Creating a media calendar will help you find story ideas because it is a ready-made list of events and dates you can build as story around. This calendar will fit into your PR plan.

A media calendar sets out all the potential stories for the year. If you go to or you will find a gold mine of story ideas based around key events and days throughout the year.

story ideas

A calendar will help you prepare your media story in advance – say you work as a life coach and you know at Christmas, many people are isolated and alone. You could prepare a story about how to overcome loneliness (finding new angles on this story based on your expertise). Or throughout October, it is Girl’s Night In – perhaps you work in the beauty industry or health, you could come up with a story about looking after yourself, why having ‘me’ time is vital to long-term health.

Without the calendar, you will have no idea what is coming up. Use the worksheet below to start creating your media calendar for media outlets. I use an excel spreadsheet with columns for event, date, and details … and story ideas I can leverage off these events.


Step 1: Who’s your ideal client bestie?

Step 2: Identify which media outlets are best suited to your bestie and list them in a column called “Media Outlet”, e.g. Cosmopolitan Magazine, SBS, School Newsletter. Or you could also start with column 3 “Key Dates” and complete the rest of the table based on specific marketing days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, etc.

Step 3: Over the next one to two weeks, review stories running in these media and note what type of stories are making the headlines/feature stories and note this in a column  “News Sources”.

Step 4: Do research on the media outlets and try to get a copy of their publishing calendar – note any key dates down in column 3 “Key dates” below. For example, Valentine’s day editorials are due by December the previous year.

Step 5: Think about what stories you could come up with for your business to tie into the media outlets editorial calendar and the type of stories that they run.

Step 6: Use online event calendars to use as leverage for your business – key dates such as Valentine’s Day, special United Nations days, World Diabetes Day, Supermarket Free Month to tap into.  Add these dates into your calendar.

Step 7: I also add another column for “Type of Story’ – might be a hints or tips story or a rant or a case study.

Go forth and stand out.