Lead Times

RoxStars

Phew, it’s over. No more Christmas turkey stories, no more six essential Christmas tipples, no more suggestions for how to ring the changes this holiday season.

The Veganuary emails will be tailing off by now as well, so hopefully we can avoid those calendar-based blanket emails for while. Happy days.

Except what’s this? Would I like some lamb recipes for Easter weekend? Would I consider a feature about the most ethical Easter egg? And it won’t stop there. I just know that as I write this, someone somewhere is preparing to fire off the first barbecue pitch for summer. In January.

I don’t blame you. I don’t suppose you really want to think about summer now either, and I do understand that different media have different lead times. As I write this, some poor soul on a glossy monthly is probably already struggling to find “the ten best hacks to guarantee a fun-soaked summer” and is looking to press releases for inspiration. But some of us work only a week or two in advance, and I think PRs would do well to recognise that.

I say that not out of irritation – as I’ve said before, deleting irrelevant press releases isn’t much of a hardship – but if you do your emailing and follow-up chasing a full five months before I need the information, it’s just not going to get you anywhere. When a journalist says “thanks for sending the information. I’ll put it on file for when I need it” they are lying. It will be forgotten by the end of the day.

So instead of using one distribution list for all your releases, divide it into long-lead and short-lead publications, and you are more likely to hit the mark.