5 Reasons Thanksgiving is big deal in PR

By Scott Signore

Like most businesses in America, next week the dedicated employees here at Matter will take a well-deserved break from their press releases, editorial pitches and blog posts as they celebrate Thanksgiving. Matter will have an abbreviated work day on the Wednesday before the holiday – and they have been encouraged to work from home that day in the spirit of avoiding holiday traffic and getting a jump start on the extra-long weekend. And, we’re closed on Friday, and that time will likely be used for catching up with friends and family, or finding ways to begin holiday shopping.

No matter how the Matter employees choose to spend the extra few days off, I certainly hope they’ll spend some time re-charging for the final month of the year. Here are five more reasons why Thanksgiving break is noteworthy to PR professionals:

First, we need a few days of peace before the madness of the annual stretch run. Let’s face it: the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are madness, and there seems to be more to do for our clients in that period of time than in any other during the year. Considering the days off around the November and December holidays, client teams are required to accomplish a month’s worth of work in only a few weeks. We’re up for the challenge, naturally, but it makes for a hectic time!

Second, if any unaccomplished programmatic goals are on still on the table, now’s the time to address them! As many PR and social media teams assess, measure and recalibrate at the end of each year, now is the time to be certain that you’ve delivered on your programmatic promises. That’s in addition to being certain that the results you’ve generated are directly contributing to business and communications success.

Third, a vast number of pitch-worthy trend stories will be published between Thanksgiving and the start of the New Year, meaning there are good opportunities to place your client’s key messages. In addition to having the foresight to deliver content to appropriate editors and bloggers in advance of anticipated story publishing deadlines, it’s smart to stay on top of media Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, ensuring that you can capitalize on timely opportunities that may arise. (This also goes for broadcast TV producers and editors, who are frequently looking for product or spokespeople in a timely manner.)

Fourth, the Thanksgiving break is the perfect reminder that the start of a new year is…only a few weeks away! And, to that end, now is the time to get next year’s plans baked and ready to go. It’s likely that the planning process for most client teams is already underway, but Thanksgiving has a way of reminding all of us that the process should be moved along in a timely manner.

And, finally, we work long days and having a break to spend time with family and friends is a big deal. (And, working hard and having long days isn’t necessarily a bad thing, particularly if you dig your job.) It just so happens that we have a gig that often requires early mornings and late nights, and checking email after you’re technically “done” for the day. Giving yourself a break is hugely important, and it always feels that the Thanksgiving break comes at just the right time.

Public relations and social media people – what does Thanksgiving break mean to you?