Iman Sandimanie July 2, 2013 | 05:19:22

PR (Never) Takes a Holiday!

While most people are ready to kick off the 4th of July holiday early, smart PR folks have been thinking of ways to take advantage of the time period on behalf of their clients. They know that a long holiday weekend means a slow news cycle and media who may be distracted or in a rush to get out. Times like these can provide a golden opportunity for getting your clients in the news…if you’re smart and think strategically. Worried about your clients’ news being met by a barrage of out of office replies? Here are some tips on getting your news out during a short holiday week.

Do Your Holiday Homework

Think about what day the holiday falls on and be sure to get your pitch out before the mass exodus. This year, July 4th falls on a Thursday, which means pretty much everyone will begin to check out as early as Tuesday afternoon. Get your pitches out by Monday and send a quick follow-up on Tuesday morning to give reporters time to look at your story. Use the rest of the time to make calls to top-tier press to “close” some stories ahead of the holiday weekend.

No Expiration Date

Reporters are looking for content to fill in news gaps over the holiday, so this is an opportunity for your story to make a splash. Pitch news that doesn’t have a time stamp attached to it. Reporters appreciate evergreen stories, like surveys, because they’re ideal for slow news cycles. After pitching a client’s survey in March, my colleague is still getting emails from media interested in the story three months later.

Own That Holiday!

This is also a good time to make the holiday work for you. Take advantage of this window of opportunity by planning ahead and thinking creatively. Provide reporters with timely content like tips on outdoor decor, or recipes for a 4th of July barbecue, or riffing on the ” independence” theme which can be translated to almost any client product or service and easily be plugged into a story. Make sure your client news owns the holiday. Your efforts will be appreciated and you’ll be building critical relationships for future pitching and PR.

Be Prepared

Now that you’ve pitched early enough, be prepared to work with the media; don’t disconnect from your work email just yet. Know that part of making this strategy work means working bits and pieces over the holiday weekend. Once you’ve got a “bite” – go with it! Take pride in the extra effort expended to get a great placement. This also means preparing your client. Spokespeople need to be available for interviews, and members of the PR team need to be around to facilitate as well. Remember to work quickly and efficiently, and don’t forget to be patient and friendly with bloggers and media. It’s a great time to “bond” and you can be sure that they want to finish up and enjoy the holiday weekend too!
What are your tips for pitching during a short holiday week?

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