For this week’s installment of Four on Friday, we outline some of the reasons we love picking up the phone and calling reporters during the month of August.
Sure, it may seem counter-intuitive to pitch a story in August, when everyone heads to the shore, shedding their button-up shirts and creased pants for flip-flops and bikini tops. But there are good reasons to believe the hottest month of the year is also a good time to pitch a story. Here are four of them:
1—August is a slow news time. This means reporters are more likely to actually read and carefully consider your pitch. If you’ve had trouble breaking through to a publication, re-send your previously-overlooked pitch in August—it might get noticed this time. While many reporters may be on vacation, the ones tending the shop are probably less harried and distracted than usual.
2—Your office is half empty and quiet. A quiet environment is ideal to do the in-depth research needed to identify the most appropriate publications and writers for your pitch, and draft a very tailored, attention-grabbing message. Too often pitches have a generic, form-letter feel, which reporters quickly dismiss. It takes time to personalize a pitch, but the effort stands out.
3—An August pitch is likely to result in a fall placement. Some may argue against pitching in August when many consumers are taking a break from the news. But there’s often a significant lag time between when a story is accepted and when it’s published (unless, of course, the story is very time sensitive). That means an August pitch will probably not yield a placement until late September or later, when school’s back in session and consumers are tuning in.
4—Winning a placement will ease your vacation envy. Who cares if all your friends are having a great time at your favorite resort. You’ve been productive at work! Okay, maybe you’re still be a little envious. But scoring a placement can only help in vanquishing the summer doldrums.
August may not be the time to announce front-page news—there are better times for that. But for stories that require a little more time and attention to tell, the lazy late days of summer can be surprisingly fruitful.