Sleighing the PR game

As the festive season twinkles on the horizon, many franchisors and franchisees might contemplate a seasonal slowdown in their public relations (PR) activities. It’s a time traditionally associated with winding down and looking back on the year’s achievements.

However, at Rev, we propose a different approach – a proactive, festive PR strategy. The holiday season is not just a time of merriment but a unique and valuable opportunity for public relations. By maintaining, or even amplifying, your activities during this period, you can reap significant benefits.

Hang on a minute…

You’re no doubt thinking, ‘Yeah, yeah, you would say that.’ And to be honest, we did think that ourselves whilst writing this… cue staring searchingly into the mirror with dramatic music playing in the background. But the fear of appearing self-serving won’t deter us from offering you some valuable advice. So here we are, having written the blog anyway.

The fact is, a full-steam-ahead approach can set your business apart, keeping you front of mind for prospects and customers as the new year begins. And we all know that January typically signals the start of something big for franchising. Why not lead the pack from day one instead of playing catch up? Here’s how.

Stand out in a quieter landscape.

Many franchisors take December onwards to regroup internally, reflect on highs and lows and even (shock, horror) rein in proactive business activities. This presents you with a golden opportunity. A quieter landscape means your voice can be heard more clearly. In a market where many are stepping back, your actions will stand out. Think of this as a stage with fewer actors; your performance becomes more noticeable and impactful.

Moreover, continual visibility during quieter periods demonstrates your brand’s dynamism and commitment. It sends a strong message about your values and proactivity, setting a positive tone for both franchisee and customer perceptions and expectations.

Dare to be different.

In the bustling holiday season, where festive-themed messages are abundant, crafting content that diverges from the norm can put you centre stage. Consider adopting a non-festive approach so that your stories and news serve as a breath of fresh air amidst the holiday clamour.

This unexpected strategy can pique the curiosity of your audience, cutting through the seasonal noise. Consider focusing on the timeless aspects of your brand whether it’s franchisee stories, technological advances or highlighting your year-round initiatives. This not only captures attention but also resonates with those who appreciate a deviation from the holiday-heavy focus. Those people do exist; we’ve met them. The goal is to ensure your brand is remembered for its distinct voice in a sea of seasonal sameness.

Capitalise on festive opportunities.

Don’t worry, we’re not total grinches! The holiday season is synonymous with goodwill, giving, and community spirit. In a grand juxtaposition to the previous point, we do fully acknowledge that this is a time when people are more receptive to heart-warming stories and charitable acts. By aligning your PR campaigns with these themes, you can significantly boost your brand’s image and appeal.

Consider organising charity events, community outreach programmes, or partnering with non-profits for social causes. Such initiatives not only provide valuable content for your PR campaigns but also showcase your brand’s commitment to social responsibility. It’s a powerful way to connect with your audience on a more personal and emotional level.

Additionally, the festive season is perfect for launching special promotions or holiday-themed products. These can be leveraged in your campaigns to generate excitement and attract attention to your offerings. Creative and well-executed holiday promotions can lead to increased sales, enhanced brand visibility, and positive media coverage.

Maintain media relations.

The media industry doesn’t go into hibernation during the holidays. Journalists are constantly on the lookout for compelling stories, especially ones that provide a respite from the regular news cycle. This is where your renewed PR efforts come into play.

By actively pitching and providing interesting stories (holiday and non-holiday themed – see above!), you can maintain a steady presence in your target media. You may be surprised to know that this short season presents more opportunities to get your franchise featured, as the usual influx of press releases slows down.

If you’ve read even one Rev blog before, you know we’re absolutely fanatical about the importance of generating trust in your brand. The festive season is an ideal opportunity for you to demonstrate that you are a consistent source of engaging content and reliable information. A reputation like this is invaluable, as it means journalists might turn to you first for insights and stories in the future.

Regardless of the time of year, working with the media is a relationships game, and nurturing your contacts is essential for success.

Leverage social media engagement.

Social media platforms buzz with activity during the festive season. It’s a time when people share their celebrations, connect with friends and family, and look for work-life inspiration.

This increased usage is a golden opportunity for your business to boost its online presence. Are you a children’s brand? Read some festive rhymes or offer downloadable colouring pages. Food franchise? Share your favourite holiday recipes and party food tips. Operate in healthcare? Why not organise a singalong in a local residential home and livestream for families who can’t be there? There are so many ways to combine a charitable, feel-good or community activity with your social media strategy.

A well-planned mix of franchise, B2B or B2C and festive content is the ideal way to appeal to audiences between now and the new year. Increased engagement will help you to reach more of your existing follower base and begin showing up in the timelines and feeds of those elusive new users.

Prepare for a strong start to the new year.

Instead of struggling to get the ball rolling in the new year, being active throughout the holiday season, you’re now first out of the blocks. You’ll have ongoing campaigns, a warm audience, and well-established media relationships. What this translates to is momentum and visibility – powerful stuff.

In the fast-paced world of business, this is a significant advantage, positioning your brand as proactive, engaged, and ahead of the curve as you embark on the new year’s challenges and opportunities.

What can we conclude?

If at all possible, don’t go into hibernation over the next couple of months because, if you do, your competitors have the chance to bury you in the snow. And probably stick a carrot nose on you while you’re there.

There’s so much you can do – be it holiday related or not – to generate coverage and compelling content for your audiences. Whatever your business, industry, culture or preferences at this time of year, your business and the people in it have plenty to offer the media.

If you don’t have a plan in place for your festive activities, or you need to make sure the one you do have is going to cut it, drop us a line for a chat. Email or call 07921 572554.

In case you’re new here, we regularly write articles about hot topics and share PR advice like this to help you make the most of your PR activity. To make sure you don’t miss out, follow us on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram

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