that there is still a considerable way to go, in terms of achieving racial equality and inclusion in the U.K. Yes, all businesses should strive to be inclusive, accepting and diverse all year round, but Black History Month during October offers an opportunity to authentically advocate in a genuine way. Whether you’re hosting a community event, launching a product line that champions Black creatives or publishing educational content, sensitivity and thoughtfulness is key when pitching. If conducted effectively, you have the potential to showcase your integral brand values, whilst also making a great difference to a good cause.
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 FOCUSES: OCTOBER
Our short-lead recommendation this month is, yet again, the festive season. There are still a great range of major publications that are accepting last-minute submissions for their Christmas 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. Beauty, wellness and fashion products are particularly popular, but there is a gifting angle for nearly everything these days!
Examples of Short-Lead Forward Features:
Stylist – ‘Beauty Bulletin’, Product page: Single page featuring reviews of a variety of beauty products (Leadtime: 1 month)
Conde Nast Traveller – ‘Around the World with…’, Profile page: Single page interview with a high-profile industry personality about their personal travelling experiences. (Leadtime: 1 month)
Metro –To-do List: A weekly round-up of events and activities in London (Leadtime: Weekly)
LONG-LEAD FOCUSES: OCTOBER
Looking further ahead, our long-read recommendation for October is Valentine’s Day. Whether you endorse the consumerist nature of lover’s day or not, Valentines is still a key date on the business calendar. Market research suggests that, as a nation, the U.K spent over £1 billion on Valentine’s Day 2020, which demonstrates how lucrative an early-doors pitch could be. Press coverage for Valentines is conventionally angled with ‘his’ and ‘her’ related pieces, so if you have products or seasonal lines that could be effectively marketed for either gender – or both alike – then planning ahead and drafting your pitch now is essential.
Examples of Long-Lead Forward Features:
Esquire – ‘Tech’, Product pages: Two-page feature of new gadgets highlighted on a particular theme (Leadtime: 3-5 months in advance)
Home & Gardens – ‘H&G Shopping’, Product pages: Multiple page feature of interior homeware products (Leadtime: 3 months in advance)
Cosmopolitan – ‘Beauty Buzz’, Product Pages: Cosmopolitan’s pick of the best new beauty products. With prices and stockists. (Leadtime: 3 – 4 months)
Well, that’s a wrap on October… 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.