I am all for creating cohesive marketing campaigns. Laying down a strong foundation, filling in the blanks, rolling with the latest tools of the trade, and making sure each component is running on all cylinders is how we publicists get the job done. “Strategy” is even a good thing – essential, really. But don’t let your perceived cleverness or years of experience get in the way of legit progress. PR is on-going, and therefore it has no definitive start time, duration, or expiration date. PR happens – any time.
The beauty of PR is that it can perform with as few or as many components as one has time for, money to spend, or know-how to do. Business owners and publicists can often overthink things, though, resulting in missed opportunities and all too often creating cracks in what was otherwise a solid foundation.
The holidays are upon us. Does this mean it’s not a good time to start a PR and marketing program or that it’s a prudent time to take a break? Absolutely not. First and foremost, media happens – all the time. Hard news, as well as the need for “fluff” material, is constant. In fact, pending any significant local news climate, the holiday season is one of the most active times for food, beverage, and hospitality content placement, given the celebratory tone of the season. Send those press releases out, submit recipes and photos, and promote your holiday offerings and events.
Are you thinking of taking your foot off the marketing gas pedal in the dead of winter? Old school thinking would have you avoid promotional events due to the possibility of inclement weather, or forgo media buys in fear of your message falling upon deaf ears, or not scheduling any media/influencer visits, instead, choosing to hold out for a springtime push. It’s a new day, and with that comes an abundance of promotional platforms and a plethora of creative talent to mobilize. And let’s not forget, with more competition in the industry than ever before, there’s no reason to ever hold back on marketing your brand.
Months, days, and even times for implementing PR and marketing outreach is not an exact science. Sure, we can use analytics to evaluate traffic patterns on social media and digital platforms, and we’d like to use history as a reliable gauge, but let’s face it, none of these are foolproof.
Get ahead of the winter and use the drop in temp and seasonal doldrums to your advantage. You have a captive audience. Now is the time to coax consumers off their couches with generous offers and out-of-the-box ideas. Embrace winter with a patio ice bar sponsored by your spirit distributor. Create a warming Spanish wine and tapas event. Host a month-long series of cooking classes. Build-in inclement weather dates. Better yet, get creative with some snow-day incentives! Fill your calendar with activations, providing customers with an escape, media and social influencers with content, and a reason to reach out to your customers on all platforms. While other businesses are lying low, take advantage of their complacency and strike hard.
Be on the lookout for sweet deals from your media contacts during these alleged slower times.
There are great advertising packages to be had, and more often than not, they are attached to future incentives. Reach out to your local bloggers and Insta-influencers too and host a few gatherings for them so your social media content remains active and even intriguing.
Avoid “FOMO” this winter season. Don’t be that operator that’s left on the sidelines watching other people’s bright ideas take flight. Experiment with your marketing efforts and enjoy the process.