9 productive activities for PR pros during a summer lull

Are your clients and contacts taking off for the summer? Here’s what PR pros can do with the downtime in slower summer months.

We love those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer—but what should we do when work slows down while clients, coworkers and journalists are on vacation?

We asked a few PR and communications pros for some ideas. Here’s what they said.

1. Holiday preparation

Believe it or not, summer is the time to think about the upcoming holiday season.

  • “I work with clients on training so they’re ready to hit the ground running in September and get the best results from their Christmas marketing campaigns.”-Laura Moore, social media strategist
  • “We think about the Christmas season and our winter campaigns! Rather than tailoring a complete campaign around the day, thinking of extra assets we can build to support. Prep is key!”-Katheryn Watson, digital PR manager, Kaizen Agency

2. Awards submissions

If you’re looking for some focused time to put together material for award submissions, the slower summer days can be a godsend.

  • “I find it can be a good time to work on awards entries for clients. If you plan ahead then you can get entries prepared during August for many awards with closing dates in the autumn, and it’s a good way of maintaining activity levels when news is a bit slower.” -Stuart Anderson, founder, Alpha Public Relations

3. Professional development

Summer can be an ideal time to work on professional development activities.

  • “I work more on building my personal brand with personal and professional development classes, creating content for myself and networking. I get better results when I don’t feel pressured to perform sometimes.” -Maleeka Hollaway, founder, OMG

4. Content marketing

To properly plan for content marketing, you need time. Use those found hours in the summer to get a solid plan in place.

  • “I spend time with my clients looking at what really is the story behind what they do. Mapping out a content plan and keeping up the momentum for guest expert opportunities through speaking, podcasts and guest blogs.”-Claire Winter, content creator

5. Freshening up older campaigns

Want to repurpose some campaigns but have no time to focus on it? Why not take advantage of the downtime?

  • “I like to take the time to catch up on client management/admin tasks, updating KPI trackers, content calendars and even try to spin some smaller stories or rework old campaigns to try and bring some additional coverage in!”-Jessica Fairfax, digital PR manager, Kaizen Agency

6. Social media

Behind on social media for your business? Use the slower summer hours to catch up.

  • “To quote a business growth guru: I work ON the business not IN the business! So that’s doing my own social media, etc., always the first to be ignored when you’re busy.”-Hannah Rowe, marketing & PR consultant

7. Financial planning

Though business finances may be an area it’s easy to neglect in busier times, it still needs attention.

  • “Banking further creative content for clients, attending to our own marketing, blog content creation and dare I say…. financial planning (yawn).”The Small Biz Expert

8. Research

Plugging in original research can boost your communications strategy. The summer months can provide the time needed to really dig into this valuable approach.

  • “It’s a great time for conducting bespoke research and then using this to create whitepapers in B2B communications.” -Holly Pither, founder, Tribe PR

9. Attending events

Too busy to get out much? How about taking advantage of the quieter summer days to attend some networking events?

  • “We map out who we want to work with, possibly research on changes with social media and sometimes go out and get inspired by events or by interviewing interesting people on our podcast.”Etica Personal Branding

Finally, give yourself permission to take a break. Balance your time in the summer. Use it to plan for busier times—but mix in some fun, too.

  • “Summer is the time for you to ponder, reflect, strategize, invest in your personal brand in order to help your organization grow. It’s the only time of the year you can spend a little less time on them and a little more time on you, which helps you out for the rest of the year. And, of course, go play, too.”-Travis Chambers, founder, Chamber Media

Michelle Garrett is a PR consultant and writer at Garrett Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter @PRisUs or connect with her on LinkedIn. A version of this article originally appeared on Muck Rack, a service that enables you to find journalists to pitch, build media lists, get press alerts and create coverage reports with social media data.

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