Timing can be everything in PR
‘Timing is everything’ is a saying that can be true for many aspects of business, but it is particularly relevant to public relations. Whether you’re planning an event, seasonal campaign or capitalising on a trending topic, optimising your timing is crucial. It can be the difference between securing high quality media coverage across numerous titles and receiving a quick mention online or a NIB (news in brief) in the paper.
Here our PR team looks at why businesses need to plan ahead when it comes to PR and marketing.
Hitting your targets
If you’re planning on launching a seasonal product or sharing news of a big business investment in the New Year for example, and your aim is to target monthly publications, it may seem early, but you should try to have your plans in place and PR assets ready to go by July/August. This is because many monthly magazines can work to deadlines approximately three months before the publication date. This means you need to send them the news in advance to not only be sure to secure space in the feature, but get your news, products or services in front of the journalist before your rivals.
Shifting with the seasons
Aside from meeting press deadlines, when the seasons change you also need to think about how your customer’s priorities shift and how that can affect your marketing.
For example, if you’re a building products manufacturer targeting merchants, there’s no point in sending out press about your new range of fencing and decking supplies in April. You would need to target the merchant press at least three months in advance so they can get the supplies in stock – merchants start to think about stocking for spring straight after Christmas.
Staying ahead of the competition
If you come up with an idea for a Christmas campaign in July, you need to work fast with an experienced agency to get the PR plans in place, so you can be ready to run with it in October. If a competitors gets the same idea and launches first, then they will be the ones that get the coverage in the media. Yours may also come across as a ‘me too’ idea and could be perceived as if you’re copying your rivals, even if it is just a coincidence that you had a similar plan in mind.
Want to work with charities? Make sure you include this in your strategy early on.
Many companies want to focus on ‘giving back’ at Christmas. If this is something you have in mind, then plan early and include any charitable activities such as fundraising, events and donations, in your communications strategy to ensure that you are spreading the word in advance. Be sure to also include the details in your annual budget estimation to avoid going over.
Some businesses have a ‘charity of the year’ that they choose to focus all of their fundraising activity on for the full 12 months, however, if you don’t, we would suggest working with a regional organisation, such as your nearest food bank or hospice. Alternatively, you could work with charities that have a seasonal campaign running, for example, Crisis and their help the homeless campaign or the Cash for Kids Mission Christmas present appeal. Either way, giving something back at this time of year will not only help the charity you’re supporting, but will also boost your company’s reputation amongst the local and business communities.
Be ready for the New Year
If Christmas is typically a quiet time for you, as it can be for some construction and manufacturing companies, then it’s a great time to look at planning the whole year and its timings of activity ahead. Good planning means that you can organise activities many months in advance and give editors exclusives and plan in editorial features, which are often pre-booked at the start of the year.
Keeping timing as an important factor in your communications strategy for 2019, will make a world of difference when it comes to your company gaining coverage and recognition during important periods throughout the year. An experienced PR agency, like Dragonfly PR, should have a dedicated account team in place to help your business capitalise on the seasons and trends that are relevant to both you and your customers.
To find out more about how our PR team can help you make the most of your marketing and communications for next year, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01143 495345.
Dragonfly PR is a dedicated, Sheffield based agency with over 15 years’ experience in helping b2b companies across Yorkshire and the North West to generate results. We can put together an outline proposal that will help you meet your business objectives, through generating sales enquiries, increasing traffic to your website and positioning you as the experts in the field.