What’s the Best Time to Pitch Stories to the Media?

By November 6, 2018Blog

After crafting the perfect pitch and determining the right journalists with whom to share your client’s exciting news, you send the pitch – but get no response. You follow up a couple of times, but still don’t hear anything.

Then you realized you pitched that story late Friday afternoon – of course you didn’t hear back from the reporter!

To prevent yourself from a blooper like this, check out these tips to boost your media outreach efforts.

Pitch Mornings and Tuesdays

Before pitching any client news or a story idea to a journalist, it’s critical for a public relations professional to be mindful of when they send that email – because the time you send a pitch can sometimes be the deciding factor between scoring an opportunity and coming up short.

According to Business Wire’s Media Blueprint 2016 report, 34 percent of journalists said Tuesday is the best day to receive a pitch, and 61 percent said mornings are the best time to receive them. Monday came in second place at 29 percent, and Wednesday in third at 15 percent. The findings on the rest of the days of the week hardly bear mentioning, so best to stay away from them.

Also, be mindful of the time zone you and the journalist are located. If you are in San Francisco and the journalist is in New York City, make sure to time your pitch accordingly.

Stay Ahead with Editorial Calendars  

One way to get ahead of the pitching game is to make a note of editorial calendars. An editorial calendar (or ed cal, to those in the know) are yearly calendars publications issue to indicate what topics they will be covering each month or quarter, and they let you plan ahead and lock in media placements for your clients early in the year.

Identify your client’s key industry publications and check to see if they have an editorial calendar available. You can usually find an ed cal on the publication’s website under their media kit and/or in the advertising section. Cision is a great tool for finding editorial calendars as well.

Once you track down some editorial calendars, create a document like an Excel spreadsheet and make note of topics and submission due dates for each publication. Then … pitch away!

Be Mindful of Holidays and Major Industry Events

This one might sound obvious, but pitching to journalists on major holidays is a common mistake. We can forget that people often don’t check email on holidays, especially if we have important news to share with the media (and especially if we’re stuck in the office ourselves).

Steer away from pitching on the most common holidays (which may be different in different parts of the world); you’re not going to hear anything back if they’ve unplugged to spend time with friends and family.

Another thing to keep in mind: Keep track of the major events in the industries your journalists cover, and don’t pitch people while the events are happening. Journalists will be busy covering these events and won’t be paying much attention to their emails.

As PR professionals, pitching news and story ideas to the media is the foundation of our job.  Make sure to fully maximize your pitching efforts by identifying the proper times/days, ed cal opportunities, holidays and industry events. Your future self will thank you.

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