When to pitch PR stories – rough lead times

If you’re looking to secure PR features, it’s imperative to pitch PR stories in a strategic and timely manner. 

Below we have put together some standard timeframes that different media outlets tend to work towards. We would, however, recommend ringing publications directly if you’re unsure of their timeframes. This approach can help increase your chances of securing coverage. 

Monthly publications

Publications released on a monthly basis typically work three to four months in advance. So for example, if you want to secure some Christmas coverage, you’ll need to be pitching your stories in August at the latest. However, magazines do commonly start sourcing festive content as early as June, so the more prepared you are, the better.

Weekly publications

Lead times for weekly publications can differ greatly. However as a rule of thumb, news based stories tend to require at least one weeks notice whilst feature based stories can range anywhere from two to six weeks in advance.

Daily publications

Those published on a daily basis are commonly known as short lead publications due to the little notice required to secure column inches. For news based stories, we’d recommend at least three working days notice, however for more in-depth feature based stories, one to two weeks would be proposed.


Typically radio outlets require one to two weeks notice, however they’ll react quickly if the story is of immediate public interest. Radio stations tend to provide PR opportunities in the form of an interview and on some occasions share the story on their websites. 


TV coverage is historically challenging to secure. Lead times differ greatly in television and can range from anywhere between one to eight weeks.

To have any success with television, you’ll need to be a strong negotiator, able to adhere to timeframes and have a visually appealing story.

Third party websites

Lead times for securing features on third party websites is entirely dependent on the publication. Commonly stories tend to be published within a few days of being sent in. It is, however, not unusual for it to take one to two weeks for media stories to be published, especially feature based articles.