Communication 101 During Summer
We are mere days away from afternoons spent by the pool, 16 hours of daylight, caravans to the beach, sundresses and shorts, out of office travel responses…the list goes on. At a food and beverage PR agency, summer is the perfect season to insert clients into stories and consumer-facing activities around BBQs, outdoor activities and traveling.
Summer is so full of outdoor events and vacations that, as publicists, we have to balance out of office replies and slow responses from media with our goals of client coverage. As we have learned through our experience and relationships with editors, we can’t just make coverage appear out of thin air. Here’s how we keep our eye on the prize throughout summer to maintain a steady cadence of coverage for our clients and make sure their expectations are met.
- Be proactive and early
Writers, reporters, editors and producers are also actual humans who take vacations. It’s tempting to get in the mindset that reporters must always be nose-deep in their inboxes with the constant drumbeat of the news cycle and deadlines always on the horizon, but this isn’t actually the case. One way to avoid the dreaded radio silence leading up to a holiday is to plan and amp up your outreach weeks before the holiday. Give editors enough time for a response and your follow up. In addition, do your research to find the perfect contact for the beat or story idea, so you aren’t spinning your wheels with the wrong person.
- Expect slower responses
It’s vacation season, so expect delayed responses from editors, reporters, contributors and freelancers who are out soaking up the sun. This slowdown isn’t the end of the world; adjust your expectations, increase your outreach and pivot where necessary.
- Adjust media lists
Out of office messages can sometimes be so beneficial to remind publicists when the editor will be coming back or alternately who to reach out to in their absence. It is important to take note and adjust your media list accordingly. Set a reminder to re-send a pitch to an editor a couple of days after they return from a long trip to prevent your note from getting lost. Additionally, share the automatic reply with your entire agency, so they do not exhaust an editor’s inbox.
- Get out there
Take advantage of the beautiful weather and invite an editor BFF (learn how to make that happen from Baldeep here) to coffee or lunch on an outdoor patio or somewhere with lots of natural lighting. Sunny skies uplift moods, and if you are not taking a vacation, a nice walk in the park or tea in the sun can transport you and your editor bestie to a tropical getaway.
As always it is essential for PR professionals to stay three steps ahead so that when the un/expected strikes, you can get right back into the groove gracefully.