Ten minutes to the hour and I’m frantically scanning the national and local newspapers trying to find a relevant story for the one o’clock news. It's squeaky bum time.
By Graham Clifford
Outside the sun shines high in the sky. It’s mid-summer and Ireland appears to have taken a national holiday.
When you’re trying to put a news bulletin together for your local Radio station it’s hardly ideal.
But there I was, in the newsroom at Radio Kerry many years back, trying to find a strong local business story.
Surely there was something. The list of back-up stories was bare and a quick online search revealed nothing of note.
With my pursuit unsuccessful I’m considering running yet another story on a summer festival. Worthy but dull.
And then the telephone rings.
A local businessman calls to tell me a product of his has been snapped up by a US shopping channel and the development means production will increase four-fold. He’ll be taking on six new employees at his Tralee base within the month.
The story runs at one.
By three it’s all over the web. By six it’s on the national television news and the next day the story is splashed across all the national newspapers.
Now the story, in its own right, while positive is hardly earth-shattering but timing is everything.
There was an opening – and the savvy businessman rushed through it. Effectively his marketing spend consisted of the price of that telephone call to me.
That astute gent gambled that because of the summer break it would be a slow news day.
And he was right.
I still don’t understand why we accept what’s popularly known as ‘the silly season’ just because it’s the summer.
Just because schools and national parliament are closed it hardly means we should all slip into ‘cruise’ mode too. Our international competitors would laugh at the prospect.
It’s just as important to tell your story, promote your company, and boost your brand profile now, as it is during the dark winter months.
Just because others take the foot off the gas doesn’t mean you have to. Don’t follow the pack.
Just think about it. Do we believe that people stop reading newspapers, checking out their social media or listening to radio during the summer?
Of course they still do all of these things and even if consumption figures are down slightly the chances of having your story covered are enhanced significantly.
And now, every news story leaves an online footprint. The key is creating it and it doesn’t matter if you do that in April or August.
So ‘silly season’ doesn’t exist when it comes to storytelling and communications.
One extremely successful businessman in the Kingdom can testify to that. If you need help telling your story this summer, StoryLab can help.