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In public relations, time is everything. When starting a campaign the most important step is creating a timeline. This timeline is centered around something tangible. It can be the premiere of a show, the launch of a brand, the publication date of a book, the premiere of a movie, or a debut of an art exhibit.

A branding project in progress

Once the date is locked in, it is smart to start looking for a public relations firm two to three months beforehand. At that time your PR firm can start planting seeds for media interest. The more coverage for the client equals more visibility and success. Think of media pieces as a trickle-down effect. Depending on the status of the client, more time may be needed to secure coverage. Since the media landscape is forever changing, it is important to understand that the media may not be interested in the story the first time around. It takes about two months of consistent pitching to truly engage the media. It’s also beneficial to choose a PR firm with pre-established connections to the media. This will help the process of garnering their attending and landing a stories.

Without a new angle it’s impossible to capture the media’s attention. If a show is premiering in November, a client should look to hire a PR firm in September for a short lead campaign. This allows ample time to pitch their media contacts. At that time, the media may not be interested in a story just yet, but this way, they know about this role and will be able to consider interviewing the client closer to the show’s release date. With the media the story is all about relevancy. Print publications such as Cosmopolitan or Vanity Fair have their content booked many months before publication so one must engage a publicist at least four to five months in advance. Each client’s PR needs differ from the other and each client’s PR results differ from the other. That is the world of PR, and it is what makes planning so important. Timing is everything in PR, and the more time, the better. If you are unsure when to start your PR campaign, remember that earlier is always better.