Pitching, planning and reflecting - why December is not dead time for PR

In a recent client meeting, it was said, "well, then we are into mid-November, and then it's Christmas, so dead time".

Never mind 'Jingle Bells' and mince pies, December is a chance to pitch, plan and reflect, writes Leah Jones
Never mind 'Jingle Bells' and mince pies, December is a chance to pitch, plan and reflect, writes Leah Jones

As a (proactive) PR person, that statement is wrong on so many levels. Many might believe that the time between mid-November and after Christmas is time to hibernate while listening to Christmas songs on repeat, but when it comes to PR, the festive season is the time to be jolly.

So, how can you ensure December isn’t dead time in PR?

Christmas does NOT start in November

Although Christmas lights and decorations seem to go up earlier and earlier each year, trade journalists will be working until the second week of December, much like the rest of us.

True, their schedules will be a bit less busy, but the best stories at the end of year will be the real winners.

The majority of the ‘look-aheads’, ‘look backs’, and ‘2018 predictions’ will be published—but there will still be the ad hoc journalists looking to fill their dwindling schedules.

‘Tis the season to reflect

In fast-paced PR, how often do you get a chance to sit back and reflect on the achievements and results that have been achieved throughout the year?

Developing an annual roundup of what your team has achieved is a great way to motivate staff and give you something to celebrate — not that any excuses are needed.

Don’t be lonely this Christmas

Contrary to popular belief, news desks don’t close over the festive period. There may be fewer journalists staffing the editorial teams, but these journalists are often desperate for content and work remotely.

This is the perfect time to pitch your gems to the news desks, before the New Year comes and the news agendas refill.

New year, new campaigns

Similarly to sitting back and reflecting on achievements, it’s not often that PR agencies have the chance to spend time planning their own campaigns or outreach.

Spend time mapping out your targets for the year ahead — whether for your own company or clients — and compile a list of 2018 goals for the team to aim towards. When the New Year comes around, your team will have a definitive plan to execute.

Make Christmas your story

Believe it or not, there is plenty of room for Christmas in the news agenda. Whether it’s a story about retail behaviour or security threats when guards are down, there are ways for your client to get extra PR coverage this Christmas while others are sleeping off sherry hangovers.

It’s easy to rest on your laurels and hibernate during the winter months, but December is the time for opportunists and planners to get ahead in the PR game.

So, whether you fill the office with mince pies and Christmas songs while pitching to the media, or simply spend your time avoiding any involvement in ‘Secret Santa’ while planning the year ahead, make sure you’re proactive this December.

Leah Jones is an account manager at CommsCo

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