The Importance of PR Calendars
Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Having a PR calendar is a must-have whether you are doing public relations for your own business or someone else's. Without one you will lose sight of important tasks you need to complete and miss out on possible promotional opportunities.
Much like having an appointment book or a college class syllabus, you need to have a plan of action. You need to know what you're going to do and when you're going to do it. The PR calendar will give you an overview of your objectives so you can see where you need to focus. It will also be key when working with and pitching to journalists since they have editorial deadlines they need to meet and are generally working 3 months in advance of the deadline.
So what exactly do you put on this PR calendar? Everything that is relevant to your campaign. No matter the size of the campaign, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with the many activities you need to get done. The calendar will help you work more efficiently and keep you on course. You'll want to include publishing dates and deadlines so you can complete your pitches and press releases in a timely manner and also to do social media blasts to spread the news. You will also include holidays, awareness days (i.e.: National Dog Day, National Fishing Month), and special events where you can take full advantage of any promotional opportunities. Add in any new product placements or release dates in addition to speaking engagements. When you have the calendar and activity dates laid out in front of you it's easy to pick out possible opportunities where you can engage with the public and get your product or service noticed. Think about all the creative ways to build brand awareness and keep adding to your calendar based on that.
There are many websites to help you create your calendar and ones that even offer pre-filled templates to get you started. But you can also build your own using an Excel spreadsheet. You don't need anything fancy, just remember to make sure you have all important data on it. If you're just starting out, I suggest creating a weekly one for two weeks at a time and build from there until you feel more comfortable. Then move on to monthly and even yearly calendars, depending on the size of your campaign.