Event Public Relations Calendar
A publicity calendar – what need to be done, and when you need to do it – is one of the most important tools in your event planning toolkit. Whether your event is annual, monthly or weekly things can get forgotten – and your event can miss important media opportunities.
Your PR goal is to make sure the media and public are informed about your upcoming event. For the public, a last minute PR push can be very effective. However the media have deadlines and need lead time to include you in their editorial calendars. A publicity calendar for your event will help make sure nothing gets forgotten in the public relations planning and preparation for your event.
The key to getting good media coverage and PR for your event is to respect media lead times. Media deadlines vary, so check with your local media outlets. As a guideline, here are typical media lead times before publication date.
- national magazines: 4-6 months
- local magazines: 2-3 months
- monthly newspapers: 6 weeks
- daily newspapers: 1-3 weeks
- local morning shows: 2 weeks
- local event calendars: 2-6 weeks
- TV and radio PSA announcement: 6-8 weeks
- local news programs: 2-3 days
Event PR Schedule – Free Template
Successful event planning starts by planning backwards: so start planning your event PR calendar from the date furthest from your actual event date. Whether you’re a small business owner, an entrepreneur or a PR pro our customizable event public relations calendar will make sure nothing gets forgotten.
1 YEAR OUT
- Download hi-resolution photos of previous year’s event.
- Edit photos and save for inclusion in media image requests.
8 MONTHS OUT
- Develop local media list
- Update old list and add new media (include email, address, phone numbers and social media handles)
- Develop list of popular bloggers and social media influencers in the industry (include email, address, phone numbers and social media handles)
- Develop list of contacts for related local organizations and clubs. (include email, address, phone numbers and social media handles)
- Develop list of contacts for local property management companies, homeowner associations and managers. (include email, address, phone numbers and social media handles)
**Continue to grow all lists leading up to the event.
6 MONTHS OUT
- Secure media partnerships – try to negotiate for advertisements, editorial, live interviews and on-site coverage/street teams when possible
4 MONTHS OUT
- Begin sending out press releases as interesting stories develop about partnerships, vendors, behind the scenes, community impact, new event program/feature etc
- Continue to send press releases with good stories over the next 4 months as they arise
3 MONTHS OUT
- Give the media a list of story ideas for them to pursue before and during event
- Begin contacting media to set-up creative onsite coverage
- Reach out to contacts at local industry-related organizations, property management, industry-related clubs to seek editorial or calendar listing inclusion in their monthly newsletters, on their social media, on their calendars or eBlasts
2 MONTHS OUT
- Place all festival events on local calendars
- Send out official press release with dates, location and detailed information to all media and contacts
- Follow up with phone calls before end-of-month
1 MONTH OUT
- Send invitation, media alert and information on obtaining press passes to all major media contacts
2 WEEKS OUT
- Resend invitation, media alert and information on obtaining press passes to all major media contacts
1 WEEK OUT
- Prepare media kits to give during or before the festival, as requested. (Media Kits to include: all press releases, registration information, listing of events, list of leadership and sponsors)
- Follow up with all media with a phone call to confirm involvement
2 DAYS OUT
- Email directions, parking and contact information to all confirm media – along with schedule and meeting place for any pre-arranged interviews
- Keep a digital scrapbook of all media attention and generate report for each event
- Respond to all calls, questions and email from media
- Media Releases
- Media kits
- Hi-Res Images and Logos of Each Event
tip: Things change – review your Event Public Relations Calendar monthly to make sure your media and PR plan is current.
Read More: Event Marketing Tips and Tricks