Why I can’t get you into Entrepreneur or Inc. magazine next month.
I’ve gotten this request a number of times from prospects, “Can you get me featured in Entrepreneur magazine next month?”
No, I say without hesitation.
Not because I doubt my pitching skills but because there is something called lead times.
“Why not? I’ll pay whatever you charge,” persists the prospect.
Let me stop you right there. The reason I didn’t even hesitate to say no is that TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, and some blogs and websites have lead times that govern their operations. These timelines may vary for different types of media outlets, but if you want to get media coverage or pitch a story or article, it’s important to understand their lead times.
A Lead time in publishing describes the amount of time that a journalist has between receiving a writing assignment and submitting the completed piece. Depending on the publication, lead times can be anything from a couple of hours to many months. [source: Wikipedia]
Print publications like Entrepreneur or Inc. plan their issues four to six months in advance. This is one of the reasons that PR firms require 6 month minimum retainers. Publicity can take time and planning to build a smart and strategic campaign; one that gets you media coverage.
As to my prospects who want to get featured next month. You are just too late. But don’t despair with a little planning you can pitch the media with enough lead time to be quoted or appear on air, in print or online.
Part of the key to successfully pitching publications on a story, a product launch or an event is to work backwards from your event date.
This way, if you were launching a product on February 1 of next year, to get mentioned or featured in a print magazine such as Entrepreneur, you would have
to start pitching 4 to 6 months before – in August to be safe.
I find planning backwards can be can be very helpful planning events and other promotional initiatives that have a firm date or event that I am building towards.
Here are some media lead times:
Monthly Consumer Magazine – Lead Time is four to six months
Newspaper sections vary [so best to check with the publication]
Daily Newspapers – Lead Time is one to three weeks
TV Morning Shows [National] – Lead Time is two weeks to two months
When in doubt you can look at a publication’s media kit to see when the advertising closes for a particular issues; this will clue you in to their lead times. You can always reach out to the publication to ask them exactly what their lead time is.
To your publicity success,