This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!

Lead time for Publicity campaigns, and social messaging

The first tip I have is on lead time. It’s occurred to me recently that many people do not know the amount of lead time that media need to receive a pitch before publishing or airing a story or interview. Also, the amount of lead time that a Publicist needs is also important. If you aren’t currently working with a PR person or company, you wouldn’t approach someone about their services at the same time you need to pitch media. You need at least another week (ideally 2-4 weeks) so that you can determine the best person or company to work with, negotiate and sign contracts, discuss the news angles and campaigns, and pay for their services.

Here’s the general rule (but there are always exceptions):

Magazines – 3-6 months (Yup, they’re well into their 2016 issues now)
Newsprint – 1-2 weeks
Online – 1 day to 4 weeks
Broadcast (Radio and TV) – 4-6 weeks

At the end of August we were approached by a foreign filmmaker who needed Publicity for his film at the upcoming Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) at the end of September. I realized that there was less than a month between the time we’d get a contract signed and the time his film aired, which would lead to virtually no broadcast opportunities, in addition to a fight for coverage with the other 300+ films at the festival.

My second tip is about social spam. According to CASL, you aren’t allowed to send sales-related messages through social media messaging (ie. Direct Message on Twitter, Messages on Facebook, etc). Yet I received one last month inviting me to an event, from someone I wouldn’t consider a friend nor haven’t met in person, but who I remember connecting with on Facebook.

After politely asking the person not to send me any more messages like that, the person sent a message back to me to the effect of “your loss”. Not cool.

If you own a business, remember that you can be fined for sending direct messages on social media, even if you have connected with the person. When we follow up with media on Twitter, it’s always as a direct tweet using the @ symbol, unless they DM us to have a conversation afterward.

Are there any other PR or social etiquette rules that you find aren’t being followed?

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