I recently attended a media training session hosted by MassMedia, a successful full service advertising, PR and design agency here in Nevada. While I have always known the importance of returning calls to reports, I had never known the specific time frames in which to better plan out my days and releases.
Publications that come out “fresh off the presses” every morning are ran during the night and edited the afternoon before. This leaves a typical cut off for any writer or news reporter with a 2pm deadline everyday. A minute later and his other story is either already on the desk of his editor, is being bumped to the next day or discarded because he didn’t get a hold of anyone to confirm your info. So it’s best to get back to these people first thing in the morning when possible.
The next type of publication is the weekly one, who usually releases their editions on Mondays, Wednesday or Fridays. In either case their deadline is usually the Thursday before release. Knowing if a reporter is from a weekly edition can help to give you a lot more time in formulating a response, unless of course they are calling you on a Thursday afternoon.
TV is daily and throughout the day it seems to take on a life of its own and at any given moment one story can bump another. This is also similar to how radio works, so these two outlets will pretty much be open to any pitch 24/7.
So what does this all mean to you? As a marketing person who may not take interviews by reporters, but who needs to direct them to the top brokers in your office its imperative that you stress and effectively communicate these times to your sales staff when notifying them of a potential story in their field.
If nothing else, it provides you with a timeline to best pitch your press releases and increase the likelihood of a response by a reporter contacting you or the office to follow up for additional information. So what is this timeline?
The timeline is simply this: Mondays to Thursday, between 9am and 12 noon (based on time zone of publication) or 2pm to 4pm. This means I can send out a press release to my contacts at 9am Pacific Time and I am able to hit both my west coast people and the east coast. It goes without saying a solid press release or story pitch to a reporter during this time has the most likely chance to be looked at and one of the best ways to have your office start to get noticed.
Overall I was pretty impressed with their presentation, my brief commentary here touches on so little of the four hour presentation, but ultimately I hope some of you out there will find this tidbit useful as I did.
– Michael G. Hurston