If you’ve been reading any of the commentary on this week’s Chinese stock market collapse have you noticed there’s a subtle seasonal factor at play?
It’s summer, and a lot of traders are on holiday.
Speaking in Forbes magazine, Tom Essaye, market analyst and author of The 7:00’s Report said: “The lack of volumes and attendance on trading desks, given this is the peak of summer holiday season, not just in the US but globally, is making these swoons* worse.”
So what has this got to do with good PR practice?
A good friend is doing some PR contracting over the summer months. On top of her web editing work she was asked to ‘cover the corporate comms desk for a few days’. Why? Because both the head of media relations AND his second – and only – in command were going to be on holiday.
She was given a press release template but no training, access to a general media database but no brief and, most importantly, no directors’ contact list.
What if THIS were the week the company hit a major crisis?
“I did my best but every day I prayed for a smooth ride,” she said. “We were so exposed and I was totally under-resourced and under-prepared.”
July and August present some everlasting PR truths. Parliament is in recess. Traditionally this means ‘silly season’ in the media. There are fewer political stories for journalists to bite on but demand for content and eye-popping headlines is as high as ever. So they start to cast around for stories…..and the spotlight falls more firmly on the corporate sector.
So even if you don’t know what a PR Crisis Manual is, keep this Summer PR Checklist in mind. If nothing else it will buy you enough time to search through a list of B2B PR agencies or pop into that consumer public relations agency down the road, where your first word is likely to be “HELP!”
1. NEVER allow the whole of your PR team AND your PR agency director/manager (if you have one) to go on holiday at the same time. This is a reputation management consideration NOT a holiday planning issue.
2. Your PR team (or PR cover) should know all relevant director’s holiday plans AND have a nominated director available for any comments or decisions in the event of a crisis. Of course that director also needs to know they’ve been nominated! Check that mobile numbers are up to date before anyone goes away.
3. Make sure that PR talks to social media MORE during the summer months. Don’t set up automated social media campaigns as a way of compensating for lack of staff. Imagine you ran an automated campaign this week pushing the latest Chinese-made smartphone with the tag line “The smart money’s on China.” Now all you’ve done is create your own PR crisis…
For panic-free PR in London or help creating your crisis plan , be it B2B or consumer, call John Starr 0207 736 4022 [email protected]
*DEFINITION of ‘Market Swoon’
A slang term for a decline in the overall value of the stock market. Market swoons can be seen when indexes, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) , have a significant drop in price.