January, the month of resolutions, fitness promises and long waits for pay packets.
But it’s also a month where more unusual PR stories can have a bigger impression than at any other time of the year. Why? Well for one the first two weeks of January can often by fairly dry for organic news stories, meaning different, fresh and entertaining stories can make an impact.
What other stories are you battling against? Well fitness, resolutions, previous year’s reviews, summer holidays and, of course, Blue Monday.
Avoid these potential battlegrounds and you can find yourself with headline-making stories.
Seven years ago now I saved a story just for this purpose. It wasn’t time sensitive, so I could afford to do it, which is obviously another good rule to follow.
I’d been sitting on it for almost six months, building it up and pointing it straight at the first week of January. It involved compiling the ten most unusual things vets have found in dogs’ stomachs. Stop reading here if you can’t stomach the details. Pun intended.
The seed of the idea came from speaking to a vet who worked for my client, Vets4Pets. I always revert to being a journalist when speaking to clients, and so emerged the news about a dog that they had operated on, because it had swallowed a riding crop.
Months of research, many conversations with vets and gathering images followed, but while the story was ready by October, launching it would wait until that lull in news that January often brings.
And the wait was worth it, as the coverage that followed was incredible. National, regional and local media, both print and online, and also a sprinkling of broadcast media. National coverage came from the likes of the Daily Mirror and Daily Express, while key regionals including the Liverpool Echo and Huddersfield Examiner.
So just remember, if your story isn’t time sensitive, the content is your own and it’s interesting or unusual, then waiting for the start of January might pay off.