I’m sure we can all agree that this is the time of year when people are physically in their offices, while their minds are off planning the holidays. And although planning your holidays is appropriate right now, if you’re not also planning your PR strategy for first quarter of 2011, you’re throwing away great opportunities.
You see, the media doesn’t take the holidays off. Radio and TV shows are still airing and there will still be a newspaper at your door on Christmas morning. The way the media does their work and still finds time to take off to celebrate is by preparing their coverage prior to the holidays. With talk radio for instance, we know that December is when many hosts prerecord interviews so they can run fresh shows in December without having to be in-studio. And at the same time, their producers are scheduling interviews now for January so they can hit the ground running when they’re back at work in the New Year.
Another important thing to remember is that there is a finite amount of airtime and column inches that the media needs to fill. But, who gets that coveted space and time is really a matter of the early bird attracting the worm with the right angle, the right credentials, and the right advice for the audience.
You don’t need a crystal ball to figure out a general sense of what the media will be covering or angles to pitch that will land you some quality interviews. Let’s face it, now is the time when everyone is focused on New Year’s resolutions – things they can do a little better in 2011. Be it weight loss, health, fitness, finances, relationships, careers, and business – just about any issue that comes up in our daily lives is a subject of all New Year’s resolutions. When it comes right down to it, any topic that revolves around providing tips and expertise for either consumers or businesses can fit into this gigantic umbrella topic. If you can offer wisdom on any of those kinds of topics, now is the time. If you wait until the New Year to execute your PR campaign, you stand the chance of being turned down by the media, for no other reason than they already have quotes for their story or a guest scheduled who is an expert on your very same topic.
At the end of the day – or in this case, at the end of the year – if you understand the media’s needs and how you can contribute to them, then you can be one of the notable experts being interviewed on the air or quoted in the news after the ball drops in Times Square. There’s just no better kick-off for your 2011 PR campaign than being the spotlighted expert that consumers are listening to or reading about.
Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children.