Think about timing (1)

Timing can make a big difference to whether your charity's story is published or not. One important factor is the difference between hard news and soft news.

Hard news is a serious story about an event that is of wider interest - people injured in a rail accident, buildings destroyed by a storm, an election result etc. Soft news stories are on less serious subjects, such as arts, entertainment, lifestyle or human interest. Most stories that charities present to the media are soft news.

Hard news usually takes priority over soft news, so make sure you time your charity's PR efforts to mitigate this impact. There are various other aspects of timing to consider (continued on next page):

1) When the newspaper or magazine is published, or when the radio or TV station plans for a particular news slot.

With daily newspapers, radio or television you need to reach the reporter or researcher early enough in the day to get coverage in the next issue or programme. Daily newspapers, radio and television have morning meetings where the news agenda for the day is decided, so you will need to call them early in the day (eg. 8am), or tell them about your charity's story in advance.

Check out Ask Charity's media directory (see Ask Charity website) for more information about timing for daily papers, radio or TV.

With weekly newspapers, I try to send charity press releases the day the paper is published. That way the journalist has plenty of time to research the story for the following edition.

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