It’s that time of year again: the seasons are changing and the summer months are quickly coming to a close.
In the next few weeks, school will begin, Instagram feeds will shift from pictures of beach sunsets and fruity cocktails to fall fashion and changing leaves, and stores everywhere will have already started advertising for Halloween and the holiday season.
As we enter into the last days of summer, there is no doubt that it can be difficult to focus on work. Last-minute vacations and attempts to savor the final days of warmth and relaxation distract us from what needs to get done, and, along with the prospect of shorter days and colder weather, the thought of ramping up the workload for a busy fall can be daunting.
With everyone clinging to the endless sunny days and warm summer nights, it can be hard to find ways to engage the media as they plan impromptu trips and back-to-school preparations. But, as a PR pro, it’s your job to get people excited about this shift from August to September and situate your clients in the midst of this transition. The months of watermelon and ice cream may be fading away, but this leaves room for the apple pie and pumpkin spice lattes. And while the days of the World Cup may be over, who isn’t looking forward to the beginning of football season?
Here are some seasonal angles you can use to get even the most die-hard summer fans excited about the start of fall and to integrate your clients into the seasonal transition, along with examples of several brands that have successfully taken advantage of the seasonal shift to build brand awareness and get consumers excited about their products.
Beat the heat
While the hottest day of the year may be behind us, there’s no doubt that early September days can be scorchers. Whether that means suggesting some creative ways to cool off, coming up with some new and refreshing summer drink recipes that fit with your brand, or helping your followers discover the perfect spot to soak up the last of that vitamin D, there are lots of quick and easy ways to chill out even on the hottest days.
Savor the last days of summer
Everyone has that list of things that represent pure, quintessential summer. And while we all enter June with ambitious plans to hit the beach every weekend and tackle all of the summer DIY projects Pinterest has to offer, the end of August always brings with it the realization that there is still much summer fun to be had. So help consumers take advantage of these last few weeks of sun by suggesting some of Boston’s best outdoor concerts, make a brand-inspired summer bucket list, and savor all of the warmth August has to give.
Labor Day may be over, but the summer sun is still burning bright. Why not celebrate with one last barbecue or weekend getaway? Help your brand’s fans take a moment to appreciate the hard workers in their lives, and savor time with friends and family before the hectic autumn months set in.
If there’s anything truly American about the fall, its tailgating season. No matter what your team’s colors are, wear them proudly, and fire up the grill, break out the cooler, and get consumers excited about celebrating the season of sports, friends, family, and a little bit of healthy competition.
Back to school
For much of the population, September means one thing: going back to school. And while it may take some coaxing for parents to get their children ready to return to their classes and homework, there are lots of ways for your brand to help make this process fun and exciting for everyone involved. Offer some engaging back-to-school DIY projects for the younger ones, or suggest some of the best deals for rebooting your fall wardrobe. Find brand-relevant solutions that make kids eager to see old friends and learn new things, and don’t forget to plan something fun for mom and dad, especially those new empty nesters!
First day of fall
Come September 23, there will be no more denying it: summer will officially be over and fall will be here. Instead of letting your brand’s followers slip into a nostalgia for the warmth of August, encourage them instead to reflect on the festivities of fall and all of the exciting ways to celebrate the onset of autumn. Whether it’s apple picking, experiencing the amazing foliage in some of Boston’s best parks, or visiting a notoriously haunted Halloween attraction, fall brings a much-needed break from the sweltering heat and the start of warm sweaters and cozy nights with loved ones gathered around the fireplace.
How are brands doing it?
Much like Coca Cola’s “Summer of Sharing” campaign, brands should aim to build tactics that create messages in which everyone can share in the season’s festivities.
Look to UGG for Men’s “This is UGG” fall campaign, which features Patriot player Tom Brady in a more personal setting with his father and beloved pup, Lua, as an example for integrating this season’s mood.
Fall marketing strategies that share in the feeling of family and friends will be able to connect consumers to the communal holiday cheer.
So, while consumers and media may still be in a summer state of mind, get a head start on the new season and begin looking forward to what the fall months can offer. As we approach September, make it a priority to position your clients in the conversation about the changing seasons to make it your strongest autumn yet.
**Written by **Written by Consumer PR intern Carly Meyerson, International Comparative Studies at Duke University (Class of 2016).