Political decisions are more and more made with the press in mind. Politicians' communication efforts are increasingly professionalized and ever more resources go to news management. Accordingly, there is growing scholarly attention for the mediatization of politics and the adaptation of politicians to the media logic. Yet, this stream of literature has remained largely theoretical. Few studies investigate the activities by which politicians try to shape media coverage. Furthermore, studies examining politicians' media work are almost exclusively about 'what' the content of the messages is and 'how' these are sent. 'When' the messages are communicated is mostly neglected. The timing of a message, however, is a crucial factor to explain whether political messages are covered in the news. What is picked up by journalists is highly dependent on media dynamics at a certain moment. Moreover, timing strategies are gaining relevance because of the 24-hour news cycle and the advent of news websites and social media. This project constructs a theory on strategic timing and empirically analyzes whether timing is an effective tool for politicians to gain or avoid media coverage. Via a classic gatekeeping study, observation of press officers and experimental surveys with Belgian politicians, this project investigates how political actors strategically plan their communications (the practice of timing) and to what extent this influences what becomes news (the effectiveness of timing).