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Media Relations Tips for the Holiday Week

It’s almost the 4th of July! Hip hip hooray! Except you have a client that wants media results and they don’t give a flying fig about the nation’s independence. Boo.

So what’s a PR to do? In today’s guest post, Susan Young offers up some suggestions. Young is the president of Get in Front Communications who has also written for Ragan’s HR Communication. Get five tips for securing a holiday media hit after the jump.

Five Holiday Media Relations Tips from Susan Young, president of Get In Front Communications

Long holiday weekends like July 4th bring the news cycle to a screeching halt. This year, the U.S. celebrates Independence Day on Wednesday. Even though most are distracted with barbecues, fireworks, and sunburn, newspapers and electronic media still need fresh, new content to fill their pages and airwaves. Summer is typically slow in newsrooms as schools and state legislatures are out. This is where you come in.

Many pitches that seem weak during a busy news cycle can easily grab the attention of a reporter during long weekends and holidays. This is one instance our 24-hour news cycle is good for PR pros.

Here are five easy tips for getting publicity during the holiday week:

  • Act fast. This year, July 4th is on Wednesday. Many people are taking off part the beginning or end of the week to make for a long weekend. A lot of offices are closing early on Tuesday. Translation: It’s time to hustle. If you send your press release or pitch today or tomorrow, reporters can use it anytime between now and July 9.  Your sleeper story on a busy news day could be a big headline over the extended holiday and even into next week.
  • Keep it undated. “Evergreen stories” with no real date attached to them are ideal for coverage in a slow news cycle. You may be pleasantly surprised to see it picked up a few weeks after it was sent.
  • Focus on business and hard news. Stay away from the typical seasonal stories that bore us all to tears. Hard news and business stories are perfect for these time periods. Think about trends in your industry.
  • Make predictions. What will the next six months of 2012 look like? What trends, challenges, and legislative issues lie ahead? The key is that the voice of your company is willing to say something. He/she must be prepared to take a position and make a bold statement. For instance: If real estate is your specialty, make a forecast about the housing market or interest rates. People who are fearful of doing this or “don’t like the press” won’t get much press. Holiday or not.
  • Get creative! Cause-related marketing is also a good opportunity to shine. For example, most groups conduct holiday food drives in November and December, yet there are plenty of hungry people in July. Launch a summer food drive with a local nonprofit. Human interest stories are always fun this time of year, too.  If you (or your client or boss) enjoys surfing or kayaking, invite a brave reporter to come along. It makes for great visuals.

Take advantage of this window of opportunity by planning ahead and thinking creatively. Reporters will appreciate your efforts and you’ll be building critical relationships for future pitching and PR.

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