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Sunday Disservice

November 12, 2014

Top 5 tips for hitting the Sundays with your awesome PR content.

Sunday is without doubt, the nation’s favourite day of the week – a day that is deeply lazy and entirely celebratory in equal measure.

As Brits, we celebrate this most welcome end to the week by arranging huge family feasts in which we massively overindulge on large joints of roasted meat, potatoes and then finish ourselves off with stodgy puddings drowning in custard.

On a Sunday, we also embrace having absolutely no purpose whatsoever. No school run, no Saturday activities…we lie-in, drink coffee in bed, drag the family on long walks or visit our local public house for pints of ale.

It’s the one day of the week where time is on our side.

And most importantly, to those of us in the fast moving world of PR – on this totally unique day of week, Brits have the time to venture out to the shops, pick up the newspapers (often more than one) and sit down to actually read them – cover to cover as opposed skimming the first few pars of each page top in the brief moment which lies between two tube stops.

This, coupled with the fact that Sunday newspaper circulation is just as high (and sometimes higher) than the rest of the week makes it hard for us to comprehend why the Sunday market is largely overlooked by the PR industry in terms of its news pages.

Aside from the Sunday supplements and magazines, in which many PRs within the travel, food and lifestyle sectors focus with great success, we see very little “branded news coverage” in the Sunday news pages or their online versions.

PRs tend to keep the human interest tales, stat and info based news stories for the daily market and only really contact the Sunday news-desks when a story has failed during the week – a major Sunday PR fail.

The GingerComms team has over a decade of experience working on national Sunday papers at Editor level. So we know that the Sunday newspapers are potentially a super effective vehicle for delivering your PR messages into the news pages.

If approached in the right way, executed well and with interesting and relevant content, your brand could be the talk of Britain over their roast beef and Yorkshire puddings.

So, straight from the horses mouth, here are our top 5 tips for securing brand exposure in the Sunday news pages and online versions…

1. Think weekends, not week days

This may seem like stating the obvious, but a decent story must have “talk-value” – you want people not just to read your content but to discuss and most importantly share it. A poll about which professions / office workers make the best and worst lovers is a great story for the dailies. It has the professional breakdown that will create talk-value in the office space and get people tweeting about it. On a Sunday however, you are looking to create discussion in the bedroom, around the Sunday lunch table or at the pub. So news stories around relationships, sport, movies, food and travel will work well for the Sunday market.

2. Think Lists

As stated above, PR activity for the weekend papers should create discussion for the home and the pub, rather than the work place. Brits just love a list and so do newspaper Editors – they are a great way for Editors to fill a half page or even a spread with images on a slow news day. It helps the pace of the paper and is a cheap and effective way of “filling the book”, so think top ten, top 20 or even top 50 – and make the lists different, interesting, celeb based or lifestyle focused.

3. Think Sunday Exclusives

Sunday newspapers have a different feel and a different vibe to their daily counterparts. People read at leisure and pretty much devour the whole paper section by section. If you secure a Sunday’s only show for your branded content you have more chance of you target audience reading every word of your piece. And don’t thing nibs or tops go unnoticed, we’ve sat in countless Sunday reader panels and discovered that even the smallest of stories buried beyond the first 14 pages are read, shared and discussed with family and friends.

4. Don’t think Leftovers

Never call a Sunday news desk and offer them a PR story that you’ve also put out to the daily papers. If the story gets a show in the dailies then a Sunday paper isn’t going to be interested in it. If it doesn’t make the dailies then a Sunday isn’t going to accept cast offs. Be confident in your approach, the content you want to deliver and where your target audience is. Make it a Daily story or a Sunday one, don’t try and hedge your bets.

5. Think Relationships

Sunday newspapers are not simply an offshoot of their daily counterparts. Find out who the right person you need to talk to is and have a good idea about what kind of content the paper prints and what political leaning the paper favours. Calling the Sunday Mirror or The Sun on Sunday and asking for the industrial correspondent or the arts editor just shows you don’t know what market you are trying to hit and is guaranteed to get you a short, sharp response.

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