By Melissa A Vitale
If your brand, commentary or products were selected to be included in an article, there's a very good chance it won't be immediately published. Sometimes, journalists seeking last-minute quotes or products can have a story written and published in a few hours, but it may still take another day until it goes live. Of course there are the rare case of request, interview and publication in a matter of hours, but those are seasonal or timely.
Pending any national crisis, seasonal and evergreen media coverage can have a two-to-six week turnover time from the time a journalist submits the story to their editor until the story is published.
Once an interview is wrapped or a product is sent to a journalist, the writer still needs to compose their story. Once the article is submitted by the deadline, editors need to review and revise the piece to fit the audience and message the publication is trying to convey. Usually there's a Section Editor (Lifestyle, Beauty, Culture, Health, Tech etc) who, along with editing dozens of pieces a week, determines the order and priority of the stories submitted by all their writers.
Typically there's also a Site Editor who dictates the number of section pieces that are permitted in a given month, newscycle or quarter. For instance, The Culture Editor may love CBD oil, but is only permitted two CBD stories every 6 months. In the same vein, there may be restrictions to how many sex-positive or cannabis-friendly stories go up in a given timeline. If there was a time-sensitive vice story one day, it may push an ever-green story about cannabis or sex a few days. Site Editors make these decisions based on audience reading patterns and what will drive the most traffic to any given story.
The four-plus people (Journalists + editors) involved in creating every article are also humans! They have sick days, they take weekends, they are even allowed to go on vacations! They're also not just editing the story you're included in. They likely have 5+ other stories they need to attend to, today!
Unless the writer told you they were publishing the story a certain date or it's timed to something seasonal like 4/20, Holiday Gift Guides etc, you can expect the cover to come out with a 2-6 week timeline. However things like breaking news (even something like the news of a celebrity death), global pandemics and personal emergencies can delay coverage. If publicists follow up aggressively with evergreen stories before that 2-6 week timeline, it could harm that relationship.
If you have a publicist, your publicist will typically send you the coverage before you see if. These pieces are our babies above else, so we're always keeping our eyes peeled for the wins! Don't have a publicist who will keep you updated? The best way to know the story is published is by looking at the author's page of the publication. If it's a freelancer and you don't know the publication, you can check their MuckRack by googling "THEIR NAME + MuckRack."
If you don't have a publicist, make sure to send a thank you note to the author to thank them for including you! There are tons of entrepreneurs always looking for press; the ones expressing gratitude are the ones that reporters call back for future source needs. Publicists will handle this on behalf of their clients.
Regardless if you have a publicist or not, once the story is live, share like the wind! Journalists are often held to how much traffic their stories drive. Freelancers often use their audience and traffic numbers to close deals. I have yet to run into a journalist who doesn't appreciate the share. Plus, who doesn't like to show off a new headline?
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