Unbelievably, August is nearly upon us. Traditionally August is seen as the quiet month – everyone is on holiday, or so it seems, so projects get paused and things get put on hold, making for a busy September.
Well, this might not all be quite true – as we’ll explain in a post later this week – but if you do find yourself with a bit of quiet time in August, you’d do well to use it wisely. There are jobs that always get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list and things that never get done that you can tidy up, for instance, and you can also make sure you’re prepared for the run-up to Christmas.
So, how can PR agencies and comms departments make sure that they are making hay while the sun shines? Here’s our five-point guide to help you out.
Social media spring clean
More of a summer clean than a spring clean, but while social media channels should be maintained on an ongoing basis, when was the last time you checked out whether you are still following some now-inactive accounts? Getting rid of the old should be followed by bringing in the new, so ensure you are connected with all of the most relevant influencers and companies in your industry.
Also pay attention to the images you have on your profile – are you using the latest logo? Do you need to update your header photo to freshen up the look of your profile page? And is your contact information up-to-date? These are all questions you should be asking yourself, and while some of the tasks may be tedious, this is the best time to get it done.
Keep the conversation going
It would be a mistake to take your foot off the gas where social and media outreach activities are concerned. Plenty of your audience will still be around and listening to what you have to say, so even if you aren’t planning any big set-piece announcements you should still make sure that the drumbeat continues.
And, if your competitors have gone quiet, it’s a good opportunity to steal a march on them by getting extra media attention. Some of your key media contacts might have a bit more time on their hands as well, so why not take the chance to meet up with them in person, perhaps over drinks at the end of the day.
Look at your data
Every campaign you run – whether earned, owned or paid – generates data. While each campaign may only ever be seen in isolation when reporting back to the client, if you have a bit more time on your hands you can take a step back and get a data-informed view of the big picture.
From this data, you can learn valuable lessons. Setting aside some time to sit down and really think hard about what this data means is something you can do in August, letting you figure out what has been working well, what needs to improve, and what isn’t working at all. This will inform future campaigns and make your processes more efficient.
Plan, plan, plan
If there are no big activations or announcements planned for August, that doesn’t mean you should relax. Thinking about what is going to happen in September, as well as Q4, is important and now is the perfect opportunity.
Even if some people that you want to be involved in the conversations are on holiday, this is no excuse for putting it off. The clarity of thought that quieter periods can inspire is very useful, but you also don’t want to be doing things in a rush during September. Give yourself the opportunity to do your best work by making your plans well in advance.
But no one is saying that you should be working 18-hour days during August either. It’s a great time to take advantage of the sunshine, perhaps in a pub garden with the rest of the team after work. You could also treat everyone to a spa day, or a picnic in the park, giving everyone the opportunity to recharge their batteries and have a bit of fun.
Many employers offer workers the chance to leave early on Fridays – as long as everything has been done of course – and this is also a great way to build loyalty and trust within a team, as well as helping everyone stay fresh.