5 Post-Summer Tips To Get Your PR Team In Gear

PR agency and media relations people tend to work hard, relish summer Fridays and warm-weather vacations, and return to work with gusto when fall rolls around and clients suddenly seem to realize how much needs to be accomplished in the fourth quarter of the year.
But even the most zealous communications pros can find it a challenge to return to high gear before their suntans fade. Here are our best tips for making the transition with your PR team once the summer has come to an end.

Host a “back-to-school” breakfast or lunch. For journalists who cover a regular beat, it’s not uncommon for elected leaders or heads of large organizations to host an annual breakfast for media who cover them. If you’re a company or brand that gets regular coverage, try getting to know the journalists who cover you in a less formal setting. Chalk it up to relationship building, and starting the season fresh. Usually journalists leave with a few story ideas, and the organization learns more about how to personalize communications with each person.

Shorten every email. Email is much abused and overused in PR and other professions: too frequent, too long, too irrelevant, and too unclear. Take the opportunity to create a new practice and shorten every email by 50 percent. Shorter emails are more likely to be read and responded to, and recipients dragging themselves back from summer vacation will thank you for your brevity. One of our clients is famous for sending succinct, often one-word emails that get the job done. Other notoriously succinct emailers? Jeff Bezos and the late Steve Jobs.

Transform your work space. There’s nothing like a physical makeover to provide an energy boost for switching into high gear. PR and media professionals live by their organization habits, and fall is a great time to purge your files, buy new notebooks or laptops, and reorganize your space.

Embrace cultural and business shifts.  Now is the time to read up on the latest business or PR thinking and embrace new habits. For example, big data and machine learning are making marketing and “business intelligence” even smarter, so companies no longer have to wonder about metrics and ROI. Venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz believes this sort of analytics will soon be part of regular business practice, rather than a standalone feature.

Change things up a bit. When the seasons change, new and different ways of doing routine work can bring a welcome dose of fresh energy. Are staff and weekly PR meetings held sitting face to face around a phone or conference table? Perhaps try walking meetings. We know sitting at a desk for 9 hours isn’t great for your health, but walking also leads to more creative thinking, according to a Stanford study.

5 Secrets To Getting PR For Labor Day

Labor Day is right around the corner, and any PR pro knows the calendar provides built-in opportunities to promote your company or brand. Whether you “labor” in B2B public relations or work with a consumer technology company, these tips should be top of mind to earn a little media boost when the unofficial last weekend of summer rolls around.

Labor Day sales, of course. For retailers and savvy consumers alike, the last weekend of summer is as synonymous with big sales as the Fourth of July is with fireworks. Make sure appropriate media outlets know about your Labor Day deals, if you’re a consumer facing brand. Add a special twist to make your deal stand out: donating a portion of sale proceeds to a local nonprofit or neighborhood group shows a commitment to supporting your community.

Friends and family. Labor Day weekend tends to be a time for family gatherings and last hurrahs. Incorporate a special invitation for your brand’s loyal followers to offer to friends and family.  The key? Make it generous.

Labor of love? Is there an element of your business’s story that involves turning a hobby or side business into a labor of love? Several of our clients, past and present, are passionate entrepreneurs who started out with a simple idea developed to fill a personal need, before turning into a full fledged business. Labor Day is the time when pitching those story lines can suddenly be timely.

Unique workforce. If you’re a business small or large, mine your employee ranks for unique angles on your workforce. Do you have an employee that’s never missed a day of work? Or one who’s been with the company for 40 or more years? Such traits are rare in today’s world of work. Take the opportunity to mark Labor Day by giving awards to those candidates, and pitch them as a last-of-their-breed story to media.

 season for everything. Even though technically autumn doesn’t begin for a couple more weeks, Labor Day is a big marker of the changing seasons. Find creative ways to develop story lines for media pitches that tap into the flurry of activities that take place as people are winding down their summer plans and switching gears — back to school, back to work after long vacations and travel, preparing for colder weather ahead.