Dog days of summer

One of the questions I often get is when is the best time to pitch a story to the media. The answer – it depends. It depends on what the story is, what else is happening in the world or your industry, which media you are pitching it to, which reporter you are pitching to and whether or not your story is interesting. There are many factors that go into making a successful media pitch.

But having worked as a newspaper editor, I can tell you that July and August tend to be slower news months. Government often isn’t sitting, schools are out and many people are away on vacation. This means many of the news generators are taking a break – which can provide you with less competition on your pitch. On the flip side it also means that less people are tuned into the news.

This is the time to look at what is happening in your world during the summer months that is worth pitching to the media. It doesn’t have to be a full scale news conference, but can be simple as a photo opportunity. Are you sponsoring a science camp for kids? Do you have a new product or service that people will be using during the summer months? How about a profile on an interesting part of your business?

Working as a media manager, I have had television reporters appear at my desk mid-day on a Friday saying they have nothing for the evening news, asking if I have a story. Being in media relations I made sure I had some ‘quiet day’ stories ready to pitch. While I realize not everyone will have a tv crew sitting at their doorstep, during the quiet days of summer reporters still need to file stories. So why not have it be one of yours?

Before you get ready to escape for your vacation, take a minute to think of interesting stories you can pitch to the media during the summer months. Then take some time researching the appropriate media, fine tuning your story and picking the best time for your pitch.Then you can enjoy your time at the cottage.