summer PR ideas, public relations summer tipsThe normally fast-paced world of PR slows during summer while school is out, many people are away vacation, and the number of articles dwindles in news sources.

Many in PR fear they’ll win no news coverage during the slow summer months or that pitching isn’t worth the effort since fewer people are around to read the news. Many businesses are already looking forward to fall and winter publicity campaigns and not utilizing the summer to gain attention and traction.

In reality, summer offers superb opportunities for PR for a very simple reason: Summer is also a slow time for journalists. Unless they’re also on vacation like much of the business world or their publications skip an issue, they may become increasingly desperate for story ideas as the summer drags on.

Summer PR work also lays the groundwork for obtaining coverage in the busier fall and winter months when everyone is competing for coverage. Reporters who work with you during the summer will be more receptive during busier months later in the year, giving you a competitive advantage.

Ideal Time for Some Products

Companies with seasonal summer products or services can tie their products to summer stories.   For example, a food company can pitch stories on summer recipes. PR can link products or services to dealing with the heat, gardening, lawn care, travel, the approaching elections, Labor Day and back-to-school themes. With a little bit of creativity, almost any organization can find a connection to a summer theme.

More possible ideas include:

Stay-cation themes. Some people might stay home during vacations or perhaps not take vacations. If these people are your target customers, then vacation-themed marketing won’t succeed. It could even make them feel alienated.

“Instead, market to where your customers are at right now,” advises social media marketer Michelle Nickolaisen. “If you’re talking to overworked business owners, a series of entertaining posts or photos based around the idea of the ‘office stay-cation’”

Host events. Even online businesses can gain publicity and new customers by hosting a local event. Rather than an event with speakers and industry knowledge, consider hosting a relaxing event that’s in tune with the laid-back feeling of the season. “Everyone wants downtime in the summer, and by hosting an event that people actually want to attend, you’re giving them that downtime in a way that makes your business stand out,” Nickolaisen says.

Think ahead. Summer is an excellent time for building relationships with journalists and planting the seeds for future media placements. Although many major talk shows are on break, producers and bookers are seeking ideas and picking guests for when production restarts in the fall, notes Strategic Vision PR Group.

Remember to follow media relations best practices, including researching publications, submitting only relevant pitches and tracking results through media monitoring and measurement.

Bottom Line: Like many sectors, PR goes into slow motion during the summer. Yet, with less competition, creative PR pros can more easily obtain earned media placements. In addition, developing media contacts now can set the stage for successful media pitches in busier months.