Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Top 5 Reasons Summer Can Be a Great Time to Concentrate on Communications

5. You can sit down and plan. Because you’re not scrambling to get out six partner releases, four new-hire announcements and attend a conference all at the same time, you have a bit more time to take a deep breath and look at your goals more strategically. Summer can be a great time to get out of “reactive” mode and do the careful planning that will assure your success when the faxes start flying again. You can do some competitor tracking, analyze past results of your own campaigns, and create more intelligent metrics for that next initiative.

4. Experts are harder for journalists to find. Because so many executives take vacations during summer months, and because so many of the big corporations do ramp down their communications in the summertime, reporters have to look harder to find good experts for commentary in their articles. Being proactive in putting your own leaders forward during the summer can not only provide an immediate boost to your executives’ visibility, but makes it more likely they will be called upon again for their expertise later in the year.

3. All that writing can finally get done. You’ve probably been meaning to deploy about a dozen writing assignments since the beginning of the year, but because you’ve been in that reactive mode, you simply haven’t had a chance. Summer is a great time to get that accomplished – whether bylined articles, case studies or even a messaging refresh, it’s much easier to create good copy when you’re not tapping it furiously on your Blackberry from a breakout room at N+I!

2. Journalists and analysts have more time for briefings. Generally, fewer companies are seeking briefing appointments during the summer, and because there are fewer trade shows, even with summer vacations, journalists and analysts may often actually be in their offices more. Plus, since they’re not trying to fit in five briefings per week, you may get more time with each individual. And Boston and New York are really much nicer to visit in June than in February anyway!

1. Publications lack fresh content and need your news. Slow news periods mean that your story has a greater chance of being noticed, since you aren’t competing as much for message attention as you might be, say, in September, when everyone else ramps their communications back up. With journalists taking summer vacation and companies waiting to spring their biggest news until autumn, media sources have more of an appetite for third-party content – so you may be able to sell in your bylined articles and case studies more easily than during any other time of year.

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