But that doesn’t mean your company news has to succumb to the slow months that often plague the summer PR schedule. Just like choosing the right players for a team’s important game, you have to choose the right news, and issue it at just the right time to ensure a successful summer PR campaign.
The first step is to assess the newsworthiness of the announcements a client is looking to make during the summer months. How many can be considered as being truly newsworthy? And what would be the goal for each? Be selective about the news and push the creative boundaries.
Once you’ve arrived at your shortlist of potential announcements, it’s time to break out the calendar. Note all the major holidays in your target geographies. If you’re planning to make a product announcement in the US on or around July 4, you may want to revise your schedule as the media universe tends to be quiet that week. On the other hand, if your goal is to begin pitching a long-term storyline, then it can be the perfect time to speak to journalists with the intention of garnering interviews later on in the month.
It’s also important to check for any significant events being hosted during the summer. A number of major industry trade shows take place in August, such as VMworld and the Laser App Broker-Dealer Conference. If these types of event are important to your clients, then it is advisable to release a news announcement to tie-in with specific shows.
Lastly, if you really want to know whether your PR timeline works, check-in with your journalist contacts. A core part of our role as PR professionals is to develop and maintain strong relationships with the media in our clients’ key sectors. So call your buddies and ask if they’ll be around. You wouldn’t want to host an event when your media contacts are all on vacation or at another show.
While it can be difficult for your news to be heard when the sound of beach waves are ringing in the ears of your audience, it’s not impossible. If you choose your news topics, messaging and timing wisely, you can achieve PR success and avoid being burned this summer.