International PR

B2B tech PR tactics for the summer dip

Written by Dan Bowsher

30 July 2019


B2B tech can take a bit of a dip over the summer break with many people taking well deserved holidays.

From a PR perspective, you could argue that we face a fundamental challenge. Clients are taking time out, but so too are our media contacts. And don’t forget we need a break too!

In my capacity as operations director, it’s my job to keep up momentum for our clients all year round. I’ve tapped into Berkeley Communications’ hive mind to gather advice on how to keep things going despite the ubiquitous out of office messages.

Account for European holidays

There’s a reason so many people flock to mainland Europe for their summer holidays – it’s lovely! Many central European countries grind to a halt during the summer months, including the media.

Allow for this in a European communications programme. Carry out additional work ahead of times to ensure coverage continues to flow. It’s the perfect time to create content to pitch when journalists return from their vacations.

Check with your local team. Get advice on how best to handle the flow of stories and content during this period. This will help you find the most effective means of achieving the right results. You may need to stagger aspects of a launch until Autumn, for example. Let the local knowledge determine that call.

B2B tech thought leadership

It’s not just in Europe that the content-first approach makes sense over the summer months. For example, if you target B2B titles in the UK, up your focus on thought leadership pieces, over news stories.

Getting these drafted and approved before the break will be critical as it means you can focus on placement and building the pipeline.

Out and about with B2B tech journalists

It’s also a good time to build relationships with key contacts in an informal setting. Invite key journalists out of their hot office for a bite to eat or a drink. It might prove just the invite they need and lay the foundations for future working relationships.

Despite fewer journalists being around, we find they’re more likely to engage than at other times of the year.

Some companies plan social events around big sporting occasions, such as Wimbledon, the World Cup, etc. This can work well for media engagement, but an informal one-to-one meeting can be far more impactful.

The same applies to your audiences on social media. Summer is a great time for focusing on soft engagement by liking and commenting on your connections’ content. It’s a great way to nurture those relationships and stay on their radar.

Prep for the B2B tech post-Summer frenzy

The summer months are the ideal time to review, plan and prepare for the rest of the year.

The tech industry goes gang busters in September and October. Major events like IP Expo take place and Mobile World Congress preparation kicks in. The rhythm of major product launches continues too (September is new iPhone month, every year).

Use what “downtime” you have to build, finesse or execute your own plan of attack for those critical moments.

If you’re not attending or involved directly with major events you can still have a voice around them. Summer’s a great time for disruptive thinking, so don’t let a lack of attendance stop you from building a smart plan.

And for certain companies it could be the best time to run your Christmas campaign. I know, right? But monthly publications work well in advance so a Festive push will be well timed. Leaving it until the Winter months is too late.

Think broadcast media

In July, some of the Berkeley team attended a briefing with correspondents from the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky News. They gleaned heaps of detailed insights about how best to approach them to get exposure.

The full piece is here, but it’s fair to say in the UK with Parliament out, schools and family holidays in full swing, journalists value well pitched stories and ideas more than ever. That’s especially true if they aren’t about the weather!