Uncovering new placement routes through social media, adding to our skill set in unlikely ways, and keeping up with the metrics – here’s how we make the most of the Summer Silly Season
August has seen the height of out of office emails dropping into our inboxes as busy journalists and our clients enjoy a break! The IBA International team are fans of the Silly Season (and we’ve certainly talked about it plenty already)! Why? Because we have learned to lean into the lull.
This time of year presents ample opportunity to dedicate time to those tasks you’ve simply not been able to complete when PR and Marketing campaigns are in full swing! Think industry trend analysis to take advantage of, social media research – grappling with Threads versus X, , media placement collation (what can we learn to optimize placements?), plus a bit of boring old admin. This is how we have been productively using what little slow down we have had this summer!
So, for this monthly roundup, let’s take a deep dive into how the team at IBA International has been leaning into the lull this August to rev us up for a successful rest of year!
Doing what we do best
As the well-known ‘Silly Season’ draws to a close, some PR and Marketing pros may look back to see that monthly metrics have slowed down – but not IBA!
No matter the time of year, we’re always looking to identify a trending industry topic and find a relevant storyline hook that aligns with our clients’ messaging to ensure we draft a quality thought leadership piece. Our content aims to be relevant and work across multiple geographies – even during the summer lull. Case in point his month – our data movement client came back from a well-deserved break to the news that we had secured 10 placements for four different articles in not one but three different geographies across North America, DACH, and the Benelux regions! Clear evidence that what works for one geography can go on to work in many as long as you add in those valuable region-specific nuances – and these placements for our data movement client are testament to our tried and tested methodology. A winning formula if you ask me!
Talking of placements, we took this summer period as an opportunity to create and distribute our placement clipbooks for our clients complete with full metrics. These digital clipbooks share some key takeaways such as percentage of coverage by industry and type, KPIs, and details for highest performing articles that we’ve secured over a monthly, quarterly, or half yearly basis. My special mention goes to our business management software client, who used the material from the clipbook to create their own social media material for LinkedIn – a standout example of maximizing the content lifecycle!
Horsing around on social media
A long content lifecycle is a true sign of a well thought-out campaign – and it doesn’t end with traditional digital media platforms! For our sponsored equestrian client, Team Jones, the team has been busy writing and distributing press releases ahead of the long-anticipated annual Burghley 5* Horse Trials. But the content lifecycle doesn’t stop there as we have all been regularly posting engaging video content to their Twitter, Threads and Tik Tok, Instagram and Facebook channels in order to ramp up momentum ahead of the big event – and it’s paid off! The Team Jones Burghley Horse Trials TikTok campaign alone has gained upwards of 7,250 views and 760 likes, and counting.
Richard Jones held his annual course walk and this year, we dedicated a portion of our downtime to streamlining our ticketing processes for the event. As expected, tickets flew off the shelves and raised £500 for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance charity. Job well done! And we added another skill to our repertoire – our choice to outsource the ticketing process to a tried-and-tested event platform proved extremely successful!
Keeping up with Musk – we’re in the fast lane again – see our stats
That’s not all for social media activity as August has seen momentous changes in the world of social media – yes, I’m looking at you, Twitter – or should I say, ‘X’?
The IBA social media team has been making use of the summer lull to track the increasing amounts of social media updates. X alone, since being taken over by Elon Musk and rebranding, has introduced more interactive ad formats, updated brand assets, new ID confirmation in a bid to tackle bots, new semantic search capabilities, and so much more in a bid to swipe the top spot from Meta’s Threads. But as you can see below, X still has a very, very long way to go.
Twitter has been a vital tool for B2B organizations for a number of years for many reasons such as boosting SEO, events promotions, lead generation, and brand recognition. Here at IBA, we have been users of Twitter since 2009 (@IBAPR for all things B2B Marketing, and @IBAEngage for all things social media) but this new research has left us considering a switch-up! For Team Jones, who is B2C, we have already made the move to Threads, and engagement has doubled after less than two months, compared to five years on Twitter/X – as Threads‘ engagement levels are making their own case.
Uncovering new pitching tactics from social media
But that’s not to say X still doesn’t have its uses! Aside from sharing content and industry insights, the IBA team has trialled using social media to broaden our media pitching horizons. We’ve audited the list of industry influencers that we follow on X, and kept a close eye on any relevant content or interview #JournoRequests featuring on our feeds.
For one of my IBA colleagues, LinkedIn is proving just as useful. They spotted that a North American journalist they are connected with had shared an article on a similar topic that one of our software clients had covered in a recent thought leadership article. Wasting no time, my Team IBA colleague sent a prompt message to the journalist pitching our client’s story, which resulted in a new placement in a key publication on our pitching radar.
Time well spent researching and uncovering new media pitching methods – which are paying off for the whole team – and our clients!
Mastering the art of productive Summer downtime
It’s safe to say that we have mastered leaning into the lull this summer, by utilizing our downtime productively. As PR and Marketing activity ramps back up to regular levels as the silly season draws to a close – our efforts have set us in good stead to finish this year on a high.
Caitlin Goldsmith is a PR Executive at IBA International