Beating the Summer PR Slump

July 26, 2016  | By Adrienne Newcomb

pexels-photo-61136It’s inevitable, it happens every summer, schools out and everyone is in vacation mode. And the regularly fast pace world of PR slows down. But don’t fret, you won’t be twiddling your thumbs for long and in the meantime, we’ve come up with a few ideas to keep you busy and ahead of the curve for the Fall ramp-up.

Time for coffee and proactive pitching
Things aren’t just quiet for PR professionals; summer time is also a slow time for many journalists. This is a great time to meet up with journalists for an annual coffee, find out what they’re working on and discuss in-depth story ideas. They might be in need of something to fill in the space during the summertime slump or planning for 2017 and can pop a few of your ideas into their editorial calendars. Whether you get a story out of the deal or not, face-to-face time is essential for building long-term relationships and staying at the top of a journalist’s resource list.

Catch up on speaking and awards opportunities
The last time things were quiet, likely over the winter holidays, you probably put together a robust list of speaking and award opportunities you planned to conquer for the year. If you’re like us you probably keep it handy but things are starting to look out of date. Half the shows and most of the deadlines have passed for the year. Take a little time to refresh the info and start looking at dates and deadlines for the next year.

If you’re immersed in the world of retail tech PR like our team at Ketner Group, you know that while there isn’t major shows going on right now, plans for 2017 are well under way and a couple of major deadlines are on the horizon. This year the inaugural Shoptalk event drove media coverage and hype across the industry and the 2017 speaker lineup is already in the works. For a chance to speak at next year’s Shoptalk plan to have your speaking proposal submitted by Sept. 1.

Strategize for the upcoming year
The first half of 2016 is behind us and now is great time to start looking at 2017 priorities. Internally, meet with your top executives, sales team and product engineers to find out what’s next. Are there any major company strategy changes on the horizon? Any major customer wins in the pipeline? What major product developments are coming out next year? It’s also a good time to start looking at budgets based on first half performance.

From there, you can start building out on overall communications plan for the coming year. We’ve all been there, it’s either the end of the year or the brand new year and its time to build out the first-half communication plan. Instead of stressing out about compiling all of the materials you need for this plan under a tight deadline of two days, take this downtime to get ahead of the curve by putting together a potential outline and then finalize the plan when its time.

Don’t forget to include thought leadership themes, announcements and analyst relations’ activities. Meet with all of the stakeholders across your communications and marketing teams, both internally and externally. If you have some extra wiggle room in your budget, getting together for an in person meeting is a great way to knock this out in a short amount of time with some team building activities on size.

Last but not least, breathe
As we all know, the quiet times are rare and you never know when they might come to an abrupt halt, so enjoy it while you can. Take a long weekend without the stress of needing to make up the time when you get back. If you have “Summer Fridays,” take advantage and cut out of the office early for a much-needed massage or to spend some time at the pool with your kids. Don’t worry, there will always be a client in need of public relations and a journalist looking for a good story, come Monday.