Marketing and PR for the Israeli start-up scene is somewhat seasonal. You’ve got CES and MWC in January and Feb/March. You’ve got the big rush in May/June before the summer months. And you’ve got the October/November rush before the American holiday season (late-Nov – Jan. 2).
To be clear, here are the times that are generally considered to be quiet:
- Post-MWC in March (through the end of the month, after companies have held most of their news and excitement for CES and MWC) – 3 WEEKS
- July-August – when much of the world is trying to take vacation and relax a bit. In fact, this is so much a part of the deal that many PR and advertising agencies offer “summer Fridays” off, since it is known that the level of work will be lower – UP TO 10 WEEKS
- The week before Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day – APPROX. 6 WEEKS
So what can marketers do during these “slow” periods to make the most of any opportunities that are out there?
As I see it, there are many, but there are ten that I would consider to be top priority. Bear in mind that ALL of them are equally important. Here we go:
Follow Up —
Hopefully, you took good notes during all interviews that took place at the time of your big push. Make sure that if you committed to providing additional information to anyone, you follow through on what they expect to receive.
Check In On Competitors —
Often, these busy times are implemented with blinders on. But after the big push, you must, must, must take a look at what the other guys have been doing. What strategic moves have they made? What did they announce? How has their website and social media changed in the past 1-2 months? These simple research projects will give you tremendous insight so that you can …
Reevaluate Your Message —
How did your key messages resonate in the market, with the media, or at the big trade show? Are you on to a good thing? Has the industry left you in the dust? Is there a wrinkle you can add to make things more compelling? Answer these questions, and you’re better able to …
Map Your Stories —
Brainstorming sessions are somewhat cliché, but they work! Get a group together (include some non-core team members with fresh perspectives) with some ice cream and candy (Okay, okay … cut veggies and fresh fruit), and ask a few questions designed to bring out new ideas for story angles.
Next, take a look at the next 8 weeks in the calendar. Literally outline when you will be contacting media with which story angles. Remember – if you are just contacting media when you have a news release, you are a salesman. If you contact them with story ideas that are not all about your company (or client), you are a valuable resource they will grow to appreciate.
Revamp Your Media/Analyst Lists —
You’ve had dozens of conversations with key reporters and analysts, and have learned a lot about who’s covering what, who may have moved to another publication and how each of them prefer to receive their news. Update your list to reflect all this information. It will make you smarter when you contact them for your next piece of news or story idea.
Discuss Operations —
Get the whole team into a room … maybe even off-site, and give everyone the opportunity to talk about how things can be done better, more efficiently, or even just smarter. If you can have such a conversation 2-3 times per year, and hear one winning idea each time, your marketing team will improve dramatically over time.
Analyze Resources —
Often, during the crazy periods, it can be all-hands-on-deck for major announcements, initiatives, etc. When the dust settles, who’s still busy? Who has time on his/her hands? It’s a great time to calibrate and ensure that everyone’s appropriately busy … and happy.
Learn Lessons —
Ah, the big announcement is behind you. The big event is done and you are back from Vegas, or Spain, or wherever. Now is NOT the time to just move forward. You must ask those tough questions, so that you can learn from what took place and improve the next time. I had a recent case where a client noticed that it could have easily gotten more value from a partner at an event, if only they had asked. This client will not make the same mistake next time, because after the event we discussed the creation of a process for next year.
Eat, Drink and Be Social —
Take a colleague out for lunch. Take a client out for lunch. Take a reporter out for lunch. Take your spouse – who perhaps has allowed you to just do your own thing for the past month – out for dinner. Get my point? Only good can come from breaking bread with someone you care about. Business will almost certainly be part of the conversation, but it doesn’t have to be.
Contact a Reporter —
Reporters are always working on stories. Some are breaking news, but many are longer-term pieces that require weeks or months of research. Send an email to a reporter and ask if they are looking for industry sources for any upcoming stories. If you keep it to a soft-sell and truly communicate your interest in helping, they will come to appreciate you and think of you as a more important resource to them.
There are many other things you can be doing during these post-craze periods, and I’d love to hear of more ideas from you. Please add your comments!