One of the most useful tools to boost your PR is a publicity calendar. It’s very similar to a marketing calendar. However, if you don’t use a marketing calendar, at the very least, you can use a publicity calendar to help you manage your PR efforts.
A publicity calendar helps you to keep track of what’s going on in your business, so you don’t forget to let people know about it.
The Importance of a Publicity Calendar
Remember, your goal is to become as visible as possible to as many of the right people as possible.
The way to achieve that is by being seen and heard. Unless you start noting down what things to let people know about, you’ll forget.
You’ll forget that it’s something you need to do, something you need to tell others about.
Besides, when you begin connecting with media, you’ve got to remember that they’re busy, they’ve got deadlines, and they need lead time or advance notice to work you into their own editorial calendars.
For example, a magazine publishes three to four months in advance–sometimes even six months. Oprah’s O Magazine, for instance, is working on the Christmas issue in July.
I know it’s hard to think of Christmas when it’s the middle of summer, but I can guarantee you that in July and August, her magazine staff is already working on, if not finishing, the Christmas issue.
So you want to look at media deadlines and work it out to make sure you don’t miss out on things.
Of course, not everybody has deadlines like that. Bloggers, for one, are often more flexible than traditional media. Sometimes they have room to move things around and fit you in the next week–IF you’re relevant and timely enough.
Why take the chance? Get the word out there as early as you can.
How To Make A Publicity Calendar
What goes in a publicity calendar? Any new products or service announcements, major partnerships you have, award recognition coming your way, events you’re having, and milestones in your business.
To make it easy for you, below is a sample publicity calendar. Open the file and continue reading below, where I walk you through it.
This calendar shows projects and publicity efforts planned from July to September. As you can see, it keeps you organized with dates of when to announce each event, what it’s about, how to promote it and other details. It can be simple, or you can add more detail as necessary to keep you on track.
Mostly, the vehicles I use for publicity are press releases, blog posts, my e-newsletter, and social networking.
The publicity calendar also has the contact details of people I need to coordinate with, what needs to get done, who’s responsible, and what the deadlines are.
You can see how having such a calendar will make it easy for you to stay on top of your PR efforts. Feel free to use my calendar as a template for your own, and modify it to suit your needs.
Got a question or tips about publicity calendars? Shoot me a comment below.
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies.
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