From the President’s Desk: Summer is a great time to get noticed by the media

Robert Simpson

Robert Simpson

President & CEO

For the last 20 years, Robert has specialized in strategic communication and public relations, focusing his passion for storytelling to help organizations achieve greater impact. As PR Associates’ leader, Robert plays a role in collaborating with clients and our teams to develop strategies and create experiences that deepen audience engagement.

Summer has finally arrived and with Covid restrictions being reduced many of us are finally taking well-deserved vacations or staycations, but in newsrooms around the world journalists will still be churning out the news; filling newspaper pages, developing stories for the nightly news, and keeping online conversations active.

I have often found summer months are some of the best to pitch stories. It is a slow news time, and journalists are looking for angles and ideas that stand-out. They also are interested in more in-depth pitches and are more willing to consider angles they would not normally consider.

It’s been my experience that the summer is a very good time to pitch feature story ideas to newspaper people. Some staff are slightly depleted due to vacation time and as a result, there tends to be more time and space to get feature packages written. Also, summers at newspapers bring in interns who are always looking for stories from their editors. Editors might be more willing to entertain a feature story during the summer rather than the rest of the year because they have interns to either write those stories or at least pick up the slack in other areas while a veteran writes the story.

While the old rules always still apply: target your pitch, provide value to the journalist, fact check and proofread, and support the journalists on multiple platforms, here are a few more insights as we head into summer.

I have also found that summer is a good time to pitch morning TV. So many people are on vacation they have trouble filling segments with on-camera interviews. So if you plan ahead, it can be a great time to book morning TV when they’ll appreciate good visuals and ideas more than usual.

The one key difference is that pitching stories in the summer months may take a little more patience and a little more luck in that timing. This is only because, like the rest of us, journalists go on vacation over the summer and you never really know when until you get that out-of-office reply. But again, patience and a well-thought-out relevant story go a long way in summer pitching (as well as Fall, Winter, and Spring pitching).

In reality, summer offers superb opportunities for PR for a very simple reason: Summer is also a slow time for journalists. Unless they’re also on vacation like much of the business world or their publications skip an issue, they may become increasingly desperate for story ideas as the summer drags on.

Summer PR work also lays the groundwork for obtaining coverage in the busier fall and winter months when everyone is competing for coverage. Reporters who work with you during the summer will be more receptive during busier months later in the year, giving you a competitive advantage.

So if this summer you have a story you want to notice give us a call. While there are never any guarantees, but with a well-written pitch, the chances of getting your story published are much higher.


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