Using Editorial Calendars to Plan for Media Opportunities
In previous posts, we’ve established that earning media coverage can be a great way to share your coaching passion and insights, as well as demonstrate your expertise to new potential clients and build your coaching business. We’ve also given you the tools to start planning for your new year of media opportunities.
If you’re already doing this, great job! In this post, we’re going to explore an invaluable tool to support your efforts—a tool that can help you know, well ahead of time, what topics reporters want to cover, and offer your expertise at the right time to be included in their stories.
Sounds like magic? Nope. This is what editorial calendars can do for you. Here’s everything you need to know to put this power to work.
What is an editorial calendar?
As a consumer of media, it may seem that reporters create content constantly and effortlessly. But this content is often built on the backbone of careful annual planning. An editorial calendar provides a framework for editors and reporters to plan ahead and keep content relevant, cohesive and focused.
An editorial calendar is built of themes or story topics, and then schedules them out over the year. A typical editorial calendar will show when the deadline is to submit for a feature is, as well as the release date of the publication. Publications tend to post their editorial calendar toward the turn of the year, sometime with most becoming available between October and December. This makes November to January the perfect time to collect them from your target media and make your plans.
What can editorial calendars do for coaches?
Editorial calendars allow you to know well ahead of time what topics and stories reporters are going to be looking for. When you’re reaching out to a reporter to pitch a story idea, this gives you a major advantage, allowing you to skip the part where you have to convince the reporter a topic is worth covering, and get right to demonstrating the value you can offer as an expert.
How can coaches find editorial calendars?
The first step is to do your research. Know which media outlets are relevant to your target audience, in both your focus area and region.
Once you have this list of media outlets, visit their websites. Most of the time, an editorial calendar is included with advertising information. Sometimes it is included within a media kit. It also may be under an “about” section. If all else fails, run a search for it. Sometimes this can be a handy way to find otherwise buried information. If you still can’t find one after trying all these steps, it’s probably time to move on: Not every publication will have an editorial calendar.
Once you’ve found them, download each editorial calendar and read them carefully. Do any of the topics stand out to you as relevant to your coaching expertise? How can you find ways to add value? The best way to track these opportunities over the year is to create your own list of the most relevant opportunities, organized by when you should reach out to the editors, along with the publication and editor’s information, so it’s all together when it’s time to reach out.
How should coaches use editorial calendars?
Editorial calendars can help you find timely, relevant opportunities you wouldn’t know about otherwise.
For example, a lifestyle magazine may seek stories of remarkable women in the community to tie in with International Women’s Day in March. A Business Coach might be able to use their coaching experience working with women leaders to offer insights and case studies that could enhance the reporter’s story.
Start your planning
Now that you understand what editorial calendars are and how to find them, it’s time for action. As we move into 2020, this is the perfect time to start your editorial calendar search and get those pitches moving.