Should I Pay Attention to Editorial Calendars in 2020?
I got ahead of myself the other week and spent hours crafting what I thought was an EPIC 2020 Editorial Calendar. I hopped on Instagram and created a quick poll asking my audience who would be interested in a free copy. (Realistically I should have reversed this order.) Within an hour I got DM’d a question…
What is an editorial calendar?
This prompted me to wonder if this individual was alone or represented the masses. So to another pull I turned asking, “Do you know what an editorial calendar is and how it can help your business?”
A staggering 70% said NO. So, here I am, attempting to educate my fellow entrepreneurs on both the what but also the importance of using an editorial calendar in your business.
So let’s dive in, shall we?
What is an editorial calendar?
According to Wikipedia, “An editorial calendar is used by bloggers, publishers, businesses, and groups to control publication of content across different media…”
On the publishing side, outlets tend to make this data publicly available to both attract advertisers and control publication dates to ensure regular and planned content. Public relations professionals and PR-savvy entrepreneurs utilize editorial calendars to strategically pitch stories for placement. To talk through the strategy behind informed pitching, let’s look at an example of an editorial calendar first hand.
Below is Forbes Magazine’s 2020 Print Editorial Calendar. (For larger publications that operate both online and in print, there are typically two different calendars.)
Let’s look at June. In June we can see that Forbes will be publishing an issue on “Self-made Women”. We can also see that advertising for this issue closes on May 4th, and the print edition will hit the stands on June 9th.
So, if you’re a female entrepreneur or have a compelling story that you think would ultimately complement this issue, then these dates should be on YOUR editorial calendar. Now, standard lead-time for the majority of print editions is 3-months, some can extend to 6-months for larger issues. This means you should begin pitching relevant angles 3-months BEFORE the publication date, at the very least. It’s also worth noting that online lead-times are typically shorter, and can better service breaking news. (P.S. on occasion you may find you are too early; if so, just take note. It’s better than being late and missing an opportunity to impact headlines.)
Alright, now that you know what an editorial calendar is, here is your takeaway action item.
Make your OWN editorial calendar.
1. Hop online, and gather/ download the editorial calendars of all your target publications. (Typically found in the advertising department if not labeled in the outlet footer.)
2. Take note of relevant and key dates.
3. Calculate when you should begin pitching based on the listed publication dates.
4. Transfer these key notes and dates onto your very own editorial calendar.
Good news! I am offering a completely free downloadable 2020 Editorial Calendar ready for use (remember how I mentioned that in my intro?) My hope is that now you understand both why this is worth your attention and the true value it holds.
Fill out the form below to receive THEPRBAR’s 2020 Editorial Calendar. Once downloaded, you will notice that I have listed extra exclusive content throughout that will further help give you a competitive and strategic edge throughout your pitching journey in 2020.