Just like that – it’s September! As the dark nights draw in and the weather gets colder (bar that impromptu mini heatwave we had!), business’ ‘golden’ quarter (Q4) is fast approaching and it is a pivotal time to stay on top of any and all PR opportunities. Our newly recruited PR & Communications Trainee, George, has pulled together a round-up of all the trends, events and opportunities to pitch for this month and beyond.
KEY AWARENESS DAYS
18th – First Love Day
20th – Recycling Week
23rd – Fitness Day
27th – World Tourism Day
30th– International Podcast Day
LAST MINUTE PITCHES
One of the most popular trends at the moment is sustainable consumerism; with that in mind, Recycling Week (commencing Monday 20th September) could be the perfect opportunity to showcase your brand’s environmental efforts. Whether it’s transparency with your production materials or how you are working on improving your impact on the environment, it is a great time to shout about what you’re doing to help.
Perhaps research and pinpoint publications that often report on sustainability, as this will undoubtedly provide plenty of inspiration for your own unique angle to pitch. There is also a growing number of smaller independent eco blogs that often post about environmentally friendly products. Don’t rule them out – any press is good press and conscientious consumers are notoriously tight-knit, loyal and vocal.
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: SEPTEMBER
31st October – Halloween
26th -30th November – Black Friday Weekend
24th – 26th December – Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day
31st December – New Year’s Eve
As you can probably guess, our short lead recommendation for September is the festive season! Love it or hate it, it is fast approaching and there is still time to pitch and strategise some amazing coverage for your brand. Whilst many media outlets piece together their annual gift guides for Christmas months far in advance, there will still be some publications looking for last minute product submissions on social media (as always, searching #journorequest on Twitter is your best friend). In addition, seasonal events are a staple of regional press coverage, so if you’re hosting any exciting festivities then ensure that you’re pitching for a feature.
EV’s Top Tip: Christmas in July is really a thing in PR! To ensure you’re prepared, we’d suggest beginning to pitch for Christmas 2022 at the end of June/start of July for long-lead press and August/September for short-lead titles.
Example Short Lead Forward Features:
House Beautiful – ‘Notebook’: The latest trends, buys and time-saving innovations for a different room each issue are showcased. (Leadtime: First week of the month)
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.)
LONG LEAD FOCUSES: SEPTEMBER
1st January – New Years Day
17th January – Blue Monday
14th February – Valentine’s Day
It may seem like the last thing on your mind in September, but our long lead pitch recommendation for this month is to focus on 2022. January, in certain sectors, is often conventionally seen as a bleak period of financial shortcomings; however, by planning ahead with long lead titles, you could start the year off with some effective press coverage to boost your brand. If your business focuses on health, wellness or fitness, then this really is your time to shine.
We can all relate to committing to the same old cliched New Years resolutions, and publications will undoubtedly be establishing pieces centred around personal development for this period. Do you offer a product or service that you could put a ‘new year, new me’ angle on? Make sure that you’re thinking outside of the box, even if your product does not necessarily fit!
Example Long Lead Forward Features:
Country Living – ‘Emporium’: A monthly article including multiple health and beauty products, with an emphasis on natural ingredients. (Leadtime: 3 – 4 months)
Homes & Gardens – Product Pages: A mixed product page featuring gardening products, as well as a ‘3 Of The Best’ section focusing on a specific product, e.g. Bird Feeders. (Leadtime: 3 – 4 months)
Esquire – Product Page (Technology): Several new gadgets are highlighted based on a particular theme, for example, office gadgets. (Leadtime: 4 – 5 months)
Well, that’s a wrap on September… 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.