It’s hard to try to think about the festive holiday season while it’s still shorts and T-shirt weather. But if you want to get your message heard in time for this year’s holidays, it’s time to get started with your planning now.
Understanding lead times
Magazine editors often plan their issues months in advance and have to meet printer’s deadlines weeks before their issues start to land in mailboxes and on newsstands. The lead times for daily or weekly newspapers and radio stations aren’t as long but, in short, if you want your story or radio spot to get picked up you need to get it into the right hands long before the holidays.
And, of course, holiday shopping and seasonal parties happen long before the actual holidays begin. To capture the Black Friday and Cyber Monday audience you’ll want to capture people’s eyes and ears by early November.
NEWS CANADA’S PRODUCTION TIMELINES
News Canada’s earned-media articles are published a month ahead of the issue month. The December issue is live for newspaper editors on November 1st. Because publication timelines include content edits and approval, we’ll need to receive your topic briefs the first week of October to include them in holiday distribution.
For News Canada radio segments (ANRs), any Christmas or holiday-related content must be distributed by the first week of November to have enough time in market to reach audiences over six to eight weeks. Remember, ANRs take an average of four weeks to produce, so get that info to us the last week of September for best luck.
Here’s a breakdown of timelines to help ensure your story is told for the holidays.
This is the time for brainstorming and market research. Review past campaigns to see what’s been successful for you and what hasn’t. How do your products or services fit in with your customer’s holiday needs? Is there a creative new approach you can take to making that holiday connection? Use whatever market analytics you have access to so that you can better understand what your clients are looking for during the holiday season and how you can solve their needs.
Now it’s time to put your story together. If you’re stumped by writer’s block, reach out to the team at Fifth Story. Our talented creators can help you craft the story you’re looking to tell.
September – October
It’s production time! With your content in our hands, we’ll smooth out any bumps in the copy, get all the approvals signed off and prepare the material for publication.
Remember that we need to have earned-media articles in our hands by the first week of October and radio segments need about four weeks production time so we’ll need the brief ready by the last week of September for best results.
The Fifth Story team is here to help you wrap up your holiday content. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.