The holidays are over, it’s brass monkeys outside and it is time to get serious once again. In public relations, as in business in general, autumn is one of the busiest, most important periods.
After the lean summer months publications will hopefully once again be plump with advertising – meaning more pages printed and more opportunities to help journalists fill them.
Better yet, hardly anyone is on holiday so there are far more readers out there for your stories than at any other time of year.
However, time is short and once we get into mid-December things start to turn decidedly festive. Advisers may work until midnight on Christmas Eve to complete deals for clients but the reality is that many media outlets – and their readers – wind down for a good couple of weeks before Santa takes to the skies and it is often mid-January before they are fully back into the swing of things again.
So companies need to plan now to make the most of their opportunities over the next three months.
Identify the key dates for your firm and your industry over the coming season, and avoid corporate tunnel vision. Think about subjects that will be of interest to your customers, and what you can valuably say about them, not just about your own narrow range of activities.
Political party conferences, trade shows and the second Budget in a year can all be jumped on by clever businesses to generate positive coverage for interesting viewpoints.
And think about your own news pipeline too. Hopefully you will be rushed off your feet this autumn but don’t let that mean you neglect to ask new clients, or those for whom you complete the deal of a lifetime, to authorise a press release about them.
Time is of the essence in media relations. Opportunities are like fruit: we should plan for the harvest and gather them the moment they ripen, not leave them to fall into the laps of competitors.