PR lessons learned from summer

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Warmer weather and longer days make for plenty of opportunities to get outside and be active, but summer also is a prime time to assess your overall public relations strategy. In fact, the season offers quite a few key PR lessons. Here are a few of our favorites.

Come prepared

Only a fool hosts a summer BBQ unprepared without the proper supplies.

Crucial to a successful cookout is the grocery list, which helps you identify which items to pick up at the store before you light the grill.

Sure, it may be a pain to make an inventory of all that is needed, but it beats the alternative—making multiple trips to the store or having unhappy guests.

PR should be approached the same way. Having a plan and being prepared with the right tools before you start promoting your brand or business is crucial.

Not only will preparing a PR plan serve as a guide for what you should do next, even if it can be a pain to prepare, but the plan also will help steer you back towards your goals should your communications efforts go off course.

Ride the waves

When you are at the beach and a wave comes at you, you need to make a snap decision.

You can't afford to run away from the oncoming wave and risk getting caught up in it, only to tumble through and get scraped up on the sand and shells. The best way to attack the waves is to jump as high as you can to rise above them.

With that said, you also should be able to tell when you should keep your head down and dive through a wave. Ducking down and diving through a wave saves you from discomforts that standing your ground may invite, like a mouthful of saltwater.

Riding the PR waves can be just as tricky.

How do you know when your brand should rise above and when it should dive through? By drafting and then sticking to your key messages.

Your key messages tell your target audience everything you want them to know about your brand or your business. Having these three to five consistent points at your fingertips to consistently go back to is the best plan of attack you can have for promoting your brand.

Think about it: If you don’t know how to speak and talk about your brand, how will anyone else? No matter what waves come at you, stick with your key messages. You’ll sail on through.

Not sure where to start? You can find helpful post on key messages here and here.

The temp always rises

Just like the temperature outside, there will be high points and low points in your PR efforts.

Sometimes, the media will flock to your brand like hot tourists to an air-conditioned bar. Other times, your outreach efforts will come up as empty as the bottom of the suntan lotion bottle.

Both are natural and are out of your control. Remember, the effort you put into your PR tactics will pay off. High temps are coming, you just must wait.

Don't let the low points or droughts in media coverage get you down, the only pain summer should leave you feeling is the inevitable sunburn.

Be confident

Summer means time by the pool, and pools typically require wearing swimsuits. And we all know that wearing a swimsuit takes a lot of self-confidence.

The same need for confidence applies to your PR outreach.

Don’t be intimidated by other brands or competitors who may have bigger budgets or PR teams than you. You know who they are, the ones that always seem to be doing #allthethings.

Who cares! They aren’t you, they don’t have your goals, and spending time worrying about others takes energy away from you doing what is best for you.

I have friends with one-woman shops who have secured placements on The Today Show and in People without a dime as their PR budget or any assistance to speak of.

One friend’s media pitch filled with faked confidence even resulted in 33,000 orders in 24 hours!

With PR, it doesn’t matter how big your business or budget is. It only matters that you put in effort and stick with it. We all start somewhere.

Not sure where to start? We have amazing library of resources on our Hearsay blog and tools in our shop to help.

What PR lessons have your learned from your time at the beach?

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