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Is spring the best time for PR?

Spring is a time of new beginnings, signalling that the new year is well and truly underway. As the UK weather (slowly!) begins to warm up, traditionally so do new PR campaigns and strategies.

But does the abundance of blossoming flowers correspond to the growth PRs see in their results? Or is the notion of spring’s PR revitalisation about as real as the spring weather in Britain?

We’ve reached out to seven PR professionals to give us insight into how they will be approaching the season this year, and to weigh in on whether spring really is the best season for PR.

Spring can be the perfect time for a PR strategy reboot

Rachel Taylor, client services director at PR agency tigerbond: “Spring awakens not just nature, but also consumer interest in fresh experiences. Forget tired 'spring clean’ press releases - it's time to reboot your PR strategy with the vibrancy of the season.

“Spring is a PR powerhouse for us consumer brands consultants. New products are blossoming on shelves as retailers refresh their offerings. Influencers and media alike are thirsty for seasonal inspiration, seeking out news for spring fashion, DIY projects, beauty routines, and al fresco feasts. It’s rich pickings for us PRs!

“Aside from the obvious media agenda that never really changes year to year, cultural hooks are abound for us to maximise and hang our PR hat off: Earth Day, flower shows, music festivals, and a collective urge to emerge from hibernation and embrace the outdoors.

“With so many vibrant PR opportunities around us, the biggest dilemma and challenge becomes focusing on one impactful theme or creating a bouquet of mini campaigns. Commercial objectives and audience insights will guide us, and let’s be honest, budget too.”

The season is even more profitable if you use a data-led strategy

Aleksandra Vayntraub, former senior PR and content specialist at global fintech Finder: "Spring is the best season in PR because there's such a wide array of topics to tap into that can be relevant for many brands.

"Companies can speak to women's representation and achievements for International Women's Day, sustainability and recycling for Earth Month, and everything from financial literacy to freelancing for tax season in the US.

"To make the most of the approach to Easter and beyond, use a data-led strategy that includes both timely and evergreen stats, or create a research report for year on year comparisons. How has shopping for Easter changed over the years? Has there been a rise in opportunities for women across certain industries?

“By increasing the longevity of your brand's research, you can also reach out to some of the same reporters and offer them value in the form of fresh data and new commentary from your brand's experts on any changing trends."

It’s a great time to spring clean internal processes…

Stacey Hampton, senior PR account manager at PR agency ilk Agency : "Spring is a time to refresh, and this is especially true for PRs. The start of the season provides ample opportunity to explore seasonal campaigns, spanning topics such as spring cleaning, gardening, the bank holiday weekends and Easter.

"The beginning of the warmer weather also sees people stepping out of their homes and enjoying the fresh air, which means that PRs are encouraged to up their event planning and outdoor stunts.

“Aside from activities, it's also encouraged to take a refresh of internal process, be that updating media lists and finding relevant journalists for your upcoming spring campaigns, to closely evaluating results after the first quarter of the year, and kick-starting the new season with fresh and creative ideas that will blossom into results."

… but don’t get ahead of yourself

Guy Clapperton, founder of Clapperton Media Training: “Spring can be great as long as you don’t mistake it for an actual precursor to summer.

“The end of a financial year’s budget can make it look as if clients suddenly have a lot more money when all they’re doing is clearing it out whilst bidding for the next lot. If there are cuts instead of increases, as is all too likely at the moment, then the summer can be an uphill struggle.”

Three-month-long PR seasons may be a thing of the past

Laura Watts, managing partner at PR agency MSL: “Let’s be honest, spring is barely a season in Britain. 

“I’m sure you’ve seen the meme which, reflecting British humour to a tea (get it), states the UK clearly has 10 seasons. The year starts with winter, then fool’s spring, second winter, spring of deception, third winter, mud season, actual spring before we get to those precious 12 days of summer.

“So I stand by it, spring isn’t a season, it’s a teasing state of mind. Diminishing consumer attention spans means we don’t, and shouldn’t, think that three-month-long ‘seasons’ are hooks for PR. They aren’t. But, these mini multi seasons of ‘spring’ do offer an opportunity for PR, but make sure to keep it light, make us smile and tap into the culture of what’s really happening.”

It is the perfect time to plant the seeds of innovative new campaigns…

Elena Williamson, senior account executive at Aduro Communications: “Following the festive surge and influx of ‘new year, new me’, spring is often the next big hook we’re working towards in PR.

“Although the media landscape is ever saturated with Mother’s Day and Easter, spring is the time of year that really brings people out of that post-Christmas slump. During these months, consumers are attentive, looking for fresh inspiration to take into the summer and importantly, for the first time in the year, looking ahead rather than behind.

“Thinking strategically during spring gives us the opportunity to break through those traditional media hooks and plant campaigns into fertile consumer mindsets which often open up around this time of year. We take a step-by-step and reliable approach to reach the masses and embed those feel good campaigns, which stick with consumers for the rest of the year.”

… although it all depends upon the product

Kaye Woodhouse, director at Full Fat Agency: “The right timing is critical to a campaign’s success as it helps a brand stand out from its competitors and avoid being lost in the noise of other marketing campaigns.

“Whether spring is the best time really depends on the product and characteristics of the market you’re in. Understanding your audience and what motivates them is key, for example Christmas gift buying or summer holiday purchases.

“Spring is the perfect season to launch for many events, festivals and brands that rely on summer sales, as it allows enough time to build brand awareness and generate sales, but isn’t so early that the audience isn’t ready. This is a great time to align brand messaging with the sense of renewal."

No matter your approach, spring certainly makes an impact on PR strategies and campaigns. This time of year provides a perfect opportunity to shake up your approach, identify the changing new year trends, and plant the seeds of new campaigns.

Spring also, sees The PRmoment Awards shortlist announcements, which is a time of celebration and positivity for many!

Alex Beach, writer at PRmoment

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