Marijane Funess August 8, 2014 | 08:20:27

Slow Summer? 7 Ways To Create PR Opportunities

In the PR agency business, summer isn’t always slow. It’s actually a favorite time for prospective clients gearing up for fall campaigns to seek out agencies and create RFPs. For other companies, however, the late summer weeks can drag. But even when your business has no new product to introduce or partnership to promote, there are stealthy ways to generate buzz. Sometimes, it just takes some extra creative thinking or research. Please see below for some ways that thoughtful, strategic PR can create and seize some media opportunities.

Look to the zeitgeist! Are you scouring the news for trend stories, events and other ways to leverage a fit for your company or brand? Has a news report on “green living” sparked an idea for your eco-friendly service?  Is there a celebrity birthday (even of a deceased personality) that could present a newsworthy opportunity for a company in the gifting space? Do the retail experts at your firm have a position on a “back-to-school” study or other selling season? Check it out.

Take advantage of timely travel. Don’t let a company exec travel out of town without trying to score some background interview interest. There may often be a good reason why a Buffalo paper may want to interview a Baltimore CEO, or why a new product category is particularly relevant to a fast-growing city like Atlanta. Find that link, and you’ve generated some unexpected, yet welcome coverage for your company.

Create a robust bylined article campaign. Now is a good time to review “evergreen” editorial opportunities for your senior management to share wisdom and insight. On the B2B front, research the outlets that are most applicable to the industry you’re working in and match some thought-provoking topics on which your CEO or other leader can wax brilliantly. For brand PR programs, summer is a good time to check in with customer advocates or bloggers to plan new program.

Walk the halls.  Literally or figuratively, check in with various different departments like HR, Sales and Product Development to see what compelling projects they are working on that could lend themselves to media interest. There are under-reported stories everywhere!

Similarly, get out of the office! Insights from partners and stakeholders – like field sales reps, distributors, and others – can inform future programs.

Calling all contacts. Or sending a quick note to members of your media contact network and see where your company spokespeople can act as expert source and authority for stories in the works. A small gesture can strengthen media relationships and offer future opportunities for inclusion in upcoming coverage, or establish internal experts as background sources for category features.

Review your content. Now is a good time to dream up new ways to repurpose portions of that year-old white paper, or plan a fresh editorial schedule for the fall.
If all else fails, take a break! You’ll be relaxed and recharged when things get busy.

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