Cut Through the Noise — and Competition — by Pitching the Press During Slow Summer and Holiday Periods

For most nonprofit marketing folks, summertime slows down in terms of campaign launches, incoming contacts and hours logged by. Most of my peers tend to focus on cleaning up, catching up, and planning for the next "season," starting in September.

But I’ve changed my summertime strategy radically in the last few years, using the quiet to get up and gear up, right now. Here’s how I’m gearing up media-relations wise for my clients:

1) Call, Call, Call

It was quiet as a mouse in my office last week, as so many folks took advantage of the long July 4th week to extend it into a weeklong vacation. So I took the opportunity to return some media calls, and to try to reach some contacts I’ve had no luck getting through to.

I was surprised to reach a deputy editor at the top of my "to call" list, who was filling in for a beat reporter on vacation. And, boosted by that hit, succeeded in reaching three more formerly elusive contacts (who were actually glad to get my call).

What I heard from them was that they welcome calls during their few quiet periods, in a way they never do during regular Monday through Friday hours when the phones ring off the hook. And they appreciate me for knowing that their lives are more quiet during vacation days and weeks.

One broadcast journalist even suggested that I start calling on holidays (don’t know how my three-year-old would feel about that, but it’s worth a try) themselves, when things are dead quiet but the newsroom remains staffed.

2) Pitch More Wires

Print media uses a lot more wire-house stories to fill in during slower news cycles, so your nonprofit’s stories have a better chance of being picked up. My deputy editor friend counts on the wires for story ideas as well, because there’s just not as much coming in.

Any strategies you use to make the most of your slow summer days? Please comment below.

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Nancy Schwartz on July 10, 2006 in Media Relations and Press, Nonprofit Communications, Unique Approaches | 0 comments
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