Prepare for the summer months by revisiting our summertime productivity hacks for communications professionals. (Originally published June 26, 2019).
With spokespeople, clients and journalists out on vacation, your communications team might be hit with a summer slump. You can take advantage of the slow season by crossing a few tasks off your communications to-do list that tend to take a back burner to time-sensitive news.
Below, find some suggestions for making the most of summer from a communications standpoint.
Update brand assets
Say cheese! Schedule photography sessions to get updated headshots for your executives and new hires. While you have a photographer on hand, you can also get more photos of your products, employees interacting with customers or on-location shots. Next time a reporter requests a photo, you’ll have a library of high-quality images to choose from.
This is also a good time to figure out what you have, what you need and what you can toss. Keeping extraneous files around can create confusion when a team member needs to quickly pull a photo or image. Discard old logo files that haven’t been used since you rebranded, images of discontinued products and headshots of former employees. Reorganize brand assets into a network file that the communications team can easily access when needed.
Map out your editorial calendar
Planning for Christmas in July may seem a bit premature, but summer is a great time to look at the next 12 months and map out content. You can even start creating social media posts, graphics and blog articles that can be stashed away for future use. Most brands will have a content blitz in the fall and through the holidays. Now is a good time to start preparing for that.
“You can take advantage of the slow summer season by crossing a few tasks off your communications to-do list”
Meet with reporters
Fall brings a flurry of activity with new partnerships to create, new contacts to make and new media targets to brief. Summer is a good time to start identifying those contacts and even get some meetings on the calendar. While newsrooms tend to stay busy year round, some journalists (particularly in the Northeast) do set aside extra time in the summer for meet and greets or to pick the brains of industry experts . You could be laying the groundwork for a story placement come September.
Perform a social media audit
Summer is a great time to tidy up your social properties across the board. Fix broken links, delete dated or irrelevant content, work on beefing up LinkedIn profiles of spokespeople. Do you have a new logo that hasn’t been updated across all properties? Or perhaps your hero photos feature old or outdated products? As always, you want to showcase the latest and greatest and ensure that your content is forward looking.
Go back to SEO basics
Improve your company’s SEO (search engine optimization) with a few minor tweaks that aren’t too time consuming. Review your website and make sure you’re using the optimal descriptors for your products or services — the ones that people actually use when searching. A rhinoplasty expert will not be found online if patients only search for “nose job.” Customize your title tags and meta descriptions. Review Google Analytics to track your performance and use that to make adjustments that will land you higher up in search results.
Revisit your crisis communications plan
It’s always a good idea to keep your list of liabilities and potential crises up to date. Add new risks to your crisis communications plan and take the opportunity to enhance your strategy while you’re at it. Don’t forget to update your list of staff, spokespeople and media contacts and ensure their phone numbers and email addresses are correct.
Looking for more ways to increase your productivity during slow summer months? Click here for more tips.