Debunked: Summer is as good a time as any for media outreach, Clearly poll finds

10 July 2023 | 3 min read | Clearly News
Paul MacKenzie-Cummins
Paul MacKenzie-Cummins

They say the summer is the worst time for B2B organisations to be doing PR. They say this is because decision makers switch off from the media and any attempts to grab their attention at this time are largely a waste of time. They are talking through their proverbial ar*es.

And we have the data to prove it.

In July, we ran a poll targeting the following demographic:

  • C-suite (including Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer)
  • Executives (including Managing Director and Founder)
  • Heads of… (including Head of Marketing and Operations Manager)
  • Manager and leader (including Business Leader and Entrepreneur)

We asked the question:

“During your summer holiday, will you still check the business-related news in the media?”

If they were to be believed, the answer would certainly be an overwhelming ‘No’. But they are wrong. 3,619 people took part in the poll and while 44 per cent of respondents said they had no intention of checking their news feeds for business-related stories and content whilst on their summer holiday, more than half said they would.

Accordingly, 27 per cent stated that ‘Yes’, they will continue to keep up to date with the business news, one in five (21 per cent) agreed they would too although to a lesser extent than normal, and just under one in 10 (8.5 per cent) admitted that they ‘Probably’ will do so.

Looking the chart about, and the mind naturally makes the assumption that the Nos outweight the Yesses. But when we add the latter together and present them as you see below, a very different view is formed:

Put another way, 56 per cent of senior executives, business leaders and founders will continue to keep abreast of what is happening in the business world whilst on holiday this July and August to some extent or another.

This may be the silly season where the news agenda does tend to dry up, but it presents an incredible opportunity for those stories that might not otherwise break through the usually hectic news agenda during the rest of the year yet still merit coverage.

Indeed, pages and airtime slots still need to be filled and your target audience – as the findings above testify – is still reading, watching and listening.

According to one journalist, the summer is “a great time to “send those little tips, or nuggets, that a journalist will have more time to examine.”

But it is important to ensure they are exclusives – pitches made on a one-on-one basis to a specific journalist and not distributed in a scattergun fashion in the hopes that ‘someone’ will run with it. Exclusives, like breaking news stories, have a far higher rate of media coverage success.

So, the next time you are considering holding off on your communications because they say that your message won’t necessarily be heard, think again. If what you have to say is relevant and valuable in the hear and now, it will always be seen, read and heard by the right people at the right time.

Food for thought anyway.