Daney Parker, Editor, PRmoment.com
Are you in desperate need of a break this Easter? The fact that Easter is so late this year combined with the never-ending Brexit saga has made some people feel that a holiday is not just a treat, but a necessity.
As Carl Thomson, director at international public affairs agency Interel, says: “In Game of Thrones the winters last for seven years. For public affairs professionals this winter has felt equally long with the seemingly endless Brexit discussions, impasses, cliff-edge negotiations and extensions.
“I think it is important for people to take regular breaks to clear your mind, otherwise you can quickly suffer from burnout. It’s easier to take stock of issues and think more creatively when you’ve been away from the office for a while. Things that might have been bothering you don’t seem so important once you’re out of the country.”
Not everyone agrees that Brexit is an excuse for a holiday and in fact, James Crawford, managing director of PR Agency One, says that this year has been easier than the last: “When the referendum result was known two years ago we found that decision making ground to a halt for a couple of months, but this winter has seemed to be unaffected by Brexit. Maybe one or two leads have changed their minds, but in general the start of 2019 has been a bit of a barnstormer.”
Crawford also thinks that it can be a mistake to take time off at this time of year, as there is so much to do: “Anyone who knows me will agree that I have plenty of time off to relax, but time off needs to be within reason. It would be nice just to take a break over Easter, but really outside of the normal holidays this is one of the busiest periods we’ve seen.
“The run up to April is always pitch season and the start of many companies’ financial years. Would it be nice to spend a fortnight sunning myself in the Med? Of course! Are we taking our foot off the pedal? Hell no.”
Although Cheryl Cox, group account director at agency Jaywing PR, agrees that Easter is a busy time, she emphasises how important it is to take breaks no matter how hectic your schedule: “For us, it can still be a busy time as we often run Easter campaigns for clients to make the most of the people being at home and looking for entertainment – we're doing this for a couple of clients this year. We encourage regular breaks – they are really beneficial if you work in PR. It's a demanding industry, so the occasional Friday off for a bit of R&R, or a mid-week lie-in can keep you feeling energised and more able to consistently match the pace.”
Below, PROs describe how they are spending the Easter season. If you are going to be focusing on work, we also offer some top tips for getting brands onto consumers’ radars at this time of year, as it is a key time for online shopping.
How I will unwind
It’s the US for Interel’s Carl Thomson: “Having spent a lot of my time off in the last few years travelling in Eastern Europe, I’ve recently rediscovered America. I’ll be spending my holiday in Boston, doing some historical sightseeing and taking in the opening stages of next year’s presidential election.”
It’s a busman’s holiday for Jessica Gillingham, director of agency Abode PR: "Easter is my favourite of the national holidays. What's not to like about a four-day weekend and one in the spring? Running a business means that I never totally unplug from work (or have yet to anyway), but Easter is definitely a time to take a break from the day-to-day to recharge and reflect. Although no doubt, I'll also use some of the time working on my own business development, such as updating long overdue case studies and planning for the next six months.”
It’s across the channel for Simon Turton, owner of Opera PR: “We’re taking the family over to Brittany to set up our new holiday home, which we’re in the process of buying and I hope by the time we sail over to France that Brexit has been resolved. But, even if it hasn’t we’re still going and I am sure that thousands will be doing the same – going to Europe, that is.
“I am looking forward to a break, although the trusty laptop will be with me because when it’s your own business you’re never really stop, but neither do you have that ‘Great Escape’ mentality when you enjoy what you do. That said, I will enjoy biking around the area, taking in the sights and brushing up on my French, as well as relaxing and spending time doing absolutely nothing.”
The whole agency is off to Marrakech says Kirsty Leighton, managing partner of agency Milk & Honey PR: "Any chocolate fuelled holiday is most welcome! The first quarter of the year seems to have been particularly long and busy. All of us here are ready for a nice long weekend. Although, my eldest has his GCSEs next month so sadly no great escape on the cards for the family this year. However, the whole team is off to Marrakech next month for annual planning. So a sunny break isn't too far away."
Easter digital marketing tips
Amy Renardson, marketing executive at agency Epiphany Search, describes how not to miss a trick with your digital strategy this Easter: “The average UK consumer will be enjoying four to five days off work over the Easter period and, paired with reduced retail opening hours, will have time to not only unwind, but will also mean they are more likely to spend time at home and online.
“These consumers are likely to be searching for solutions so it’s important to make sure that your brand is there when they do.”
Below Renardson suggests four top tips for making the most out of your digital marketing strategy over the Easter weekend (read more here).
- Plan. All seasonal campaigns need extra preparation.
- Be consistent. Make sure all key messages are the same across all channels.
- Reap the rewards of increased conversions.
There is a lot to do this spring, and many opportunities for building business, both on and offline. But before you get stuck in, it may be a good idea to take advantage of the public holidays and relax. As well as eat plenty of chocolate of course!
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