It is still early enough in the year to say “Happy New Year!” It’s also late enough in the year to have already broken your resolutions and re-adopted old bad habits. Well 2014 is the time to change for the better. My resolution this year, and most people who know me know this is really hard, is to get more organized and plan effectively. But I know that if I try to do it all at once, I will fall into bad habits…my colleagues can tell you stories of my writing notes on easily lose-able napkins. When you want to lose weight, you don’t start off saying “I’m going to lose 50 pounds” because that simply gives you the convenient excuse to stop trying if you gain 8 ounces one week. The same thing applies for organization: start with tools that will build into better work habits. No more napkins, more organization! (January 7…haven’t used a note napkin yet!)

Here are some dates to keep in mind while planning your media outreach for 2014. These primarily affect broadcast stations (TV). These don’t affect the usage of PSAs to a great extent, so PSAs are still getting great airtime!

  • Nielsen monitors four national sweeps periods for TV markets. July is usually considered the “least” important, but the rest garner considerable attention on the local and national levels.  For 2014, those are:
    • February 2014            January 30–February 26, 2014
    • May 2014                    April 24–May 21, 2014
    • July 2014                     July 3–July 30, 2014
    • November 2014        October 30–November 26, 2014
  • The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia are almost here. Dates: February 7-23, 2014. The Games will be seen on NBC stations in primetime, and across the NBC-Universal family of stations with live coverage of every sport. (Go curling!!)
  • Finally, March Madness, the NCAA Basketball Tournament for the National Championship, starts March 16 with selections of teams, and ends, despite the name, on April 7 with the Championship Game. If you’re planning an event for a city traditionally involved in college basketball, you might want to keep an eye on how they’re doing in the tourney!

Since most of these affect TV, you still have many options available to get your message to your target audience, including radio, Internet content distribution and social media outreach.

Again, wishing you a great 2014……and no more note napkins!