Tuesday 8 December 2009

This is the fortnight to launch ... anything. Keep that suit pressed and the black tie knotted!

When should you hold an event to get the maximum media coverage? Don't hold you event too late in December. Unless your story has Santa Claus or kittens, the Christmas Rush will rush right past you.
And here in Toronto don't hold any press event during the first two weeks of September unless you have Tom Cruise as your spokesperson - yes the Toronto Film Festival eats up every TV camera and every reporter in city during it's two week run. And don't hold it anytime after that for the rest of September - worn out reporters are off using up all that overtime that earned.
Summer is out unless you are looking after Caribana, the Indy or Pride. The CBC shuts down for the summer, so do the community channel and most regular radio programming. Veteran reporters with weeks of earned holidays have long since left the city with July and August roll around. Most of the copy produced in the summer is being handled by Mr and Mrs Phil Inn and summer interns.
January is out ... Post Boxing Day advertising revenues have gone south and the media has NO space to spend on covering a non-news event. Frankly the big guess in January is the weather, it is so unpredictable that even if your well planned event is newsworthy it could be whited out.
No, November and the first week in December is that MAGIC time. This is no big secret, every camera lusting publicist knows it well. Look at some of the events that I or one of my associates have attended in over the past fortnight or so:

The Giller Prize
McMichael Canadian Art Collection launches 50 year Cape Dorset Collection exhibition
Kipling Gallery launches Nordic/Inuit sculpture exhibition
King Tut at the AGO
New CBC newsroom and its stand-up new look
Writer's Trust
Body World 3 at the Science Centre
Canada Reads Launch at the CBC
Grenada Hosts Toronto chapter TMAC (travel writer's association)
The Launch of Harry Potter at Ontario Science Centre
The Santa Claus Parade

... and the list goes on from there!


Top: Stone Cape Dorset statue, part of the Inuit Cape Dorset retrospective at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. The gallery is located in Kleinburg, Ontario.
Second from top: It is fitting that eveyone is standing. It is the launch of CBC's brand new National News look, where everyone stands up. Press launch held in Toronto's downtown CBC headquarters.
Third from top: Joy Lapps, plays the steel pan at a November meeting of the Travel Media Association of Canada. The get-together was sponsored by the Grenada Tourist Board and held at a downtown Toronto restaurant. Ms. Lapps and Grenadian-Canadian award winning Calypso singer Redman, provided the Caribbean content.
Third from bottom: Jian Ghomeshi, the host of Radio Q, was the MC at the Writer's Trust Award evening. Despite his star power and the fact that over $100,000 was given out to Canadian authors, there was little coverage of the event.
Second from bottom: Jian Ghomeshi again. This time in the lobby of the CBC building with the authors and participants in this year's Canada Reads radio series.
Bottom: Ontario Science Centre CEO Lesley Lewis announces that a new traveling Harry Potter exhibition will be coming to Toronto in April. The exhibition which will include costumes and sets from the Harry Potter movie series. The announcement was made at a glitzy Hollywood style press conference held at the Ontario Science Centre on Tuesday December 8th.
Below Bottom: Cell phone picture of the jam packed luxurious King Tutlaunch held last month at the Art Gallery of Ontario.