As the climate and seasons change, so does the world of journalism. What might have been an effective PR strategy in the fall or winter, doesn’t always work in the summer; especially here on the east coast where the temperature raises and people flock to the beaches.
Tip #1 – KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE (really a good tip for any season). If you are pitching a story idea to an east coast reporter or producer, try to anticipate what their audience is interested in. If it’s a lifestyle or feature reporter from New York or New Jersey, think outdoor entertaining, sun protection, outdoor sports, and summer safety.
Tip #2 – TIMING IS EVERYTHING. Know the ideal time to contact your target reporters and stick to it, unless you have breaking news. Overall, Fridays, especially after 4pm, are a no-go zone. Reporters have already filed their stories for the following business day. In fact, many businesses in the NYC-area have summer Fridays, so after 1pm your email will fall into the black hole. Thursday is also a bit of a HOT zone if you are pitching a daily reporter. Also, when there is important breaking news going on in that area or the world, don’t bother a reporter that covers “news” with your fluff piece.
Tip #3 – SUMMER IS A TIME FOR FUN. Typically, summer is a time for family, travel and fun. So, if you can spin your story to have a little fun or whimsy, do it. Even if your client has a product that isn’t typically seen as “fun,” try to think how you could use it while entertaining or outdoors, and then make your client’s product part of a bigger pitch.