Summertime at a PR agency is an interesting season for a few reasons. Sure, the staff has an extra lift in its collective step because the weather is nicer (with the exception of places like the San Francisco Bay area, which, as I experienced first-hand last week, is typically steeped in fog this time of year).
But there are significant challenges to smoothly running a successful PR firm when the mercury rises.
- Juggling vacation schedules is a challenge when each PR pro tackles considerable responsibilities for the broader team. For operational continuity, it’s critically important for the staff to get their hard-earned vacations on the books in the spring, so there will be no surprises in July and August. Sounds simple, but it requires foresight from management.
- Reporters, analysts and bloggers are also hard-working human beings who deserve their own vacations, meaning it’s a good idea to think carefully about conducting big product launches during beach season. We’ve done it many times, and enjoyed success, but it gets a heck of a lot more challenging when you receive a spate of “out of office replies” to your pitches. Choose your launch dates wisely for maximum impact.
- It’s a difficult mental leap to start crafting story angles for the winter holidays, but especially for consumer clients, those long-lead publications need to start pulling together their holiday issues. That means your PR team better be thinking of jingle bells while filling their glasses of sun-brewed iced tea with ice.
- Your PR teams are thinking about weekend cookouts and beach excursions, so there’s an unavoidable element of seasonal distraction that can compromise quality if left unchecked. To help combat this phenomenon, and to provide our crew with some additional free time, Matter offers “Summer Fridays” to all employees. That means at about 1 p.m. or 2 p.m., assuming their managers have signed off and client work is wrapped up for the week, our team is free to embark on a long weekend. Maintaining this privilege helps our employees focus on succinctly and properly tying up the week’s loose ends, rather than running out the clock while waiting for the weekend to begin.
What do you do different for the purpose of making the most of summer? Let me know…