PR Tips – The Importance of Lead Times

If you’re going to get the most out of social media then you need a clear strategy.

Are you sending out your press release at the right time? Are you too early? Or worse still, too late?

Journalists plan in advance –sometimes as much as six months in advance. It’s not unusual to see journalists looking for Christmas stories in June.

It’s important that you understand the lead times of the media you are targeting. If you are too late you will have missed the boat.

For example; sending a ‘summer bikini diet feature’ in May to a magazine with a four month lead time is a waste of your time (and theirs).

If you’re unsure about a lead time – call the media outlet and ask them. They will be happy to tell you as it reduces the number of useless press release they receive!

As a rough guide for feature (not news) articles work on the following basis:

1) Monthly magazines work about three months in advance
2) Weeklies work about a month in advance
3) Dailies work about a week in advance

The exception to this is strong news stories – these, of course, can’t usually be predicted and journalists will react to these rather than have them as part of their forward planning.

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About Chantal Cooke;
Chantal is an award winning journalist and broadcaster. She has been using social media to promote her work since 1996 and has been helping clients harness its power for the last 3 years. Chantal combines her journalistic skills – to create compelling and engaging content – with her knowledge of social media platforms. Together this delivers an effective social media strategy that works for both the client and the audience. Chantal believes that using social media is not about creating noise, it’s about creating content and then delivering that content to a targeted audience in a format they wish to engage with. See:


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