In business, while it might not always be possible to wait for the perfect conditions to take action, a sound public relations strategy can help to let you know in advance when those conditions are going to arise, or even better, help you create your own perfect timing.
Public relations strategies ideally look out over the upcoming year, and involve seeking out opportunities to tell your story long before deadlines rule you out. Most medium-sized and top tier print and online publications have editorial calendars. Despite the name, these schedules of upcoming content themes are really more of an advertising tool than an editorial one (and why you’re most likely to find them included in media kits). For example, a magazine might have a wedding issue in June, for which the sales department will be selling special ads based on wedding related stories that the editors have been ordered to provide. If you know in January that the wedding issue is in June (and the deadline is in April), you can start thinking of some creative marriage angle for your product or service now.
While TV morning shows and drive-time radio programs might not have the same type of calendar, you can rest assured that they, too, are on the look-out for themes to wrap their content around. This is even the case if you’re the one pitching both the theme and story. For instance, Saturday, Nov. 12, is National Pizza with Everything (Except Anchovies) Day. (We’re not kidding—go ahead and look it up.) If you’re the owner of a pizzeria, it’s perfect timing to take a stab at creating the world’s biggest pizza, or cooking up a bunch of pies and taking them to a homeless shelter, and letting the TV and radio stations know about your plans in late August.
Yet another type of event that is scheduled well in advance, and of which you can take advantage, are trade shows, conferences and conventions. Every industry and niche has its own event these days, and you should know when the ones pertaining to your company are occurring. Ideally, you’ll have the budget and the time to attend, but even better than being an attendee or even a vendor is being a speaker. The contact information for the staff in charge of speakers can usually be found on the show’s website. If it’s not there, use the general contact information to find out with whom to connect.
Not everyone can make it to their industry’s trade show, and certainly not everyone can be accepted as a speaker. But, everyone can time their news to be announced around the same time as the conference—which also happens to be when your industry’s media will be on high alert. Whether it’s best to have your news break right before the show or during the middle of it will vary from event to event, and depend on exactly what your story is, but a public relations professional will be able to give you the guidance and direction you need.