Here at MediaHQ.com, our press release distribution platform contains a News Diary feature 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 provide 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 provide 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. It allows you and your colleagues see when the next release is going out from your organisation acting as an editorial calendar for your whole team.
So now that you know what the feature is, how can it help you?
Here are three reasons why the News Diary should be an essential part of your PR workings:
1. Get 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 you never miss your opportunity to send out a release. Whether you work for a company who make confectionery or computers, there are days in the year where 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. Give 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 then 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 achieve this on a regular basis.
It is also worth having knowledge of other major dates that might negatively affect 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. Generate 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.
My 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.