We're at the point in the year when we're finalizing our client's 2011 social media marketing PR plans. Knowing when an outlet plans to cover stories in their market makes it easy to block out possible placements. And, contacting reporters in advance means you'll have less competition for publication. So, how do you know who's writing about when?
Thanks to Cision, you have now access to something that many companies pay PR firms to search for: a comprehensive, and free, editorial calendar.
Cision's Free EdCals Features
* Nearly half a million worldwide editorial calendar opportunities
* Up-to-date research provided by Cision's team
* Simple search lets you set date limits and enter subjects
* Download one record or an entire list to Excel or Outlook's Calendar
* Works for Windows, Mac and mobile web users
"EdCals eliminates needless hours searching for the right opportunities and -- because it reveals what the contact actually needs -- avoids wasting the journalist's time with an off-target pitch," said Vanessa Bugasch, Cision's Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Product Marketing."
Source: Cision press release
What you need to know about Cision's EdCals
After three searches, you will be asked to register. To search, enter a begin and end date, a topic or the name of a media outlet. Results include publication name, link, submission date, publication date, and topic details, where applicable. Here's an example of you can use the information that comes back.
1. First search by date, topic or publication and then export the information to an excel or calendar file.
Here's what a record for a small business search looks like:
Pacific Coast Business Times
Submission Deadline: December 09, 2010
Issue Date: December 23, 2010
Outlet: Pacific Coast Business Times (Magazine)
Tags: Small Business
2. To take your search a step further, look up the site.
This one is http://www.pacbiztimes.com/
3. Then, search the Pacific Coast Business Times site for Small Business.
Here's the link for that, http://pacbiztimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=19&Itemid=96
4. Sign up for the publication's email newsletter to follow their stories and get to know their writers.
5. Check out the special section nominations and select a category or two for your business to enter.
6. Click on the advertising tab to get more insights about editorial. A media kit will let you know how the publication plans to target companies.
7. Copy and store the outlet's contact information in your database with columns for contact date, notes and links to your stories online.
8. Search the outlet's site for your industry and competition to see who's getting coverage.
Make notes on who, what, when, where and why - using the five foundation points journalists use.
9. Make a list of publications to contact, do your research and then phone in, tweet or post an introduction to the editor.
Make it quick: who you are, what you do and why people need to know about what you do.
Don't like to make phone calls? Test out twitter and Facebook with a private message or share your pitch with everyone. Who knows who will pick it up? There's no need to go through a long and thought-out press release process, especially if you're proposing placement months in advance.
Where are you in your 2011 PR planning?
2011 calendar Image credit/disclosure: Shutterstock.com provides images to Wired PR Works in exchange for credit, which we are happy to give. Thanks to Heidi Sullivan, Cision's vice president of media research and a former Social Media Club Chicago board member colleague for letting me know about Cision's editorial calendar service.