Going Away for the Holidays? The Media Won’t

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Having just gotten through Labor Day, I’m reminded that we’ll soon be closing in on the BIG holiday season.  It’s a time when many businesses are closed for several days and business slows to a crawl in most of the country from Thanksgiving right on through New Year’s Day.

However, there is one industry that doesn’t close down. It’s the media and here are some statistics to back that up:

  • Number of newspapers who publish on Thanksgiving Day – 100 percent
  • Number of radio shows airing on Christmas Day – 100 percent
  • Number of TV networks broadcasting on New Year’s Day – 100 percent

Okay, maybe I’m being just a little facetious, but I think you get my point. The media doesn’t shut down during the holidays.  The newspaper still arrives at your door every morning and when you turn on the radio or TV, you’ll find all the same shows are on the air.  Admittedly, the holiday staff are the people who drew the short straws – but there they are on the air, behind the scenes, writing stories and generating the news we consume daily, without fail, even during our most cherished holidays.

My point? Where the holidays may be a time when you think it’s okay to be less proactive with your marketing, it’s not a good time to slack off with the media. In fact, with so many people being home for the holidays, it’s the perfect time to be on the air and in the news. And, for that reason, now is a critical time to ramp up for a big media push.

You see, the media people who are planning to take off during the holidays are still responsible for generating content while they are gone. Now, for radio that often means compiling “best of” shows that can air in place of regularly scheduled shows, or it’s simply seeing who at the station draws the short straw to guest host a show over the holidays. Competition is even tighter for TV so many TV hosts actually stick around through the holidays.  All in all, the battle for advertising dollars is so fierce that some shows just stay on the air, business as usual.

The key difference is with print and online news outlets, both short and long leads. They typically take the next few months to plan and prepare that content so it can fill space when they are off enjoying themselves. These folks don’t have to sit in front of a mike or stand in front of a camera, so they can have their pieces sitting in the hopper to run, while they are off making merry.

So if you have a PR campaign in progress, now is the time for the full court press to make the most of the fresh broadcast airtime available before the holidays, and more importantly, to push your print efforts while those guys are planning their holiday copy needs.

And, if you don’t have a current campaign, it’s the perfect time to start. Just know that no one would ever call you a Scrooge if you decided to keep your PR campaign on the job right on through New Year’s.  It’s just smart business.

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