Show some extra love to the media this summer and watch your coverage heat up.
Summer can be a mixed bag. Who doesn’t love warm weather, beach trips and cookouts? But it’s not all fun and games (just ask any parent who has to figure out how to entertain their kids for 10 long weeks).
In the business world, executives often equate summer with a drop sales and diminished productivity. It’s also the time of year when the news cycle slows as journalists take time off, making pitching to regular beat reporters more difficult. But there’s a silver lining here. Instead of closing shop and shutting down your media relations until after Labor Day, businesses should look at summer as an opportunity to make news in a less competitive environment. After all, editors still have the same news hole and airtime to fill—winter, spring, summer or fall.
Ready to make the most of summer? Read on and follow these tips to maximize your media relations when the thermometer rises.
No news to share? Make news. Summer is the perfect time to host an event or stunt. You could create a holiday—think National Doughnut Day or, my personal favorite, National Wine Day—or host an educational event. Some PR stunts have gone on to be so wildly popular they’ve become national pastimes. In the 1920s, the Businessmen’s League of Atlantic City created a beauty pageant to entice visitors to keep coming to the famed boardwalk past Labor Day. This, of course, became Miss America—the most famous beauty pageant for almost 100 years.
Make it Relevant.
One of the best ways to get media attention for your brand is to tie it to a relevant seasonal event. In June, July and August, that means anything to do with sun, beach, pool and entertaining. A dermatologist or beauty brand, for example, might come up with a pitch about ways to protect your skin in the sun. Even brands with a less direct angle can find an appropriate tie in. A financial brand might engage young people by offering tips and advice to maximize earnings from a summer job.
The best PR professionals cultivate long-term relationships, not one-time transactions. Take the summer months to get to know key reporters who cover your beat. Invite them to breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Offer to host desk-sides. Provide them with information that could help them, even if it doesn’t benefit you directly. The best relationships—whether personal or professional—require some level of give and take. This summer, be a giver not a taker.
Use the lull in news to demonstrate your own thought leadership through white papers, blog posts, videos and more. Not only will that approach give you extra ammunition for your media relations outreach, you can leverage and extend your content through social media campaigns and digital marketing that will pack an even bigger punch.
Summer will be gone in the blink of an eye. Don’t waste a second of it. Maximize your media outreach so you can get on with other important business: beach, drinks and relaxation.