The World Cup, Wimbledon and Glastonbury…there’ve been plenty of distractions recently to stop you pondering on the rest of the year. As we’re enjoying the summer’s sun it may be hard to think ahead to autumn and winter, but it’s critical to get planning so that your broadcast PR story idea is ready at the optimal time.
Tying your consumer PR story to a specific seasonal event will greatly increase the chance of it getting coverage, so we thought it would be handy to summarise our top ten key events to consider for autumn and winter broadcast schedules:
1. Back-to-school, September
As the summer comes to an end so do the lengthy school holidays. In September, broadcasters are always on the lookout for ‘back-to-school’ stories, so why not seize the opportunity by finding an education or parenting angle to get your campaign air-time?
2. Clocks for forward, October
The effect of the time change could be an interesting topic to explore through research. When it comes to selling in, stats will also make it seem more credible. Check out our blog post for top tips on commissioning survey research.
3. Halloween, October
Halloween stories that offer spooky locations for TV crews to film are a great opportunity to get coverage on television, as they can provide unique visuals to accompany a story. Breakfast shows are probably the most suitable target as they are more likely to take ‘fluffier’ stories, so make sure yours isn’t too terrifying.
4. Bonfire night, November
Themed Bonfire stories (such as ‘How to safely let off fireworks’ and ‘How to help pets cope with the noise’) get coverage across regional and national stations every bonfire night. If you have an interview opportunity that could offer a themed talking point, especially with a local angle, then it could work well for a radio day or online video.
5. Winter holidays
Going abroad for a holiday in winter is becoming increasingly popular. Stories with non-commercial talking points about taking winter breaks could work well, especially if they tie in with the school holidays.
6. Winter weather
If you can’t beat them, then join them. It’s true that we are a nation obsessed with the weather – and broadcast journalists will cover winter weather stories as often as they talk about summer droughts. Instead of thinking your campaigns can’t compete with a weather story try and hi-jack them instead. Christmas is a particularly good time to do this when we’re all desperate to know whether or not it will snow. Predicting the weather should be left to meteorologists, but PR agencies could use the season to pitch fun quirky weather related stories.
Whether it be how best to cook a turkey, how to handle family squabbles or tips for networking at Christmas parties, there’s plenty of angles for PR stories at Christmas. Try to find something different to say, as there will be plenty of other agencies with their own festive story.
The BBC won’t cover Christmas stories before the 1st December, so get in early as soon as you can after that date.
8. New Year
The news flow is a lot slower in the Christmas season, meaning that you have more of a shot of getting your New Year’s-themed story on air. Just make sure the spokesperson is ready and willing to do media activity during this period. Spokespeople may be unwilling to drag themselves away from the festivities but audience figures are really high over the Christmas period, so it’s well worth the effort if an opportunity comes up.
9. January blues
It seems every January, research is released that reminds us that it’s the most depressing month of the year. Why not go against the grain and pitch a story that aims to cheer up the nation? It may be that your angle makes your story stand out from the rest of the doom and gloom.
10. January detox
Not only does research suggest that January is when people are more likely to feel blue it also shows that we’re more likely to diet in order to shred the Christmas weight. If you have a health and nutrition story then this is the perfect time of year to reach out to your target audience. But a bit like Christmas stories there’s a lot of competition, so pitch your story as early as you can.
Seasonally theming your story can work as a great strategy to plan your campaigns for next year. Beware that many other PR agencies may be hi-jacking the same event, so it’s important to make yours individual and unique.
For more help with brainstorming ideas, get in touch with Shout! for a free brainstorming workshop. To get more tips on securing broadcast PR coverage, download our free media relations guide.