Each season brings specific noteworthy holidays, events, and activities, which cause consumers to behave differently, providing opportunities for businesses to engage with them. Seasonal campaigns don’t just have to relate to an official holiday or awareness day, there are also significant events that relate to your industry. It’s pinpointing relevant dates throughout the year and finding ways to capitalize on them.

Examples of seasonal opportunities that have the power to boost your PR campaigns include Ramadan, Eid, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and other national holidays. Holidays give consumers an excuse to spend money, so you need to keep up with annual special days that may impact plans for your company’s public relations and marketing. Savvy PR pros know to plan their content calendars, social media strategy and other activities around holidays and important remembrance events.  They also use important anniversaries as hooks for their PR messaging.

Identify Dates Relevant to Your Business

Every season has something different to offer, the key here is to be selective, do your research and collect data on when your customers are most likely to engage, then choose events that in some way relate to your business. Analyze your website traffic to identify spikes and then link them back to specific keywords. Research your competitors’ previous winning seasonal campaigns in terms of messaging, content type, emotional appeal, or special offers. This can help inspire and inform your own campaigns.

Research Trends

Depending on your industry, your audience, your campaign goals, and even the size of your company, it is vital to identify and keep a keen eye on search trends around the occasion for your campaign. There are many tools PR practitioners can use to help highlight the broader search or seasonality habits for a given date or holiday season. Whatever you use, it is important to use a variety of tools together to understand and track your customers’ behavior across multiple channels, any correlations among a specific audience, and your own performance.

Build Your Plan

Plan early to get ahead once you’ve pinned down what holidays and important events you want to work with, anywhere from three to six months.  For each campaign, determine your offer and objective. Are you hoping to sell product through a special offer, or do you just want to engage in the conversation for share of voice in the market?  Keep in mind that different channels require different lead times. Figure out what channels you’ll be using and plan scheduling times accordingly. Your campaign will require specific brand visuals and written content. Make sure you’re making requests early so that you have everything you need come time for the campaign.

Include Corporate Anniversaries

If your business has been operating for a number of years and you’re coming up to that significant anniversary, developing a pitch for the media or sending a media release about how the firm has reached this special mark could potentially land valuable media coverage for your company. You can build an entire month of PR and social media campaign around the anniversary, recognizing your best clients or giving prizes to customers across the course of the month. Brainstorm with your team to develop ideas on how to recognize and award those that helped achieve the longevity of your business.

Adjust Your Message

Seasonality has a significant influence on the strategies that organizations put in place. Contests and promotions can be built around holidays and observances. Purchasing habits tend to shift based on the activities that consumers participate in, and businesses need to take this into account by mapping out the customer journey and the story they want to tell.  Determine the emotions you want to evoke in your audience. The goal of appealing to emotions is to create a connection with your audience that makes them receptive to your message. Seasonal PR campaigns can be controversial if executed the wrong way, risking your brand’s reputation and turning off customers. It is important not to offend, so before launching your campaign ensure you don’t reinforce stereotypes, don’t try to be funny unless it is appropriate and do your research to make sure you don’t offend.

Be Different

Offer something different, making the most of the one-off event in the calendar. The word “seasonal” suggests that people cannot get a particular product, service or discount at any other time. Be sure to offer something different from your competitors, such as a limited-edition product or offer that is only valid during a specific timeframe. Creative communicators can make every season work, whether it is by creating season-related content, such as social media posts, blogs, and infographics, hosting a themed contest or promoting a sale for relevant products and/or services, the opportunities are endless.

Review and Repurpose

It’s important to document your campaign results carefully as points of reference for future campaigns. Try to not only repurpose the successful elements but also identify the weak sides of your promotions so you can eliminate them next time. When evaluating existing, successful campaigns, spend some time thinking about how each piece approached content format, distribution, messaging, and emotion.  One of the best aspects of seasonal marketing is the ability to create annual series and story-telling by recycling your best-performing ideas, as long as you make your content as evergreen as possible.

With creativity and innovation, you can grow your business and gain new media attention by taking advantage of seasonal opportunities throughout the year. Brands can benefit from tapping into their consumers’ holiday behaviours, emotion, and spirit. Now is the right time to figure out how you are going to leverage those events in order to reap the most benefit.