It’s no surprise that many business operations tend to slow down during the summer months (except for many of us in fresh produce!). And hey, it’s not just PR professionals—businesses across industries slow down as people go on family vacations, and even the news cycle lengthens. But know this: that doesn’t mean your public relations efforts have to grind to a halt! While some consider summer a “slow season” in PR, we believe the season is the perfect time to win at public relations efforts for our clients.
Because we live in a 24/7 news-cycle world, I would argue there is never a “slow” season for public relations. We should always be ready to jump into action while simultaneously planning for the future. Here are four tips PR professionals can use to get out of the “summer slump.”
PR Tips for the Summer Season
Include your clients in relevant angles
You could say this tip applies to any season. However, because of how much is going on culturally, the summer season provides so many angles to pitch to media, especially consumer media! Some of these angles include:
- Vacations, whether with family, friends, significant others, or even solo
- Holidays: Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and plenty of food-focused events! See our 2019 social media calendar for more inspiration
- Beating the heat: fruit-infused poolside beverages, anyone?
- Family activities: whether for a picnic, a day at the beach, or simply trying a new treat with loved ones, summer recipes never go out of style.
We can count on the fact that editors will be writing about these summer events, so think outside the box to include your brand in editorials—this is key to gaining coverage. Try finding editors and publications that are talking about summer season events that are relevant to your brand. If you do find a publication you would love to feature your brand, try mimicking the current articles for your pitch. If they post a number of “how-to” articles, find a way to similarly shape your pitch, so editors can immediately see a way for your product to be included.
Capitalize on short-lead pitching
Because the news cycle tends to slow during the summer, there is often a greater likelihood that editors will see your email as opposed to the fall. What does that mean for you? We say pitch away! And while you do, consider editors’ own vacation schedules: give a little extra leeway by allowing extra time for an editor to see your email. For example, if you’re pitching for the Fourth of July holiday, think about sending your pitch three weeks in advance (instead of the usual two), to ensure the editor reads your email in time to get you included in their story.
Get started on long-lead pitches
I know it sounds like overkill to start preparing for the end-of-year holiday season—but know that to position your brand for success, the time is now! Long-lead pitches typically go out 3-6 months in advance, which makes summer the perfect season to start crafting your pitches for all those fall and winter holidays. Getting these out sooner rather than later will ensure that publications have time to see, review, and bookmark your pitch in their winter-season calendars. Luckily, there is no shortage of angles you could take with your pitches—after all, it’s the “most wonderful time of the year,” right? To mention a few of these angles, think:
- Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa
- Gift guides
- The start of the new year, including the ever-popular new year’s resolutions
- Travel, time with family, and personal holiday traditions
Take advantage of slow moments
In the fast-paced world of PR, we aren’t offered too many slow moments. So when they come, take advantage of them! It’s easy to become purely task-oriented during busy seasons, but some rare downtime creates a perfect opportunity to sit back and really assess your public relations efforts. It’s easy to get into a habit of doing what you have always done, how you have always done it, so think: What have you done well? What could you be doing better? Additionally, we recommend using this time to research: What are others doing well that you could borrow from to incorporate into your own efforts? Take advantage of any downtime you have to perfect your craft!
Start viewing the summer season as a time to perfect your craft, an opportunity to elevate your brand—especially when so many others may not be using this season to implement—and execute—plans for success. The smart PR professional knows that staying on top of PR efforts during the proverbial “slump” will improve their work, their companies’ work, and their brands’ relationships with media. As far as we are concerned, it’s hard to beat a Win-Win-Win situation.
Have something to add? Leave us a comment below, or tweet to us at @TheCoreBlog!