Communications

How to use a News Diary effectively

4 Minute Read
By Anna Henderson

Here at MediaHQ.com, our press release distribution platform contains a News Diary feature that is available to our customers. The News Diary is a calendar that is packed full of significant events and occasions, as well as some weird and wonderful days that are compiled by our in-house research team.

 

The calendar view can be broken down by day, month and year and provides story hooks to spark inspiration for all your pitching needs. Whether it’s sending a full release on the topic, or just adding your voice to the mix, our research team provides an introductory paragraph to kick off some ideas.

As well as the story hooks, any press release drafted or scheduled on the MediaHQ system also appears on this calendar. This allows you and your colleagues to see when the next release is going out from your organisation, acting as an editorial calendar for your whole team.

 

News Diary

So now that you know what the feature is, how can it help you?

Here are three ways the News Diary can significantly improve your PR workings:

 

1. Getting Organised

In PR, preparation and organisation are essential. If you have your PR strategy and release schedule mapped out in front of you, the task of creating unique releases on a weekly basis already feels less daunting. It is also easier to come to grips with your workload when you see it laid out in front of you in a diary format, rather than a never-ending list on a spreadsheet.

Getting organised guarantees that you never miss your opportunity to send out a release. Whether you work for a company that makes confectionery or computers, there are days in the year when you can’t afford to not send out a release. Think of it, you work for a smoothie company that prides itself on pushing the message of healthy eating. World Health Day comes along and you have nothing ready and no release. You’re missing your shot to amplify your company’s message there and then. A news diary doesn’t just ensure you know what day Christmas is this year. It also makes sure you don’t miss your chance to drop a memorable release.

 

2. Giving Your Story Context

When sending out a release, it is important to give journalists an easy way to work it into a story. If your press release has context within the news cycle already, you are much more likely to gain coverage. Having context gives your releases a competitive edge.

Take our earlier example of the smoothie company and World Health Day. The nature of the day gives their story built-in context. A journalist working on a piece around health and wellness for the day that is in it can easily pull some quotes from the smoothie company’s release and insert them into the story. Making it easy for a journalist to write about your release is hugely beneficial and a news diary can help you to achieve this on a regular basis.

It is also worth having knowledge of other major dates that might negatively affect the coverage of your release. If a topic like health and wellness is trending because of World Health Day, it may not be the best time for that new burger restaurant pitch.

 

3. Generating ideas

We all know one person who, when faced with any challenge, can pull ideas out of thin air. They breeze through life on a cloud of unending creativity while the rest of us mortals scribble furiously in notebooks and stare blankly at our computers.

Coming up with attention-grabbing story hooks, particularly at the rate demanded by the current landscape of the PR industry, is not easy. A news diary can help you out of your story rut by reminding you of fun celebration days, upcoming events, or holidays. This is a particularly valuable resource during the “silly season” in the summer when the news cycle is quiet.

The MediaHQ News Diary is filled with hundreds of story hooks for releases, from International Beer and Pizza Day to World Friendship Day so you will never be stuck for a story hook again. You can add your own hooks and even set news alerts so you won’t miss out on an upcoming event.

 

Looking to send your own Press Releases? More than just a Press Release Distribution tool. MediaHQ helps you find journalists, build media lists, distribute press releases and analyse results.

 

 

Jack is a media innovator with over 20 years of experience at the most senior level in the Irish communications industry. He has worked in marketing, journalism, and media relations. He is a former political spokesperson and government advisor, as well as an award-winning corporate PR practitioner.

 

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