Expert Guide to PR Planning for 2021
If you are dreaming of being featured in trade press publications, or even consumer titles such as The Times, Elle Decor, Livingetc, Cosmopolitan, Period Living, Ideal Home, Good Homes, Grand Designs, HomeStyle, Your Home, Style at Home, Homes & Gardens, Real Homes, Modern Gardens… you need to be planning your PR months in advance.
PR experts, Press Loft’s Celine Dibert, Marketing Manager, and Nicky Snell, Founder, give their guide to planning your PR for 2021 to get your brand as much coverage as possible.
What is a PR Calendar and why do you need one?
Timing is critical for a successful PR strategy, so it’s important to have a calendar to stay organised, for example if you are pitching for Christmas you need to do so in June and July.
Having a calendar will help you to keep track of lead times – Press Loft offer a free calendar download to help you hit all of those key dates, including long leads and short leads.
Long and Short Leads
Long lead: Print magazines (consumer titles) generally work 2-4 months ahead e.g. Good Housekeeping, Elle Decoration, Red.
Short lead: Weekly and daily newspapers, news websites, blogs, and social influencers, work 2 months to a week ahead of time.
To maximise your chances of getting coverage, send your press releases and images to long leads 2-4 months ahead, and to short leads 2-8 weeks ahead.
What to do next?
Now you have your calendar, you need to prepare your content.
You need high resolution images to get press coverage, and can upload them to a platform like Press Loft so journalists can easily find them.
Cut out images are popular for gift guides, while lifestyle images are more suitable for trend and feature pieces, so give some thought to where you want your images to be featured.
Write a press release to go with your images, and let journalists know what’s new and exciting with your brand.
Think about influencer marketing as well – you could send a collaboration alert to work with influencers and bloggers around key dates in your PR calendar.
Check out the website www.awarenessdays.com to stay up-to-date with what’s coming up, and remember to target those dates that are relevant to your brand with long and short lead times in mind.
Make sure to be authentic, for example, if you want to support a charity day, support them year-round so as to generate positive sentiment with journalists.
COVID will continue to be a key theme for 2021, so be ready with different ideas depending on how the situation progresses. Some key themes could include:
Travel allowed: holiday accessories, clothing festivals, freedom.
Travel not allowed: staycation, gardens, local vacation, home hotel, home spa, luxury holiday at home, wellness at home – topics around making your home a destination.
Other COVID topics: made in the UK, supporting local, supporting key workers.
Making PR simple
There are several steps involved with traditional PR: Find relevant publication + Find journalist + Search email address + Write Press release + Pitch + Find coverage
With Press Loft you upload your content (images and press releases) to be discovered by journalists, bloggers and influencers and get coverage.
Download your free PR calendar and Sign up for a free trial at pages.pressloft.com/topdrawer2021
Article adapted from a video originally created for our sister show, Top Drawer On Demand.
Press Loft www.pressloft.com is a PR platform specialising in the home, gift and lifestyle sectors that helps thousands of brands to get their products into the press. Their PR tools allow companies to easily secure press coverage and quality backlinks for SEO by connecting with their network of 20,000+ journalists, bloggers and influencers.
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