Summer creates a revolving door of schedules at work and home. Weddings, vacations and weekend jaunts make marketing and communication even more important because priorities shift, and audiences are fractured from regular routines. Last week, AAA estimated that 42.3 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more from home for the Fourth of July holiday week. That’s a 4.9 percent increase over 2011. So how wise is it to roll out a big campaign if people are not at home or paying attention? For the same reason it’s smart to roll out big campaigns in the fall, it may appear challenging to roll out a smart campaign in the summer. Or is it?
Below are three tips for effective communication during the summer:
- Push a product or seasonal issue. Whereas the fall is a great time for brand awareness, the summer is a great time for moving the needle on a specific product or seasonal issue. While July is a ratings month for television, August media placement can be less expensive and very productive.
- Take advantage of media holes. Holidays create holes in media outlets and publications. Frequently, newspapers, cable news and radio are short-staffed, but they still have to fill space. Savvy media mavens will step in and fill the void with relevant experts and content.
- Plan an event centered around fun. Building a brand or organization is serious work, so when is it appropriate to have fun? Summer is a great time to do internal and external events. Companywide activities (e.g., picnics) are an old-school way to build esprit de corps. Externally, think about outdoor events where lots of people gather, and use it as an opportunity for sponsorship, product placement or information-sharing.
If you have been traveling for work or pleasure, don’t forget the importance of checking in with your staff when you return. They probably enjoyed the break as much as you did, but they also will value your interest in their summer activities in addition to business updates.