Kids or no kids – it doesn’t matter on which side of the divide you stand, if you work in Public Relations then you should be interested in school holidays – because now is a great time to secure broadcast PR coverage on television and radio.
We are perhaps becoming more like the French. The temperature goes up, the air is filled with a heady mix of Factor 50 and barbequed pig and we down tools as quickly as you can say “unseasonably heavy rain shower.” But whilst this office evacuation is frustrating from a business point of view the wealth of potential opportunities on-air should not be underestimated. Without question it is easier to secure broadcast PR coverage on radio and television during all of August and often the first week of September than it is at other times of the year.
By and large all major competition is travelling down Easy Street – Parliament is in recess, courts have wound down for their summer break and a significant number of spokespeople, particularly parents with school age children, are taking time out too.
Some shows come off air for the summer – or have guest presenters but all in all the advantages of a quiet summer generally more than outweigh the down side.
So act now. This is the moment when you can get the client who is desperate for television – but who has previously been dismissed by journalists as too unknown/ not sufficiently interesting/ too commercial – on air. Now is the time to get the unlisted larger company on CNBC – whereas the rest of the year the broadcaster demands a listed one.
Writing and publishing this blog could of course be a cue for the busiest summer in news history. Last year was an exceptional one with the missing Malaysian Airlines tragedy, the death of Robin Williams, the Ebola epidemic, the conclusion of the trial of Oscar Pistorius and much more! So let’s hope this summer we’re more on course for a regular silly season although the Calais migrant crisis is already looking like one which will run throughout the summer.
1. Try your luck.
You might have been told the station NEVER takes a certain sort of story – but that was last month. It’s always worth a pitch in the summer! Particularly as there are more freelancers who may be keener to take your PR story.
2. Given a choice go for humour.
We’re generally chirpier in the summer – the sun puts a spring in our step and the same goes for journalists. Lighter stories are probably more attractive to them than doom and gloom at this time of year. It’s not called the silly season for nothing.
3. Plan ahead.
Journalists understand that half the spokespeople are not in town and are often keen to fill schedules with a bit more notice than they normally afford. So now is a good time to make tentative enquiries for the next month or so.
4. Make it seasonal –
stories like the big bank holiday getaway are always good summer fodder along with news reactive stories like a heat wave/drought, or a summer wash out. If relevant “news hijack” what is happening in the wider news agenda.
Use this quieter time to take out broadcast journalists and meet with your key contacts.