When pitching media sources, timing is everything. Recent studies show that only 8% of pitches result in media coverage, so timing pitches well can help publicists thread that needle when seeking attention for their clients.
There are guidelines in place for deciding the best time to send a pitch. Not so much hard and fast rules but suggestions that have led to past success. These include avoiding Monday morning or Friday afternoon for pitches. Most folks are either still in weekend mode or just getting into weekend mode. Also, be aware of holiday breaks and long weekends. Publicists should strive to pitch mid-week.
When polled, 68% of journalists stated that they prefer to receive pitches between 5 AM and 12 noon. Some prefer to receive them overnight.
While nothing can guarantee that your pitch will be immediately opened and considered, Melanie Parncutt, publicist with OtterPR, wondered if combining her interest in astrology with scheduling pitches could reap successful results.
What are Planetary Hours?
The study of astrology looks at the planets and other celestial beings and their potential effect on daily life. It is also the study of the energy of the seven classical planets and recognizing patterns therein.
The concept of planetary hours is ancient and states that each hour of a planetary day is ruled by one of the different planets, the Sun, or the moon. For example, the first hour of Sunday is ruled by the Sun. The Sun, therefore, rules the whole day and gives the day its name.
In Planetary Hours, the day is divided into daytime and nighttime. Sunrise to sunset is daytime, and sunset to the next sunrise is nighttime. The two periods, daytime and evening, are divided into twelve equal length hours. These are the “planetary hours”. What this means is the planetary hours will differ day to day based on sunrise and sunset. The concept is not governed by traditional 24 hour days with 60 minute hours.
Pitching by the Planetary Hours
So, how can one incorporate the planetary hours into pitching in PR? Aligning planetary hours that bring luck or prosperity to important daily tasks can maximize your chances of successful pitching. Each planet is associated with certain qualities and each planet rules a different day of the week and the hours within those days.
“For example, Mercury represents communication, Mars represents action, and Jupiter represents knowledge and good luck. You can use these qualities to influence the days and hours you choose to send pitches where they are most likely to be positively received and acted on.” says Parncutt.
Mercury is a good day for intellectual pursuits and activities that include sending and receiving information, so Wednesdays (ruled by Mercury) are a great day to send a PR pitch. Thursday is ruled by Jupiter and is also a great day to pitch, as Jupiter is the planet of good fortune, wisdom, and abundance.
Even though Parncutt schedules pitches to go out on on other days and during other hours, her experience has shown her to have found the most success on Jupiter days than any other.
You can also use planetary hours to help you get your to-do list of pitches knocked out. Mars’ hour is great for bursts of motivational and physical energy, so using that to direct when you sit down to focus on getting those pitches written could help you as well.
Using Planetary Hours to Align Personality and Niche
It’s also good to consider who you are pitching and the planetary hours that best align with the personality and niche of your client or the publication.
Thursdays crop up once again because Jupiter also helps accelerate development and widen horizons. It’s a great day to deal with wealthy, influential people and to schedule social meetings.
Pitching during Sun hours can also be beneficial. Successful professional endeavors and good impressions define it. The Sun typically rules advertisements, advancements, and impressions.
While there are other factors to consider when using planetary hours to direct your PR pitching, such as time zones and retrogrades (when a planet appears to reverse direction), it helps organize mindful pitching, especially during busy weeks.
“At the end of the day, one should never underestimate the power of timing.” says Parncutt, who knows a thing or two about using timing to your advantage in public relations.
Throwing in a bit of astrological influence to get things to work in your favor can’t hurt. It could potentially make the difference between a pitch that hits or one that gets ignored.