School gates are closing all over the place for the summer holidays this week, and it pushes us into the territory often referred to as ‘Silly Season’.
With parliament out, schools closed, families on holiday, and workplaces running on lower staff numbers, this is the time of year we label as being one for slow news and frivolous media gossip.
But don’t go thinking that makes it a great time for disappearing off the radar.
Journalists are also more likely to be working with less resource and will value the opportunity to place well pitched stories and ideas.
With some sensible tactics and a little creativity, the silly season is a great time to get your brand a little more recognition (and show some personality).
Here’s some top tips for embracing the coming weeks…
Evaluate what news you have and how it could be used
Make the most of the quieter period to give serious thought to what story potential you have within your business. Is it related to a product, a service, a charity commitment, or something a member of staff is doing?
You’ve time to utilise this opportunity during the silly season, so don’t let it pass without discussing with your PR team or seeking help from a PR or marketing agency to exploit it.
Think lighter, brighter and entertaining
Chirpier, slightly more frivolous stories work well in silly season. Have you got something a little more bizarre? Is there something which would provoke a smile among a newspaper reader? If so, you could be on to a winner. Think creatively about the lighter side of your commercial stories.
Help journalists maintain story momentum
If you’ve spotted a story theme running and think you have some credibility or a voice of authority in the area, this is the time to get in touch with the journalist and offer them a new angle.
They’ll be grateful for your help in developing the current story.
Have you got the infrastructure to see a story through?
If you’re going to hunt out story opportunities, be sure to check what resource you have to deal with subsequent enquiries or follow-ons. Because you’re potentially running on less staff yourself, you need to be sure your team can jump on to any publicity resulting from your efforts.
Don’t think only about what stories you have for the press, but what you can do through social media to spread these wonderful silly season opportunities. Think of lighter, brighter, engaging and quirky offerings for your social media feeds. Share and like the activity of others too.
Stay conversational because even in the quieter summer months, your potential clients will be sifting through their twitter feeds.
At the same time, ensure your website is really up to date and doesn’t ‘go to sleep’ over the summer.
Remember that a great story is made even better with a superb photograph. Indeed, sometimes the photo itself is enough to get your audience engaged. Do not underestimate the power of releasing a good image with any story you send to a journalist or which you post online.
**For more marketing or PR support or advice email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07974 359001.
((Pic by StockImages for FreeDigitalPhotos))