It seems to me that brand success and the sustainability of a business can often be determined by seasonality. You don’t have to go far at the moment to see that most brands are launching their Christmas campaigns, with many competing for the title of best festive TV advertisement.
Seasonality is just as important when it comes to PR. Some of the best stories take into account the changing seasons, occasions or events that allow us to engage with our customers and prospects, using topical themes to entice interest. Quite often the campaigns that work best are those that rely on keeping it simple; building on messaging people will expect but adding a creative twist.
What surprises me is when brands haven’t considered seasonal activity or the opportunities that these planned events can deliver. It doesn’t have to be as obvious as Christmas advertising or January sales but what about Valentine’s Day, the Rugby Union World Cup and Easter or the Tour de France? Will you be doing something to capitalise upon one of the biggest sporting events in the country next year? I was recently sent a link to a video that has been commissioned by the Yorkshire Dales National Park and as well as being very well edited and put together, it made me smile and reminded me of what we have to offer in the region:
It’s obvious that this video has been commissioned to raise a smile and to support the fact that the Tour de France will pass through many of the Dales villages. What it also does very well is showcase the friendly nature of the people, the amazing scenery and some of the quirky businesses that trade in the Dales.
Using this as just one example, is there something quirky that you could do which perhaps wouldn’t be expected but would build on seasonal sales? As an example, if you are a watch manufacturer and the clocks are going forward, is there an option for you to stay open an hour later or to provide discounts during the ‘lost hour’ in that day.
There are lots of things you can do around annual occasions whatever your business and if there isn’t a day, week or month that you think you can capitalise upon, then I would suggest that you take just half an hour out of your day to sit down with your team and put together a planning session. All you need to do is grab a piece of paper, or a pad of post-it notes and a pen and think of all the seasonal occasions or events that are taking place throughout 2014. You can then dismiss those that you don’t feel can add any value, while working on those that you believe could be used to market your business.
This is often a great way to find out what team members are interested in, as they will come up with suggestions you perhaps hadn’t even thought about.
There have been some great PR campaigns in recent years which have focused on a strong events calendar including the Royal wedding, Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics and although we are unlikely to have a similar run of activities in the years to come, we can plan for those things that we know will happen.
To get people started why don’t you share your favourite seasonal or event specific campaigns with us, we’re sure that there is something that has not only caught your eye but also your attention over recent months and that is what good PR and strong creative ideas are all about – building a brand and reinforcing the importance of a positive reputation, which in turn drives sales all year round.