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How to plan your publicity for 2021

Dec 31, 2020 | Get in the Press, Podcasts

Would you love to put your pet business in the media spotlight for 2021?

If you’re here, I think the answer might be yes.

And it is completely achievable for you to win fantastic media coverage as long as you have a plan.

In this podcast, I’m going to share how to put one together to increase your chance of featuring in the media in 2021.

You can listen to this episode on the player link below or carry on reading as a blog post.


Why do I need to plan my publicity?

If you’re not usually a planner, I hear you. Nor was I.

But when it comes to the media, often they work months ahead. So if you’d like to feature in a publication in June, you need to be thinking about what you’re going to do in March.

If you plan, you’ll find more ideas and more opportunities. But if you leave it to the last minute, then chances are you miss out.

How do I even start with making a plan for my publicity?

Take a look across the whole year and think about what happens each month and whether there is something you can create a media opportunity from.

For example, in November, we have Bonfire Night. It’s the same date every year and animals get frightened.

If you’re an animal behaviourist, you could pitch an expert comment piece in September on how it’s best to start preparing your pet a month ahead.

That’s a really good story idea. But there’s no good pitching it on November 4th, because they will already have covered the topic.

Maybe you have an event like an Open Day taking place at your daycare, your cat hotel or your dog field.

It’s important to give people enough time to put it in their diary so they can come along. Ideally you’d want the article or piece to run the week before.

So ahead of the day, have your press release ready and your pitch and a list of people you want to contact about it.

What if I don’t have anything happening that I might use for publicity?

If you make a plan, you can make things happen.

One of the ways you can make your pet business stand out is by applying for and winning awards.

Often, the organisations who create the awards will send out press releases for you, but even if they don’t it’s easy to write one yourself.

A story about a local business doing well and having their hard work recognised by an award is perfect for a business page.

You use the award to create your own hype, wow your clients and ensure you stand out above the competition.

Is there anything else I can use to create angles?

Yes – there are awareness days in the diary you can use to come up with pitch ideas.

This is what I do as a journalist, and when I work with my clients I encourage them to do the same, to think like a journalist.

There are loads of pet themed awareness days, weeks and months you can use to promote your business.

You can use human ones for angles, such as Arthritis Awareness Month in September – you could use this to focus on Canine Arthritis.

For more on this, check out this post and podcast with Hannah Capon from Canine Arthritis Management. 

They include Pet Anxiety Month in March, and National Dog Photography Day on July 26th.

You can read more about the day and an interview with founder Kerry Jordan here.

It doesn’t have to be your own day, you can still use it as a publicity opportunity as Karen Boyce from Beastly Thoughts did here.

You can create your own awareness day too which will lead to so many opportunities for publicity, and you can learn more about that in this podcast.

Finally, if you’d like a resource to find out when these days are taking place, check out the Janet Murray Media Diary and Planner.

The cost is £39 plus postage and you  can order one here Janet Murray’s 2021 Media Diary*

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I have the beginnings of a publicity plan, what do I do next?

By now you should have some ideas of what you’re going to focus on for your publicity.

The next step is to create your publicity materials, so your social media, your blogs, your newsletters.

You might also want to work with other pet brands to increase your reach and visibility, or organisations like vets.

Plan out how you’re going to put your campaign together and think of who you want to reach.

Where do I start with finding places to get publicity?

So you have your own publicity that you can generate, on your social media, your website, your podcast, your newsletter, all your own platforms.

Then you have other people’s platforms, so newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, local websites, blogs, influencers.

Think about where you would like your story or campaign to feature and start to work on building up to that.

Collect cuttings, start to follow the reporter on social media and build a relationship, so when you’re ready to pitch, you feel confident you’ve done the prep work.

Ok so I have my plan, what happens if something comes up outside of it?

This is great, because you’ve got your plan, but you can also be reactive to what is happening and use this to create your own hype.

Your plan will keep you on track, give you a publicity road map for the year to keep you visible, and you’ll form good habits.

Once you get into the swing of knowing what to use as a publicity opportunity, you’ll find more happen for you.

What if I want some help?

There are two options.

I have my Publicity Challenge happening on 11th to 15th January and I would love for you to come along with a story idea and I can help you there.

You can sign up for the free publicity challenge here.

Or, if you’d like help with your plan, I have a Plan Your Publicity for 2021 masterclass happening on January 7th 1pm UK time.

In the session I will show you how to create your publicity plan and make 2021 the year you put your pet business on the map.

If you’d like to sign up, you can do so for £47 here. 

Did you find this post helpful? If so, you might like to read Five places to pitch story ideas about your Pet Business or How to write a press release for your pet business.

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